Blue Prism Thoughtonomy Virtual Workforce Review

Great object-oriented design and an excellent security model


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use cases are fairly generic and relate to any type of use case where there is a lot of repetitive activity, what we call "swivel seat" processing, where you might be looking at one application and then you swivel around and enter information from the first application into the second application. A company doesn't necessarily have the manpower or money to integrate the two applications programming-wise, so they hire people to look up information in one application and enter it into another. It's applicable to insurance companies where claim information is transferred from one application into another, or quotes for customers that come in via one system and then needs to be manually entered into another system. We see a lot of financial application type use cases, whether it's vendor creation, vendor invoicing, bank reconciliations or general ledger end-of-month reconciliations. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature would be the ability to see the blueprint of the design executed alongside the actual process.

What needs improvement?

Improvement could be made with training and access to an ecosystem and developer's forum. I would suggest building out the ecosystem for developers to obtain training on the tool without having to make a heavy investment in licenses. For additional features, there's always a huge need to deal with unstructured input with RPA and I'd love to see built-in intelligence automation tools to deal with unstructured inputs.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a pretty stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think the scalability capabilities are quite high. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is average. 

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was quite complex, it's not a simple installation and takes a fair amount of high-level infrastructure and architectural knowledge to be able to complete the installation. Deployment took a couple of days. 

What about the implementation team?

Implementation usually requires at least one developer, one BA, an infrastructure engineer, a solution architect, and some assistance during deployment. Then you'd need somebody monitoring the virtual workforce. There are probably seven or eight different roles, some with heavier reliance, throughout the implementation cycle.

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

Annual licensing costs were somewhere between $5,000 - $10,000 for the development tool. For the control tower, I think fees were about $50,000 annually.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of advice, I'd say that if you have the technical expertise, it's a good tool, however, it's difficult to get training without being involved in a project. So it's kind of hard to break into it, as opposed to some of the competitors' tools where anybody can download the tool and get working and learning without having to actually be on a project. It helps to have access to free training and tools and community additions of the tool which unfortunately doesn't really come from Blue Prism. 

It's a very sound tool with a good reputation for having a good security model, which is important to a lot of companies and it's got more of an object-oriented design flavor to it. Deployment is a mix of private, public and hybrid cloud. There is about a 50/50 split between Azure and AWS.

I would rate the product an eight out of 10. I will likely give it a higher rating when there is easier access for people who want to learn how to use the tool. I think that's what's holding us back.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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