What is our primary use case?
One of the things that we're doing is trying to automate a lot of processes that, today, happen in a very manual way with paper. We're trying to take advantage of our human resources and apply them in better places, in more value-added activities that truly contribute to the customer experience.
We are trying to automate a lot of the decision-making that we have, and a lot of the old-school processes that take many, many clicks and that robots can do a lot faster and better than humans can.
So far so good. The results that we've seen have been pretty positive. We are aiming, by the end of the year, to record about $10,000,000 in savings just by automating the processes that we have identified so far.
How has it helped my organization?
It allows us to transform the processes that we have so that, again, the simple tasks that happen on a day to day basis, but that are very time consuming, can be done by machines. Then we can have our people focus on the things that truly do matter, where we do need human creativity to make decisions.
What is most valuable?
I think simplicity is key. One of the things that we've noticed is how our developers have been able to quickly adopt the platform; but not only the developers or the techy people, also the business.
One of the things I want to do is empower different business units to be able to do their own automations, so that I, from IT, don't become a bottleneck, but rather I empower others and I enable others to be successful.
What needs improvement?
One of the things I would definitely like to see is more of the machine-learning and cognitive capabilities. For example, now that we're starting to automate more and more tasks, there are some things that still require us to go back and modify the robots when we need to. But if we had more of the machine-learning integrated into it, I believe it would be easier to maintain, so that we wouldn't have to go back and adjust every time.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
So far we've built 10 robots, so we haven't scaled it to the 100s, but from what I've seen on the architecture diagrams, and how we're building it, it seems like it's going to be scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have not used technical support yet.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I think it actually came out of The World of Watson last year or Interconnect. There was a lot of talk about process automation and robotics, so we had a couple of meetings with Accenture and KPMG. They were coaching us on RPA and that's where we started looking into different solutions that were available and that's how we got here.
The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are
How was the initial setup?
It was pretty straightforward. The packaging of the solution was pretty straightforward to just deploy. We're running it actually on Azure, on our cloud services, so we were able to get it up and running, I think literally, within less than half a day. It's also a PoC environment, but just getting that up and running was simple.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at Blue Prism, which is provided by KPMG, and another one.
Overall it came down to the simplicity, the security that was behind it, and it was also pretty competitive from a price perspective.
What other advice do I have?
I would rate this quality robotic process automation software a nine out of ten. I have to say I was pretty impressed with what I saw. I think now they can close the gap on bringing that climative angle into it, and that would make it a 10.
I would say start small, do a PoC, try it out. Make sure that it meets your needs and then go from there.