What is our primary use case?
We're starting within our finance group, so a lot of different processes in our finance group are being automated. Our main project was for our tax department, extracting data from PDFs and putting them into Excel.
We have two people involved with RPA in our company.
We just purchased this solution last week so we're still installing everything. We did automate four processes with the community edition. The length of time in development varied by the process. The longer ones required help from UiPath. They came on-site for the PoC, so that helped us out. Some other easy ones we just did ourselves within a couple of days.
With respect to how easy it is to automate our company's processes, on a scale of one to five, I would say that it is a four. But with Studio X, I think it will probably be a five. I say four because as you get more complicated with your processes, you need to learn how to code and there's a brunt learning curve. A lot of people will get turned off by that. So, I made some good sessions with Studio X, it's all drag and drop, mostly, so that's perfect for the business users.
On a scale of one to five, judging how beneficial it is, I would rate the training a five. We are actually in the process of taking it right now. It's good that they have something like that available. There are not that many who have aced it.
How has it helped my organization?
So far we haven't gone too far, but I expect that people will be a lot happier because they won't be doing the jobs that they don't like doing. They'll have more time to learn and up-skill technologies like this, which can help further their careers rather than just learning, or not learning by copying and pasting.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is automating processes and tasks, giving users time for more value-added activities. This results in cost savings.
The free community edition allowed us to test out the technology before investing in it.
What needs improvement?
I would like a better ability to connect and integrate with other software systems. An example would be integration with data and business intelligence tools. I don't think they have a native connector yet. So, just something that a user can connect, and have RPA in the middle, would be helpful.
I would also like to see an easier UI for the user. It may have already been taken care of with Studio X, but I think if they keep improving that, it's going to get a lot of people interested because users are attracted to it.
For how long have I used the solution?
We were just using community edition for about six months.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
With respect to the stability, on a scale from one to five, I would rate this solution a five. I mean we haven't used it too much so we haven't really pushed the boundaries, but for the stuff we've, done I would say it is stable.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their sales and pre-sales support is very good. They've been very willing to come onsite and help us out and help with our pilot as well.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We got introduced by RPA from PWC. They came and talked at one of our finance summits.
How was the initial setup?
The paid version, I'm still learning how to use, how to connect everything together. There is still a little learning period for that as well. Learning how Orchestrator works, how the licensing works and things like that, were necessary after using the community edition.
What about the implementation team?
UiPath helped us with our PoC and they were great. I mean they came for free and through just a pilot or a proof of concept. We could actually see if the technology works for a use case.
What was our ROI?
Before we start anything we evaluate the process and we take down how many hours it saves, the costs, and ROI. In our main project, it took someone approximately three hundred hours a year to do all that data extraction, data input, and that also came along with errors because someone could fat-finger the value.
Then, through the PoC, they're able to turn around within two days. A bot can basically do that entire process and do it error-free as well.
It is a savings of three-hundred hours, and the cost savings is a multiplier of hourly pay.
We also use it as an ETL tool sometimes, so instead of paying for an API connection, we can use RPA. Simply just to run a simple report of the system.
I don't have any other software vendors to compare it to, but I would say if you're fully utilizing it then there's definitely an ROI in it. Obviously, if you have only one process running five minutes a day with the bot, it's not worth it. For us, what we did was we built enough use cases before we bought that enterprise license to make the ROI on it. We've got eight or ten and then we realized that we can cover that license cost easily with ROI before we purchased it.
Ultimately, we realized ROI within six months.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We got purchased the basic minimum package and it was around $35,000 USD, annually.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We tested out Kryon RPA, and we looked but did not test Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism. Those two were out of our price range, and at that time, neither of them had a free community edition, so we couldn't test out the technology.
UiPath sort of fit our company well because it was priced reasonably, and they also had a free version so we could test out the technology. Ultimately, we chose UiPath because of the price. It was not as expensive as Blue Prism or Automation Anywhere. It has a free community version where you can test new technology, which was huge. They also have a local office next to us so we can get their help pretty easily.
What other advice do I have?
They have announced features in the next release, and I think that they are all the things that users would want. There are easier ways to document processes and a better and more user-friendly UI. A lot of people just got turned off by having to learn code. So that was a lot easier, and then being able to track all your RPA projects and the ROI on them saves time. Doing them manually is time-consuming. Fortunately, we're a small company because I couldn't imagine if you're trying to implement this for a bigger company.
My advice for anybody who is researching this solution is to, first of all, do their own research on the ratings and independent research. Secondly, I would just say a lot of them now have free community editions, so there's nothing holding you back from testing out the technology and seeing if it works. I think Blue Prism is the only one that doesn't have it now. That's a really high cost and a barrier to seeing if the technology works. Just going and validating the software and doing a simple automation task is important. All of those vendors have free training so you can just go step-by-step and learn something. I think that's the biggest thing someone can do, and then obviously finding enough processes within your company as well.
This is a good solution but there is always room for improvement.
I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
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