Blue Prism Review

Has a lot of flexibility to integrate with other enterprise applications but it should be more web-based

What is our primary use case?

We are a relatively new company, which specializes primarily in finance. I believe roughly 5% of our company uses this solution, which is quite low.

Some fields in our company require the use of this solution daily, but other fields use it only monthly. So, we use it on-demand.

When we initially started using Bue Prism, it was actually acquired by the financial department in our company, but soon after, it was put across as a legacy to IT. We then expanded our use cases to other areas of IT throughout our company, but primarily, our major footprint in Baxter has been in finance. Blue Prism dominates in finance at the moment. We also have a few use cases relating to HR.

How has it helped my organization?

Blue Prism was our first automation platform. Originally, we used version 6.2, which was very geared toward core development. You need to have some development background to develop the bots, and they were pretty much heavy in terms of the monolithic way of the solution. But from version 6.4 onwards, there became a feature known as an API call. Technically speaking, they have actually increased their capability in API calls, which means that Blue Prism has a lot of flexibility to integrate with other enterprise applications. This API feature, which is available in version 6.4, has made our lives a lot easier compared to version 6.2.

What is most valuable?

What needs improvement?

I have been speaking directly with Blue Prism's engagement manager about making the solution more web-based. It's not quite there yet. Currently, the latest version is still under the beta version, so, as a customer, we don't have access to it. They are making it much more web-based, but for now, everything you have to log into requires an enterprise server — It's still more client-based than web-based. They are aware of these issues, but it's not available yet. If they would have done this earlier, it would have helped them occupy the market space better.

In the next release of Blue Prism, they are bringing in some great features, like deployment. I believe it's really going to focus on centralized monitoring. They are making it web-based. I think the scalability and the ease of installation are also going to get an upgrade in the new version. They are working on merging technology, like OCR capabilities — they are bringing everything under one banner. That's definitely going to help. This reboot of Blue Prism is definitely required. It's a little late, but at least they're doing it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Blue Prism for roughly three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We used to have some issues with the older version of Blue Prism, which required technical support, but this has been addressed in the newer versions. Overall, after the upgrade, I'd say it's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Is it scalable? Yes and no. From Blue Prism's perspective, it's easy: you spin up a server and start deploying your blocked runners, making sure to keep them running; but from an organization's point of view, there is a lot to do on the infrastructure side — you have to pay special attention to the infrastructure where you can run your bots. So, it's scalable, but there is a cost associated with it. Every organization needs to be very careful in regard to how they're scaling it: are you going to scale it horizontally? Are you going to scale it vertically? Are you going to scale out? These are the questions that must be carefully considered when scaling it up. Otherwise, your cost will be exponentially higher if you don't pay attention to these factors.

How are customer service and technical support?

As I mentioned earlier, we get our support from a third-party vendor and our partner — they log the tickets with Blue Prism. They engage all of the support that we are entitled to, for example, tier one, two, and three. Also, we have client engagement from Blue Prism who is constantly in touch with us, and they are always open to our feedback surrounding areas of improvement. Overall, I would say our relationship has been good with Blue Prism.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also have experience with Automation Anywhere. From a marketing perspective, Automation Anywhere has done a lot, but since we have just started using Automation Anywhere, our lower environments are built, but our higher environment is yet to be built. 

So, why did we make the choice to use Automation Anywhere when we have Blue Prism? The simple answer is because the marketing of Automation Anywhere is better. They were offering IQ bots and attended bot runners; Blue Prism wasn't really offering these. These were big areas of consideration between the two, because when we were actually evaluating, Blue Prism didn't have a similar offering for IQ bots or attended bots that Automation Anywhere had.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup sounded simple when we started, but when we were upgrading to version 6.4, we needed our vendor partner and Blue Prism to come together. Originally, the upgrading process was estimated to take eight weeks, but we almost spent four to five months getting it set up. I think there's still a lot of complexity involved, It's not that simple. They are not very lightweight yet. There is a lot of heavy software involved, which makes the set up a little complex.

What about the implementation team?

The maintenance is primarily done by us. We do have a complete license, including support, and we are in a tough IT agreement with the vendors, so we do have premium support with Blue Prism. If we require assistance, we write a ticket on the vendor platform and they will eventually hook up the Blue Prism guide. In short, we do have content enterprise support with them.

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

We got a discounted price after negotiating with Blue Prism, as well as Automation Anywhere through our procurement. From a list-price perspective (due to the marketing strategy of Automation Anywhere), Automation Anywhere appears to be much cheaper compared to Blue Prism; however, if you do a detailed analysis in regards to the total pricing, I think both are pretty much at war with each other. Automation Anywhere has broken down the licensing costs into multiple factors, whereas Blue Prism is very straightforward — you purchase a production license, that's it. This looks much more expensive compared to Automation Anywhere prices, but with Automation Anywhere, you have to start from scratch. I'd say they are pretty much head-to-head with each other. 

With Blue Prism, there are no additional fees. The price depends on the number of processes that you run in production and you get a license for that. Also, the lower environments are free of cost. It's pretty straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

I think it's very important for an organization to evaluate what kind of use cases they have: what's their roadmap and how long is the journey that they're looking at. As the market says, most organizations are looking for this digital transformation, and Blue RP is only part of it. For any organization that needs to adapt to a digital transformation, automation RP does play a good role. They need to evaluate what exactly they want to do and then engage with Blue Prism about how to go about doing it. Remember to always bring in the experts in the market at the beginning of your journey, and work together. That helps a lot.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Blue Prism a rating of seven.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

Version 6.4
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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