Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Bot use has returned hours back to the organization


What is our primary use case?

Our use case is spread across multiple areas: 

  1. We are using it in finance: automating the month-end process. 
  2. There are a lot of review processes that happen every week. We are in the middle of that.
  3. We have a product lifecycle management process that when we close the books on a product, information needs to go into multiple systems. We have another bot in system for this.

These are the three things that we have in production right now.

How has it helped my organization?

A project that we automated: A person used to spend about eight to twelve hours every week to finish the process. The bot finishes it in half an hour. Now, the person just reviews it, then passes along the information. This has helped our organization because originally EMEA and APAC would not receive the files the same day that they were processed. But because the bot only takes a half an hour, everyone can now receive the files on the same day.

What is most valuable?

We know the process. It doesn't deviate.

Speed: A process that would take two days for a person every month to do is now completed within two hours.

What needs improvement?

Right now, the audit trail sits in file systems. I would prefer it to be in a database where it is queryable and searchable. 

Another major downside is an upgrade. If I have to switch over from single sign-on to non-single sign-on, etc., then it's a complete reinstall. When I do a complete reinstall, I lose a lot of information because it's a new instance. I'm not able to bring information from the old instance and my metrics are all gone. I basically have to reset the whole infrastructure. I would like to see an option to switch over to single sign-on post-installation. It should not have to be a reinstall. It should be part of the installation or configuration.

I wanted to see a cloud version and mobile app but those will be available in the A2019 version.

I would like the bots to be more automatic without having to check emails, which is how we have our tool setup. Going forward, the bots should be more interactive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, the stability has been pretty good.

We did have some issues when our database server sort of crashed. A lot of processes went uncommitted, so we had to engage the Automation Anywhere support team. They came in to clean up the database and bring the server back up. Otherwise, we have seen pretty good stability.

How are customer service and technical support?

So far, the technical support has been really helpful. We were even able to engage the customer success team when we needed them. They have helped us solve our problems, which is very good.

How was the initial setup?

We had a major issue when it came to single sign-on. We couldn't get it working. There was a bug in Automation Anywhere that eventually got solved just a few weeks back. However, we have not implemented it. We have had hiccups with the single sign-on, but otherwise it was a smooth setup. We are not using single sign-on because of this bug.

What about the implementation team?

We used our implementation partner for the deployment and implementing the bots. Our experience with them was good. Most of them are good developers. They have been able to solve a lot of issues and build a lot of processes.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI on two out of our three bot processes. We see ROI from hours returned back to us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It is a lot easier to debug Automation Anywhere than UiPath because of the code. Our clients like Automation Anywhere which is another reason that we picked it.

What other advice do I have?

Automate several smaller processes within departments. Show the benefit there before implementing an end-to-end solution. This will get people excited about the solution and kick start the process.

We got our workloads for issues and our bugs fixed, which is why I rated the product a 10 out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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