BotFarm Review

Good customer support but some technical issues need to be addressed

What is our primary use case?

I have used BotFarm to automate web applications and Microsoft products. I have also automated mainframe applications for a healthcare product. I automated around five to six processes for them. All together I have automated more than fifteen processes with this solution that we have deployed in-house.

What is most valuable?

The task bots are good features. I also like enabling the IQ bots to read PDF documents and automate PDF projects and invoices. Because we employ so many people, it is very useful to automate any processes compatible with Automation Anywhere.

What needs improvement?

We are not permitted to use web applications, so we find ourselves using Object Cloning and web control commands instead. Sometimes I feel like it doesn't work properly and we are not able to provide the dexterity needed. Also, on multiple occasions, the service bot deactivates without reason and Automation Anywhere will not function properly until it is reactivated.

In general, everything is fine but they should remove the unattended or attended bot feature. This can be confusing to customers because an unattended bot license costs around $5,000, whereas an attended bot license costs roughly $1,500, which can cause customers to think: “why should I purchase an expensive unattended bot license when I can purchase an attend bot license for much cheaper?” Also, if I want to install my runner license on another machine, for example: if you install your license on a specific machine and a second vendor (like we did), you’re now installed on machine B but you can’t log in on machine B with your credentials from machine A. This is meant to be a security feature, but it makes things very difficult for customers and clients.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with BotFarm for the last four years. I started with version 10.10 and currently, I am exploring A2019 which was just launched by Automation Anywhere.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Scheduling bots has been an issue. For example, if you want to schedule automation and it’s set for 5:00 pm, it means that you would need to execute it on the client’s machine every day at 5:00 pm. The issue though, is that it fails a lot because I could have it scheduled but sometimes the bots don’t get involved. That’s an issue that has been a struggle.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. We have a team that uses Automation Anywhere on a daily basis, automating processes.

How are customer service and technical support?

In terms of customer support, they are very good. I am an Automation Anywhere vendor and if I have a problem, I can create a ticket on their portal, they will call or set up a Zoom or WebEx meeting within half an hour, and they always provide a solution. 

They give very active support and will definitely help you and provide the solution to the issue you are experiencing. They are very, very good.

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

I used to use UiPath, Kofax and Blue Prism. Automation Anywhere is great for people who are not very "techie". For example, the code can easily be read and understood, line by line, by anyone with or without a technical background.

Automation Anywhere provides and facilitates cloud service, which means you can access your license from anywhere, easily executing and developing your bots from anywhere in the world.  

Any RPA tool provides the commands to automate any process, but what is the difference between them? How can you understand a new product? Automation Anywhere provides a very flexible UI. It allows you to easily read and build code.

How was the initial setup?

Depending on the system that you are installing, the setup can be complex. Installation time is not predictable and you may have to pay customer support for help with the installation procedure.

If I am installing on five machines but one is taking too long, then they all will take a long time, but if all five machines are installing at the same time, then the procedure can be done within five minutes. These ongoing issues make it very complicated to predict how long the installation will take. Someone has to create a ticket with Automation Anywhere customer support and pay for service personnel to help. Installing Automation Anywhere is complex.

In regards to deployment, it's quite simple. Anyone can deploy a bot on a client's machine after one or two days of training.

Also, Automation Anywhere now provides the facility for cloud service, because of this, you can access your license from anywhere. For example, if you are in London and you are heading to another country, you can easily access your license and execute and develop your bots from anywhere. In 2011, this was a desktop application and the client’s version was based on a desktop, but right now it’s not based on a desktop, which is a good thing. The main reason to choose Automation Anywhere is because no one else is providing cloud service.

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

I purchased a package from Automation Anywhere that included one control room, two developer licenses, and two bot-runner licenses. I think payment can vary but it's a re-occurring fee that needs to be paid every year. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In RPA, we have so many products available to choose from which we can use to automate any applications. I have used Blue Prism, UiPath and other third-party applications. I have used all of these tools to automate various processes under RPA technology.

What other advice do I have?

It’s hard to give any advice without seeing the project you are working with. If you want to purchase any RPA tool, then I’d have to check the project or your process so that I can identify the requirement and I can see which product will completely fulfill your requirement. Make sure to choose your solution based completely on the project you wish to automate. In other words, I can’t give you any direct answer. If you’re automating a web application, then I would use UiPath. If you’re also automating their applications but you have to automate PDFs as well, then I would definitely choose Automation Anywhere, but the selection of the tool is completely based on the project you wish to automate.

I am rating Automation Anywhere 7.5 out of 10 in terms of their activity. Sometimes, when I am in the middle of something, I experience issues or my work gets stuck. This rating is based on my three years of experience with Automation Anywhere. Although they give very good support, I still wasted a lot of time because of the above mentioned issues. So, for this reason, I am giving Automation Anywhere a rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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...who compared it with Automation Anywhere (AA)
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