What is our primary use case?
There are numerous use cases for the solution for various departments, including weight inspection, or trade ops, or compliance. It's often used for document processing. For example, we receive annual reports from lots of companies that are listed on the stock exchange. To check those reports, there has to be some specific tables and keywords that should be in the annual report of a company. For manually processing thousands of documents, it is not feasible. This solution makes it possible and it happens fast.
How has it helped my organization?
We have implemented solutions where we can extract the text using OCR tools and match all the relevant data that we need to find to prepare a report and forward it to that company. This makes the process a lot faster, and it can be deployed on multiple machines. That way, rather than having a lot of people who work on the same tool, I can just divide the operation on multiple machines and it will be done in less time. Therefore, it offers efficient processing.
What is most valuable?
The Excel processing is very useful to us. The tool that I'm using has all be Excel functions, however, in the current version that is Automation 360, there are a lot of options. They have Excel basic packages where you can open and just do crude operations, like create, update, delete, or, in a higher package, there are lots of functions that offer filters, macros, clips, whatever you want to run. The version that I'm using, 11.3, has a limited Excel functionality. It still works, however, the new version that they have deployed, A2019, and the latest one, Automation 360, have a lot of functions.
They have proper logging mechanism and also we can check whatever we are doing and they enable and disable list debugging feature.
It is very easy, simple. You're working on a notepad, and you don't need to know programming to work on this.
The dashboards are quite good, especially on the latest versions.
The solution can scale.
Technical support is quite helpful.
For the most part, the initial setup is straightforward.
We've found the solution to be stable.
What needs improvement?
The version that I'm using, the Excel command, is a bit limited.
The OCR tool, the optical character recognition tool, could be more efficient. It should be monitored thoroughly due to the fact that the OCR tool we have we have to manually check even if there are only a few characters missing, the processing might go wrong. In general we wish that the OCR of that product would be more efficient.
You do have to make sure your system will be compatible with the product.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using this solution since September 2019. I've used it for more than a year at this point.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The solution is reliable. It has been working pretty well for us for the past few years. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have attempted to scale and we've found it is possible. Some of the operations require a certain level of scalability, and it has been pretty reliable for that.
While we are a company of around 10,000 employees, I'd say roughly a thousand people have been using this product. Our users are scattered through multiple departments, and every department needs processes to be automated. Therefore, there are lots of users.
We do plan to increase usage.
With every financial year, there are lots of processes coming in. Every department says that we have less manpower and the processes are quite repetitive. Likely there are lots of processes every year, around 23 processes scattered through departments. As the word spreads that some users are able to automate a lot of the processes effectively, others come to us and say they need their own efficiencies. Therefore, we're constantly expanding.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support has been good so far. They have a separate portal for assistance. We have raised a few tickets, and based on the priority, they respond to us. They also ask us the expected time, by what time we need them to call, and they have follow-ups every now and then. It is pretty good. We are satisfied with their level of support.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup's relative ease of setup depends on various versions. In the version that I used, 11.3, the setup was pretty easy. You have to download and install two machines. One is the client developer. However, the new version that they have, is for a cloud-based deployment. You don't need to install a developer. You just need to log into the control room on any webpage and you have to work from there. For deployment, they have a specific installation, and it's my understanding that there are lots of user rights issues. They have made it easy for installation, however, it can grow in complexity depending on your needs.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Licensing is something that management handles. I don't have any visibility on the costs or the licensing arrangements.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We have evaluated UiPath and it was really good. However, the approach was very different from Automation Anywhere. In Automation Anywhere, you just had a command-line view where each line you add new commands. In UiPath there was a flow-chart view. That was more creative, however, that was two years ago. Now, Automation Anywhere has those features, and it is also a web-based platform, so you don't have the burden to install the developer on your system and you don't need an office PC to do that. You just need to have the right access and credentials and you can work from anywhere.
What other advice do I have?
I started off with version 11, and currently, I'm working on 11.3.3. There's a new solution, RPA A2019. That's the new version. I have that certification, however, I have no projects for now on that.
I'd recommend the solution. Automation Anywhere is a very good solution if you're looking to expand all your work areas. There are lots of businesses out there that say that they don't require this, however, once the solution is implemented using RPA, businesses themselves have a lot of time and resources to expand their research areas. The growth increases exponentially.
I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
Which version of this solution are you currently using?