What is our primary use case?
We primarily use our IQ Bot for scanning documents that we get from the vendors. That is number one. We also use it as an HR input tool. When we receive physical documents from an employee wishing to join us, we run them past our IQ Bot solution, updating the master for all employees.
Ours is a retail business, so we use the solution to do continuous management of our recruitment process. From this perspective, maintaining the records of our employees is one of our key challenges. We use the solution primarily for HR data input, although we also employ it for backups.
At times we have to carry the nutrition facts as these relate to our billing cycle in respect of employees and customers.
Should the employee or customer request this, we must scan the nutrition facts of all the treated goods into our system. Previously, this took time, as there were errors such as would be found with the different classes of sodium-potassium or something in a particular product. We do this with an IQ Bot, as well. But, this is at the proof of concept stage. We have not gone with the dark system, the HR system being light.
What is most valuable?
The extraction feature is the most valuable. Because the post-processing and the pre-processing are very standardized, even from a classification point of view, things are fairly simple, as you still need somebody to feed the data. But, the place where I found the IQ Bots to be a par change in comparison with the other solutions is on the Extraction piece, as it uses good and middle technologies to extract the specific data that we require from the documents.
What needs improvement?
While there is adaptability in terms of the data series, an issue that should be addressed concerns different sizes sitting on deck, for something that can be done respecting the terms of the sizing of the template that the bot should be.
Another issue is that the user should be able to update the data libraries. When it comes to small matters, a person should not need to be at the mercy of an implementation partner or Automation Anywhere for the receipt of instructions to reach out to the technical helpers
For other matters, we worked proactively with IQ Bot to address pain areas that we had encountered in our prior experience, such as that of the design evaluation or of the work we had done with our hardware providers in terms of the quality of the scanning and compression technology. This we addressed because of the inordinate burden on hardware capacity when doing high image scans, something which tremendously raises the size boost. So, we have, over time, optimized that along with the Automation Anyway team.
For anything in a standard location, we have fixed the sizes and do examples in the time of the ULT. Our extensive proactive work with IQ Bot reduced our pain areas.
Furthermore, in the past, I had forgone solutions that are in the scanning mode, such as vendor invoice management or OpenText from this or from Kofax. We contemplated the advantages and disadvantages of a scanning solution, a matter we have been instrumental in addressing. We now refrain from trying to do every conceivable task and to scan the entire document.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using IQ Bot within the past 12 months.
We are not using the latest version of the solution. We have employed the more minor of its two upgrades but not the one which matches the latest version.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The solution is reliable. This said, I always explain to people who ask me about any RPA solution that there are two challenges. The first is that a person will have to estimate the running cost of the IQ Bot throughout the life cycle use of a new plan. So, it should not be evaluated as a one-time solution, as there is a maintenance fee required. A license renewal fee of core EMC charges must be paid. All of this should be taken into account.
Keeping in mind the licensing fees incurred by Automation Anywhere, a deal should be made irrespective of the number of pages.
Otherwise, one may find himself countering good value properties, such as if another license must be purchased after 50,000 or100,000 pages. This would defeat the purpose of the time and investment made in the solution.
As such, one should never view the account being offered as too high to preclude its use. This situation can be encountered faster than one would think. In light of this, it is always better to opt for an unlimited, rather than a limited, license.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is difficult for me to assess the solution's scalability. We have around 2,000 employees and, assuming that everybody has eight to 10 credentials to be shared, we are attaching only 20,000 or 30,000 copies. So, we haven't, as yet, reached the full potential.
How are customer service and technical support?
We did not need to make use of the solution's technical support. This is because we made use of our critical six month EMC contract, as part of the standard implementation ring, something we did with Tanium based on our past experience. This allowed us to address, during the six months of post goal life, anything and everything that was not working with the bot.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was complex, because if you look at employee certification and data it comes in various forms and formats. It's not like it is with standard A4, A5 or Legal text. Since the shapes vary, we considered the building of a database of the forms and formats to be key, which reduced our pain area.
We are trained to notice when a particular form and factor is not present, something which would stick out to us. This would be, subsequently, fed as a master template into the system, at which point the bot would take over.
This way we reduced the error rate from the bot, updating the master accordingly and its basis for being taken forward.
This allows us to create and feed a format into the system, for recruitment purposes, so that the bot may reference it.
Consequently, our pain areas are dramatically reduced, eliminating much tedium.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The licensing is under usage per page, and I wouldn't recommend it. You should buy it unlimited rather than be restricted in terms of the number of pages.
The pricing has room for improvement. If I had to benchmark all three RPA vendors, I would say that UiPath is cheaper than Automation Anywhere. The second would be Automation Anywhere in terms of flexibility, which beats out UiPath and Blue Prism. This latter is just brewing in India and has yet to grow to the preferred size, as they do not have any customer care based out of the country. It is, instead, based out of the United States, something which does not help me.
What other advice do I have?
In my present company, I was the one who bought RPA and, as part of that solution, we had also gone ahead and bought IQ Bot.
We have a team of eight people who are using the solution. The bot is structured so that it is used by different people for a variety of activities. One is for master creation, both of an employee and a vendor being involved in the system. Therein we get third party documents, which can be read by the bot.
The second concerns the extensive use of the solution that we employ for the reading of invoice copies.
The third concerns the nutrition elements. So, we have roughly two to three people from each function who use it, meaning fewer than 10 people utilizing it at present.
While it is a manned bot, everybody has a schedule. Every Monday morning, for two hours, we handle nine or ten with HR. The recruitment is dealt with on the first Monday of the week. That's when natives run by HR the nutrition or other items. We typically run it on Nemesis, because that's when we have twigged our back-end system to get the deliveries on the deal set date, whereby we can use the bot at one signal run.
This is the point at which we have done the scheduling to manage the bot.
One should not implement this solution until he has the desire to do so. We received it as part of a bundled offer, meaning we had to look for solutions allowing us to make use of it. Only if there is a large amount of scanning, such as a case in which 90 letters produce highly voluminous activity, is an IQ Bot the best solution, absent which a person can manage without the bot. We had already considered HR, but only for the searching of around 20,000 or 30,000 tickets.
If a person has the desired volumes, I would rate IQ Bot as an eight out of ten.