HelpSystems AutoMate Review

Has a short learning curve for new hires who automate processes for our clients


What is our primary use case?

We are a service provider and we use this solution to automate processes for our clients. Our customers are in a variety of businesses including banking, insurance, energy, and healthcare. There are lots of use cases, especially in the insurance and banking industries, but we are expanding into other industries as well.

An example use case for our clients is the automation of invoice payments.

What is most valuable?

This product is quite easy to install, learn, and use, with our new employees being able to start using it in projects for clients after only two weeks of internal training.

Compared to other products, the pricing model for this solution is much more convenient, flexible, and adaptable to the Portuguese reality.

Key automation features: email, FTP/SFTP, OCR, ODBC, terminal emulation. 

Main benefits: Full Client-Server Architecture, Multi-Machine Execution, Centralized Management Interface, Graphical Workflows, Intuitive Task Development & Debugging.

What needs improvement?

While this solution is continually improving, as it is now, the user interface could use improvement when I compare it to a product like UiPath. Specifically, the Automate Enterprise interface needs improvement. 

When you are promoting packages within the environment, it is easy to extract an import, but it would be better to have it all in the same console. As it is now, you have to extract the package separately. The environments should be able to communicate; you push the button, click on deploy, and it goes straight to the production environment.

Increasing the integration with other databases would be an improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes my team reports situations where there are some unexpected errors from the tool. For example, if a Java error is reported then it doesn't mean anything at all to the end-user. This is an area that may also have room for improvement, although, at perhaps two or three times in a project, this does not happen often.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In my opinion, so far, the scalability seems to be good. However, I would not say that the scenarios I have seen are very difficult.

We have seven or eight clients using this solution, and only one or two have more than fifteen or twenty processes that have been automated. Having this number of processes with three to four robots, running twenty-four hours per day, is not a difficult test.

The roles of the people using this product vary depending on the client. In the Portuguese market, it is common to have one department that manages the robots for the entire organization. Normally, this is not the IT department. I know of only a few cases where robots are spread across different departments. Usually, a dedicated team or four to five people will manage, evaluate reports, corrects errors, and implement new requests.

How are customer service and technical support?

So far, I am really happy with the technical support. The delay is between one and two days.

In all of our requests so far, we have had a response in one day's time. Sometimes the response is not final, but then they put us in contact with somebody who has the right knowledge, so it is good.

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

At my previous company, I worked with UiPath and Blue Prism. My experience with UiPath is between two and three years, and I worked with Blue Prism for a long time as well.

My reason for switching was one of personal opinion. In my previous company, we always used one of the big four. In my current company, I wanted to approach things a bit differently. I believe that there are many players in the market that also have good tools, and are more competitive. All of these tools are growing together, and we ultimately settled on this solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite easy for us, although this is in part because we have been working with the partner for a long time. We have lots of direct connections for support, so if we have a problem that is a show-stopper, or something urgent, then we have a direct channel that bypasses the usual help desk.

What about the implementation team?

We handle the integration of the solution from beginning to end.

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

The pricing model is the biggest advantage of this solution, and it is opening a lot of doors.

What other advice do I have?

This solution is quite easy to install and to manage for most processes between environments. Everything related to usability and automation is really quite close to the leading candidates, and using this product has been a good experience.

My advice to others who are implementing this solution is to start small. This is something that we always tell our clients. Rather than look at the larger responsibilities, start small to test and to gain confidence from several areas within the organization. Once you have three, four, five, or even ten processes automated, start looking at everything that is related to governance. At the same time, do not be afraid to start, even if you don't have everything planned from the beginning.

I would rate this solution an nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
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