Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Automates repetitive tasks improving employee morale


What is our primary use case?

We use it to automate repetitive tasks. When an employee logs into an organization and their work is mundane (doing a repetitive task), I personally feel that it will take a toll on their motivation. We have to do something better as human and it should be more creative. Any repetitive task has to be automated. This improves the morale of employees and will bring out a lot of creativity in them to make more decisions. This is how people start to innovate and how companies grow.

How has it helped my organization?

There was a particular use case where we had to automate a customer's email. This customer had a couple of customers to whom they have been writing for intern management. We needed to monitor the intern management emails and pick up the right keywords from the emails, automatically go to the CRM tool, and book a ticket for them. Then, we had to go back to the customer with the acknowledgement email. It was quite interesting.

Initially, there were some hiccups. They were not able to automate the regular chain of automation because of multiple API issues. Then, they thought RPA wold be a better solution and approached us. One of the interesting things was the data that they prepared for us was unstructured. Handling RP unstructured data was a bit hard, but we were using Automation Anywhere. We were able to find the right hot words because they were following certain patterns. We were able to find those patterns within emails.

What is most valuable?

Bot Insights is the most valuable feature. We don't have to struggle with generating metrics around how the bots are performing. This information coming out of Automation Anywhere is useful to us because of the way the metrics are generated. It inspires confidence from our customers. 

What needs improvement?

Version 11 is a bit heavy. At times, it takes a toll on the computing resources. It consumes a lot for computing power. We have seen multiple instances where computers or the client has crashed because of this particular problem. Automation Anywhere can improve this a lot. However, the A2019 version will be a lot lighter because it is all web-based. In the future, we expect to see lighter version, but for now, it is okay.

The features around holding and handling Excel data need to be improved. They need to be able to handle data tables, data variable, and Excel numbers.

They need more scripting integration.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable. The error handing features are pretty good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is awesome and on par, but they could do better.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been brilliant and good. They have been quick to respond with the right answers, as much as possible.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Our customers get to know about RPA through multiple channels. They are looking to join the race. 

The push for RPA is usually from bottom to top in a company. Someone does research on RPA then needs to convince management. Afterward, they will contact us to run automation scenarios for them.

How was the initial setup?

It is not a one click installation. We need to need to install the SQL Server, then we need to connect them all. This is where I think a normal agent wouldn't be able to do that. We need to deploy senior engineers to do this since it is slightly difficult. We had to train our IT guys on this.

Compared to the competitors who have a fast, swift installation, Automation Anywhere's installation is hard and needs work.

What was our ROI?

Our customers have better use of their manual resources. 

Costs savings have been seen by employing bots for multiple shifts instead of people. Bots are also more stable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Automation Anywhere has better brand and marketing than its competitors. They have a lot of success stories from top level people from around the world, which is encouraging.

What other advice do I have?

Go through the Automation Anywhere training modules to understand the tool. Developers should go through the developer training module while business analysts should go through the business training module. This will give you an idea of what Automation Anywhere can do and what it can't do.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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