What is our primary use case?
We have developed a product for a court of arbitration. UiPath provides the automation engine behind it. Our product is a platform that is live online. It allows a party to provide some contract information, and the robot assembles a document and communicates with DocuSign, our signature provider. It then sends out a correspondence to the other party and manages the signature process for a bespoke contract for an arbitration agreement.
This is a service that we provide to the world, pro bono, as it were, to promote arbitration and the adoption of a particular arbitration clause. It's accessible to all. Parties can log in and it helps them to negotiate and conclude an arbitration agreement in a mediated fashion. The robot sends out email on behalf of a third-party, a court of arbitration, and it helps the parties get that agreement done.
It's about concluding an arbitration agreement before the dispute goes any further.
How has it helped my organization?
It helps us in providing added value to the clients and to the community at large. It's a marketing thing for us, in the widest possible sense, rather than something that we use in our practice.
But in terms of reducing the cost of digital transformation, if a person had to do what the robot does, it would probably be impossible. It would be impossibly costly. If one person had to handle the communication, instead of the robot, and try to negotiate each addendum, nobody would do it because it would take days or weeks for a lawyer to manage, and it would be prohibitive. Yet, all of a sudden, we have this service that is so cheap in many ways that it can even be provided for nominal user fees. It's quite dramatic.
I would also imagine that processing time is reduced by many orders of magnitude. As a professional, if I had to manage an addendum like that, it would take me weeks. And it takes about seven minutes or so, if all goes well.
What is most valuable?
What I have found interesting is that our product acts as a human would but it's not intrusive. It doesn't require any real integration or interface with one's own systems, in any meaningful way. Obviously, you need access, an account to log in, but it otherwise acts as a human, and that makes deployment quite smooth. It doesn't require you to change anything in your system. I found that very useful.
Regarding the ease of building automations, I'm not sure how it's done because I'm not a programmer myself, but it's great. Just looking at how fast they moved once we had the program settled in — it was quite fast. For this particular process, which is assembling a document, talking to DocuSign, sending out emails, and so on, the deployment of production was like "today." It was quite quick.
In terms of the ease of management of automations using UiPath, I don't dare poke into it, as a non-technical person, but it looks manageable. I have someone who does not do RPA normally, who doesn't do this type of programming at all, but that person knows where to look for errors and doesn't get lost. It's reasonably accessible.
What needs improvement?
I could use more standardized features, retail-style, things that I could use off-the-shelf. Right now, all this requires quite a bit of adaptation in bespoke work with UiPath, which they've done very well. But looking at it after having used it, I would get stuff that is prepackaged from them, if they were any.
For how long have I used the solution?
We launched with UiPath in June.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability of the solution is okay.
The downside of the upside, when I said that it works like a human, is that in some cases, if it interacts with a website that is changing, then it's like a human. You need to adapt it to the changing environment in which it works. That's an inevitable fact of life, that it interacts with other apps. It can also interact through APIs, but you want it to be very flexible, you want it to be an agent, like a human. The downside of that is that if something changes with a website, then of course, you have to change the robot and tweak it a little bit. But that's the only issue that has required our attention so far.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Our product is a public-facing instrument and we have had no problem with the number of users, so we have not seen any issues with scalability.
In terms of potentially increasing our use of UiPath, we're exploring a number of solutions actually, for practice management and actual lawyer work. These would be in-house solutions, rather than public-facing. We have a few ideas that we have run by them and we are waiting for feedback.
How are customer service and technical support?
We've had no problem with the customer support. We were in direct contact with the whole team. They have always been quick to respond. I would rate them a 10 out of 10.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We would use regular Microsoft automation features. I would have a flag on a particular correspondence, or a particular rule for attachments. We would use little bits and bobs of automation that are available, but we did not have any bespoke solution.
We went with UiPath because they made themselves known in the sector and it was a question of the vision that they communicated. There was a modest vision of providing solutions to very discrete problems, not revolutionary solutions to everything. Rather, they focused on whatever helps in a particular organization. We liked that. It matched our understanding of legal tech as well. It needs to be supportive of whatever little bit of help you need, rather than providing you with an environment that engulfs you with everything. We liked that approach, and when we approached them they were very receptive.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup process was okay. I'm a non-technical person, but I was able to manage it.
It took quite a bit to figure out what we wanted from it, the flow and the logic of it. After we agreed on that, on the concept, actual production took two or three days. Of course, somebody had already done a proof of concept, although that was not based on a final brief. We danced around and changed it a bit.
For maintenance, we have somebody in tech that we pop questions to, and our maintenance of the server is done in-house as well.
What was our ROI?
We have realized return on our investment. It was a joint project with UiPath so we had special arrangements in terms of licensing, but it was very well received in the market. It was very beneficial for us.
Our product is something that we launched in June, and the robot has been featured in general business publications, in the Kluwer Arbitration Blog, and the Resolver, which is the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators magazine, as well as the Romanian Arbitration Journal. Essentially, everybody knows about it. It is one of the most popular UiPath robots out there; the most featured and interviewed robot in the wild. We were quite pleased with the publicity.
What other advice do I have?
My advice is to think about it very carefully and know exactly what everybody is doing every day in the office, the little bits and pieces. Really look at that seriously, because there are so many things that we do in a software environment that are very amenable to automation, and it saves a lot of time. Think very carefully about the particular needs of your office and look into it, because it can save you a lot of money.
It's clear that this is the future.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
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