What is our primary use case?
We use UiPath primarily for our financial operations.
We use this solution in a virtual environment called VMware Horizon. It has allowed us to get started without investing a lot, which was good for us. We need to go to the enterprise solution using Orchestrator as soon as possible. That said, I wouldn't do it differently, because if we were counting on the enterprise environment to get started, we wouldn't have deployed anything in the past year. Because we had this virtual environment, we've been able to deploy 16 bots so far.
How has it helped my organization?
We were able to automate a lot of data entry into our financial system. We've automated spreadsheet manipulation in the area of financial management.
We knew that our process was very inefficient, so we had to invest in a solution like UiPath. We hadn't used any other solution before UiPath. Our processes are manual and error-prone and we have mid-level people who are highly skilled who are doing this non-skilled labor, which is a problem for the workforce.
What is most valuable?
The most value we got from UiPath is the ability to automate manual tasks, reduce labor hours, and shift people to higher value work.
We found the solution easy to use. We wanted to train our staff who were not IT and we were able to do that. People who worked in financial operations were able to learn the software and have successfully developed bots.
What needs improvement?
We used UiPath Academy RPA training to train 14 people. It was good. I think UiPath needs to do a better job of setting expectations and defining the skill level required. That wasn't very clear to us. We couldn't get a good answer. Therefore, it was trial and error. We were told that people just have to be motivated, but learned that that is not enough. The trainees need to have some demonstrated technical ability. We found that some people dropped out because it was too difficult for them. Other people picked it up very well because they had somewhat of a technical background. That would be my message for UiPath, to give better guidance on qualifications in the background needed for training.
One does not need IT coding to learn this, but something within business operations that's somewhat technical. For example, writing Microsoft Excel macros, writing business objects reports, and SQL queries. People who can do those things, they can use UiPath.
I'd like to see the ability to operate in a non-persistent environment. Other than that, I'd like to see more intelligence being built in. We aren't using any intelligence yet, but we'd like to.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's stable. We haven't really had technical issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's scalable. We're not scalable now because we aren't using the Orchestrator software yet. We have successfully tested Orchestrator and will begin using it for production soon, giving us greater scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
We really haven't had to use technical support much. Most of our issues had to do with configuration and the environment, more than the software itself. It's just been one configuration issue related to this software, so far - operation in a non-persistent environment. I was told there's an enhancement coming, but I don't think we have the enhancement yet. However, we will not have this issue when we migrate to our enterprise platform with Orchestrator.
The level of support we received from their technical support was good.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was medium complexity. We were using a virtual desktop environment and had to configure it for the software. It took a few months.
What about the implementation team?
We used an integrator to deploy UiPath. Our experience with them was good.
What was our ROI?
We have definitely seen a return on our investment. It took less than a year to see a positive ROI because we had a very small investment to begin with.
This solution has absolutely helped us to eliminate human errors. Most manual processes have 1% to 3% errors, some much higher. One of our processes has a 25% error rate. The bots eliminate those errors.
This solution also saves many hours of manual work. We have measured the number of labor hours automated to be 25,000 hours a year, so far.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We pay $3,000 per license, annually. We're using attended robots, but we will move to unattended as quickly as possible.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We chose UiPath because we simply followed NASA's lead. We wanted to move quickly and we talked to NASA.
What other advice do I have?
We're driving hard to automate as quickly as possible. Traditional IT is not able to automate all the manual work. A lot of manual work unavoidably accumulates between and around core systems. RPA needs to be part of IT strategy to automate this residual work.
I would rate UiPath a nine out of ten. The only reason it isn't a ten is because it lacks the ability to work in a non-persistent environment. Effectively when you log in, you have to download the software every time. However, this is also due to our choices in configuring the environment.