Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Organization's manpower can do high level work instead of mundane work


What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is collecting data from the latest sources, whether it be a spreadsheet or PDF. 

I have used Automation Anywhere in my current and previous organizations.

In my current company, we have been successful with pushing the solution through and getting management buy-in. 

How has it helped my organization?

In my previous organization, we started with version 7.0. We saw cost savings by automating some critical processes. In addition, the manpower was able to do high level work instead of mundane work. 

In my current organization, we are seeing great results, especially with the financial and civil processes.

What is most valuable?

It extracts what the IQ Bot does, converting it and ensuring the entire process right from the input to the output and is fully automated. It is digitizing a particular process, which is really great.

What needs improvement?

if Automation Anywhere could bring in object recognition, it would be a game changer. Today, we have a lot of video analytics. People talk about video analytics since I come from the consumer background. We are looking into the latest technologies of facial recognition from an audit proxy, e.g., counting the movement of the products from the counter versus the billing application. I have brought up this inquiry at my last three Imagine sessions but I am not getting an answer. Maybe the demand in the market is less. but people now are looking for this type of solution where Automation Anywhere can bring in some cognitive inbuilt. 

It would be great if video analytics could be brought in as a third-party product integration or on the Automation Anywhere platform. I would like the video analytics to be integrated within the next two years. Right now, most people are using third-party tools. Video can be translated into an image and information can be picked up from that, then translated into meaningful insights to make decisions.

Getting buy-in was a major challenge because of the various people not aware of the technologies moving and getting buy-in from top management is a challenge. 

A major issue is getting the in-house team trained. I would like to have a better way of managing the teams. The more your in-house team is trained, you're less dependent on your partners or solution providers, thereby scaling up the confidence of doing it in-house. I just visited a booth now on the training part to see what can be achieved so I can go back and tell my team what Automation Anywhere is providing in terms of training.

For how long have I used the solution?

We embarked on our journey eight months ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are hiccups in the production tool. I would rate the accuracy level at 95 to 97 percent. 

Compared to the earlier versions, compliance, deliverables and other tools in the market, nobody can touch Automation Anywhere.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, you have to leap frog forward. Overall, you need to work at achieving a digital workforce to scale the entire landscape of the organization by having them look to the future. It is not only the RPA part, but also you have to adopt AI and ML type technologies which can holistically cover the entire aspects and take the organization to the scalable level.

How are customer service and technical support?

The response from the technical support is really good. 

I just met the account manager and he was thrilled to see me.

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

We had a technical evaluation team, which I was part of since I had earlier worked with Automation Anywhere and had a sense of it. We had been evaluating its competitors, but Automation Anywhere's stability and ease of use was great. My past experience with the solution allowed me in my current organization to make the right decision.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It is pretty simple. We started with small processes. then we moved onto complex types of environments. The implementation in terms of technicalities, it was not complex. In terms of getting into the nitty-gritties of what, where, when, and how it would come all together, that is the challenging part. It is the understanding the entire process of transforming the requirements into something technical. 

What about the implementation team?

We used Ernest & Young for the deployment. They are one of the good partners in terms of understanding the internal processes. The consultation is great. They are with us day in and day out. They are helping us to try and transform the business.

What was our ROI?

In my current organization, we have yet to see results because we are going with a small launch with two Bot Runners and one Bot Creator. We need to asses the right approach, selection processes, choosing what to automate and what not to automate, and what would be the scale of automation. That is where a lot of hard work is required going ahead to see the results coming in the next financial year.

in my previous organization, I could see a lot of cost savings and returns from automating processes. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

More than 40 to 50 percent of the IT budget will be for the cost of automation projects in the coming years since these projects enhance operations add value.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also considered Blue Prism, but they have nowhere near Automation Anywhere's success story in the span of just eight to nine years.

In the initial days of 2012, I visited an Automation Anywhere manager in a very small office in India. There were only about ten people operating from that region. Back then, they didn't have partners like EY. Today, they have all the Fortune companies working with Automation Anywhere, even Microsoft has joined hands with them. 

It has been a good experience working with Automation Anywhere, which started small. We were directly coordinating on simple tasks, like, "Hey this is not working. Fix it now." There were no partners in-between. 

What other advice do I have?

This is the right platform and choice. Today, every business needs to be at this pace and cannot ignore automation. You have to be in the race if you really want your company to get to the next level and be at par with competitors. Bring your business to the table by getting it automated by using the right tools, like Automation Anywhere, and the right partner.

The solution delivers value.

Going forward, we are looking to add more value, then plan for a better foundation using the automation platform by making a COE team and installing the newest version of Automation Anywhere.

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