Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Very fast in execution time, it requires less support time, and it is a good value for the money


What is our primary use case?

My day-to-day activity was to take data from invoices and put it into an Oracle DB. I have already automated banking uses, which deal with some of the invoices. The second case solution which I had worked with was multi-bot architecture.

We have certain kinds of applications spread across our organization and the data coming into that organization is common. We made a solution as a multiBot: one Bot is working on one application and we have hundreds of applications. So a hundred Bots work together on the same set of data to integrate it.

The applications are different. Say one is Oracle, one is SAP (System Analysis and Program Development) and one is Salesforce. In the way we implemented this, we segregated the workload into parts: part as a master Bot, part as a worker Bot and part as the closure Bot. The master Bot will work on the input part of the data set, the worker Bot will work with the individual (designated) applications, and the closure Bot will consolidate all the data and feed it back to the designated user. This was the plan for our architecture.

How has it helped my organization?

The Automation Anywhere product has improved our organization with the speed of processing. It is very fast in execution time, it requires less support time, and it is a good value for the money.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features I see right now pertain to dealing with the servers. That has become a distant concern. Because data is already on the cloud, I can use a controller and my client as one unit. That is the best thing. I can use Automation Anywhere in my mobile, I can run my Bot through an Android app. This flexibility and centralization without worrying about availability is a good thing.

What needs improvement?

I think that all the expectations I had for the new release of the product are covered in the coming version A 2019. I'm very happy about what I hear about it. I think once I use this A 2019 release, I'll come to know what the things are that I'll want in the future. We have access now to a community edition version, which I have to download and will be testing out shortly.

The first of the new features that I believe will do me the best is the customization of the commands. I can build my own package as per my convenience. Let's say we have a variable command. We already have the ability to use XML commands and we have some Excel commands that are provided by Automation Anywhere. Now Automation Anywhere is allowing us the opportunity to build something of my own in their environment and deploy that in production. Before I could imagine that component and not build or deploy it. I can build it now and that an important new feature for our progress.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As far as the stability of the product, it's doing well. My experience over the two years I have worked with it as a developer, going to the cloud has been good for reliability and accessibility.

We have not experienced downtime from the Automation Anywhere setup. When our infrastructure is down it definitely impacts my accessibility to Automation Anywhere. This is not actually the fault of the product as far as I have experienced.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I feel the one thing which I can tap to enhance the scalability of the system is the AI component of Automation Anywhere — that is IQ Bot. I think this is something which can really grow into a massive Bot solution with great advantages. I heard recently that the accuracy of that data reading for invoice processing is something like 70% accurate currently. I think they are trying for 90 or 90 % plus as a goal now.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have definitely had the opportunity to use technical support and I evaluate them as very good. If I have any data stuck somewhere, I query to the Automation Anywhere support guys. If I have some problem with the 11.x version, they'll admit that there's a bug in that version for a particular process or function and they will develop a patch for it in a new upgraded version. We definitely feel confident going accordingly with that and patch the update as a solution.

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

Our reason for adopting the product and why most of our clients prefer it as a solution is that we talk with them honestly about what capabilities they will need and why this product fills the purpose. Everyone can choose to do their tasks in a different way and other solutions could work to develop automation. What matters for me is the way the product allows users to easily develop the Bots. I do believe that Automation Anywhere is giving me the opportunity to quickly and easily develop stable Bots and it is better at that than other competitors you might want to compare it to.

How was the initial setup?

It is definitely not a simple setup. It is at a medium-complex level. It depends on what actually gets put into the brackets.

When there is a level of complexity, it's all related to the server, where I'm hosting my applications and my client. In the 11.x version, we control one server from another server. When we have to use many servers, the complexity of the setup begins to become more involved.

What about the implementation team?

We developed our architecture on our own by our own, designed to fit with our needs and purposes. We have also done the initial setup now for a number of different customers.

What was our ROI?

In some ways, we have seen a return on investment. For example, we have one customer who is aware of the FTE reduction (Full-Time Employee) on the repeated Bot creation jobs. They have scaled up by having their workers work in a different way. We are actually automating the repetitive Bot creation jobs and reducing the FTE where that human effort is not actually required. The company resources can spend more time focusing on the creative part of the work rather than creating the Bots.

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

I don't know exactly what the pricing schemes are for the product as this type of negotiation is not my responsibility, but I think the basic pricing comes to $15,000. We have many employees and perhaps not so many doing Bot development and deployment. The Bots can service a lot of people and I think the rest of the pricing is based on usage.

What other advice do I have?

For people looking for my recommendation for an automation product, I definitely would recommend Automation Anywhere instead of going for a more orthodox or older technology. With older tools, you are just doing the same things and not improving processes. With RPA a digital transformation is actually required for an organization to adopt a better way so they scale up and create an enormous amount of new opportunities for their organization to grow. It is a step to go in the direction where AI is going in. You cannot see the destination yet, but somewhere you have to start up using an RPA that is right for you. That is what I would recommend to my colleagues.

If you start talking about innovation as streamlining day-to-day processes, that is where to start from. It is where we started. We give clients various approaches, but we recommend that RPA is one thing which has stability and which is a good, long-term return on investment.

Once you invest you don't get the returns immediately. You have to wait some time while you work at creating the solutions by scaling the number of Bots you have and the processes you simplify and improve. After a time, your efforts will improve results. That is what we communicate with our customers. When we have them interested, then we come to a conclusion as to how we will go about implementing it.

On a scale from one to ten where ten is the best. I would rate this product as a ten-out-of-ten because the company and product have done everything to meet my expectations.

We used to expect new things in the A 2019 version and the company delivered on that. So, once I use this release of the product for some time again, I will probably have some new expectations. By 2020, I think we will send them feedback again.

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