What is our primary use case?
We mainly use it for creating automated processes from previously manual processes, to make existing processes faster, better quality and more efficient. We currently have three processes implemented in production and the fourth is going live next week. It's not heavily used, so far.
The first one is small. It just enters the US dollar currency into our ERP system. It's a daily task each morning. The second one involves an external, third-party systems from which we export a report and import it into one of our systems. It used to be done on a daily basis by an employee and now it's being done automatically. The third one is an automated delivery note. One of our suppliers, provides our tobacco products with paper delivery notes. So now they send us a daily report and the robot enters the delivery notes into the operations system. The fourth one which will go live next week, will upload bank notes of returned payments into our financial system. That was another manual process that will be automated.
How has it helped my organization?
The currency automation saves us around five minutes per day, but it has to be done every day. For this one, the amount of time is irrelevant. It's more that there are many processes that rely on the currency. So if it hasn't been done or is done late, it can delay other processes. So the value here is more than how much time it saves us. The second one saves us approximately five to ten minutes per day. The third one, the delivery note process, is more difficult to calculate since we have approximately 200 points of sale. Each one has one to two deliveries per week and it takes five to 10 minutes for each point of sale to create these delivery notes manually. So it saves us 2,000 minutes, about 1.5 times a week. The last one, the one that is going live next week, is more significant. It will save approximately a day per week for an employee.
As for operational efficiency, the automatic delivery notes is most significant. From the 200 managers, the bit of feedback that I have gotten is very positive. From the others, I have to admit that it's more minor.
Once I decide a process is suitable as a Kryon solution, the cycle of automation is quite quick. I learn about the existing process and I'm one of the two guys who program the Kryon environment. It's relatively simple. There are many details, but once you understand the concept it is quite easy.
What needs improvement?
I think our version is two versions behind. I just had a talk about it last week with our account manager at Kryon and we planned together to upgrade the environment once per year. In my opinion, today, if possible, it would be better to have it done automatically, like an application on your smartphone. Or even if done manually, the upgrade should just be "next, next, next," and it's upgraded, rather than making it a project to upgrade. In the digital era, that is one of the expectations, that it would be easier.
Besides that, it's all about functionality: What you can do and what you cannot do. I'm not very familiar with the competitors' solutions, so I'm living in the world or Kryon functionality. Sometimes I'm looking to automate something and it's not there. That doesn't mean that it's not possible.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Kyron for approximately one year.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
There was one day that Kryon had a problem to do with a certificate change or something like that. The whole Kryon environment was down. Aside from that, it's been quite stable and works smoothly on a daily basis. We haven't faced any problems.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We haven't explored the scalability yet. There is room for many more implementations on the one license that we have.
How are customer service and technical support?
I'm working with the technical support on a few issues. For the issue with the certificate, I sent them a case and they replied immediately saying that it was a global issue and that it would be fixed in the next couple of hours. And it was. Overall, on a scale of one to five, technical support is very close to five. Over the year I have had something like five or six tickets. One of them is ongoing + one bug reported.
As for customer success, we have an account manager. I think she supports all the local market accounts. She initiates meetings once per quarter. She's very approachable and cooperative. She's really great.
How was the initial setup?
For the setup of the whole Kryon environment I was only involved in the framework, just to make sure that our system group prepared the server and installed the SQL server they requested, and to make sure they had all the permissions they needed, but nothing more than that. The consultants did all the rest.
Maintenance requires just my colleague and myself.
What about the implementation team?
We didn't do it independently. We brought in EY (Ernst Young) consultants to do it. It went smoothly as far as I concerned. It was a one- or two-day workshop and it was done. It was really quick.
Thanks to them we have the Kryon environment. They suggested it and we brought them in to implement the first implementation, which is not being used anymore because we replaced the target system.
They sent two consultants and one intern for the job.
What was our ROI?
We haven't calculated ROI yet. I'm quite confident that in the long run it will demonstrate a return on investment. In the first year, at least for us, because there have only been three or four implementations, but nothing more than that, in terms of man-hours the supplier delivery notes is most significant. It's possible it has already given us a return on investment.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We have a yearly license. It's about $5,000 per year. There are no additional costs other than that a server has a license.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Initially, our CIO came up with the idea and brought Ernst Young in to implement it in our organization. In the first meeting we had with EY, they put two RPA systems on the table, Kryon and another which I don't remember. They gave the pros and cons for each solution and together we selected Kryon. One of the factors was that it's an Israeli company, so we thought it would be easier for us in terms of approachability, language and work hours. We believed it would be easier for us to use.
What other advice do I have?
Take the training course. At least the person who is going to program the robots has to have some background in information systems in general and in more specific, operation systems, in programming and in Office, of course. He has to have a technical orientation, database knowledge would help him, as well as system analysis capabilities.
In terms of ease of use for business users, the only users are me and 2 other persons in the information systems department. Currently, we have only unattended implementations and no attended implementations which would require a user in the organization to operate it. As for programming it, it requires up-front training. The e-learning, at least at the time that we started working with Kryon, was not enough. Just the basics were there. When we tried to do some more complicated stuff, we had to understand it better. We took the four days of training. After that we started all of the implementations.
As for helping our workforce embrace digital transformation, I wouldn't relate Kryon to that, at least not yet. We are still not using it for digital processes or a digital environment. But we plan to do that in the upcoming weeks. There is a process to create a new customer, which today is very complicated. The last part is to just type the customer's details into the system. I'm thinking of using Kryon which would complete a fully digital process.
In terms of my rating of nine out of ten, there are many things that I'm not sure of. For example, it takes a while to launch the Studio, something like a couple of minutes. It could be that my laptop is not strong enough. It might be that our virtual server doesn't have all the necessary memory or CPU capabilities. It might be many things, so I don't want to say that it's only due to performance issues with Kryon.
We found a bug in a database trigger with Oracle Database. I know that it works mostly with the SQL server, but we are using Oracle, so that's another issue that came to mind. The fact is that we found this bug something like six months ago and it's still not in the new version. As far as it was communicated to me, it will be part of the next version. If that bug was critical for us, maybe I wouldn't have rated it a nine; maybe it would be a six or seven or eight. But, luckily for them, it's not highly critical for us. I don't know how they prioritize bug-fixing. I suppose that there are not too many Oracle Database organizations among their customers, at least not in our market. Therefore, maybe they prioritize this somewhere at the bottom. But for us it's a bug and we cannot use this functionality, which is required. That's why I took off one out of ten. Besides that, it works, it's stable, it has nice performance, and was, therefore, a good decision to go with it.