IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Review

Automate mundane tasks improving efficiency and reliability


What is our primary use case?

We use robotic process automation for automating financial services processes, so back office processes for accounts receivable, accounts payable, etc. We are at the PoC stage at this point. 

The performance has been good. We are still in the early stages. One of the challenges that we have solved is helping to replace individuals with robots or bots, so we can free up capacity. We have not had any attrition; we have simply taken on more work. Therefore, it has been helpful. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to automate mundane tasks. This improves efficiency, reliability, etc. You can form critical operations which can be highly automated. 

At this stage though, we are not using AI. I think that is the next step. Today, we are mostly focused on taking the human element out of processes. The next step for us before we can deploy to scale will be solving for exception handling. We think AI can help with this. 

What needs improvement?

We would like more focus on understanding AI and how it can be used to manage exception handling. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not really explored it as much as we would like yet. That is something we are going to start focusing on. We wanted to try it out as a PoC to see how it worked. So far, it has been good. 

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We were not using anything previously. We just tried this solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. I don't think there are any issues with the product usability.

I think it is more about the features: How we leverage them, then how we apply them at scale in our enterprise. There is a lot more focus on change management when you are bringing robots in, e.g., people start getting concerned about losing their jobs. 

What about the implementation team?

We worked with a local partner.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

Focus more on change and make sure that there is buy in to try it out. Use a PoC model (proof of concept model), otherwise it gets really challenging to implement it at scale. 

Right now, we have more pull than push because people understand the worth of robotic process automation in financial services, and are not as threatened by it as they once were. 

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: There were not that many vendors in the market, at least not in the consideration set. 

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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