What is most valuable?
I would say that the best feature is that it has native automation for the US. At the end of the day, you still have to do the same amount of coding to actually pull that data into your code, but with the automation, you are sending it to part of the same kernel, or the same interface, and that makes it much easier. Because I've seen sometimes that they say that even ABI can go with BPA, at least according to the label. But with less than 300 BPA, I see that it's not really possible. Same with the kernel. If there are a lot of tables and frames, it messes it up. But that doesn't happen for IQ Bot.
What needs improvement?
The first place it could be improved is its price - it is too high. I'm having a lot of difficulties moving it to the customers. If they could fix that it would be awesome. Because the Automation Anywhere is hardware-intensive, it requires other set-ups, a control room, and it's already taking 16 GB of space. Then if I move to IQ Bot, and I have to set up another server for it, it becomes pretty expensive. And that is where the hardware cost comes in. So I think that if they could reduce the cost thing it would be really helpful.
I would say it is the best choice, especially if you're already on Automation Anywhere. They are working at implementing third-party tools. Right now, I am with the company, but before that, I was with another company as well as IQ Bot. A lot of people have purchased a lot of license work but they have not actually put it to good use, or they were unable to. So, it is a question of quality control. But then again, from a CTA perspective, I would say I know it is possible to increase the optical features, as well.
I am not referring to just character recognition, but for example, let's have the scanner import that image properly. Sometimes in a test it happens that the picture is a bit clearer. Or let's say a company logo. If a print is misaligned, it can figure it out. So I am more than happy regarding their automation technology.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using IQ Bot for about four or five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The problem is that some of the invoices are very sensitive. If one of these invoices had bad handwriting it just fizzles out, so what has it accomplished? I think it should be able to scan while it is running itself. It should pop up and say, "I am unable to read this can you please help." In that way, we need more traffic to end-users. Then the bot clears one business invoice. But maybe you can have a guy in shipping who just got there while the bot is running, when these jobs start they post those really fast. The reading part might get confusing.
If the bot could just pop up and say, "look at this is the one that I'm confused with, can you please clarify?" If it could do that while the bot is running in IQ Bot, that would be super cool.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I think there are some security issues if you want to scale up. There are two versions - standard and deluxe, standard for basic bot and deluxe for interface with optical printing. So if you scale more than 20 bots, you have to buy more. We work on our commission anyway so you can have a thousand bots running from the same thing for you.
How are customer service and technical support?
I was in touch with support a couple of times. They are good. There are two parts to the support. One part is in India, where they recently fired a lot of people. The other part is in the US. That team is awesome.
The support guy I got was a champion. He's the one who helped me with IQ Bot to begin with. The point is that it is okay in terms of the system. But let's say there is a call for the controller. With some claims you should not give permission for virtual control because if the agent crashes it also crashes the other systems that are connected to it, which are not visible to them.
How was the initial setup?
I'll tell you the good part and the bad part of Automation Anywhere. Automation Anywhere is amazing for people who have a vision, a plan, and a strategy. People who know what they are doing and are technically sound. Because automation generally comes with a loss of a sense of control. You need to know to whom to give access and for what. Now the problem is that your computer is your own bot. Now what happens with the bot is that they don't necessarily need an architecture to run it. For Automation Anywhere you really need a control room, and a control room costs $7,000 to $10,000. That's what we get for my company. So that becomes a big roadblock.
Because you can just clear the bot, you can get it to stop. You do not necessarily have to connect to the conclusion to run the bot. I can put some code into the batch file and make it run while the bot is running. But you cannot fulfill your function there. So that is a pro and a con.
Specifically for IQ Bot, I would say the setups that I have done took me about seven to 10 days, at the most.
What other advice do I have?
I would say first to do another determination to see if it's worth it. For example, if you are a banking company and you tell me that I'll have a lot of checks that will need to be verified, I would say that's fine, because the format of the checks will be standard. Although you would have to identify the handwriting. But still, at least the amount of coding is easier. However, if you are doing B2B or B2C, and you have multiple invoices coming in to you, I would say don't do it. Because in India, they're very strategic. I can have a person actually putting it into Excel and then I can have a bot taking over. So that's why I already see that it's very important.
The technology should be business-oriented. So unless it is a high-ticket item they won't even talk to me, because business is first. So if you are trying to host a business on your product it is never going to fly. And the problem with automation is that it is close-ended, it is not initial.
They are pointed towards automated scenarios. You can download a version and do things, but they won't listen to the guys who write the code on the ground technical level. They have a different way of operating, because at the end of the day, it is just business. Their mindset is to catch on to the top-level bosses or leaders.
You can do it for a couple of months, or maybe a year or two. They launched version 7.3 two years back, all with multiple backers. In two years you are ensuring that you are out of date. Do you think any product with a life cycle of two years is worth it? I don't. You don't even get value return in two years. Because of the building of the bots, building on a higher component, it takes minimum three years or more to break even. And that is with your bot not completing your applications.
On a scale of one to ten I would rate IQ Bot a 7.