What is our primary use case?
We have a bunch of uses for the product so it is hard to judge which is the most important. We started working with data structures for websites and then moved into more complex automation like speech detection and making more cognitive decisions based on rules. Our automation using bots is essentially on the verge of using artificial intelligence.
How has it helped my organization?
There are a lot of ways this product has improved our organization. Even a simple project can bring us a lot of recognition. One example is retrieving passwords on Amazon. Imagine that you have a user who forgets their password. Amazon lets you reset your password but there are a lot of steps. In the background, Amazon is validating that you are the person that you are saying that you are with a lot of manual steps. We automated that with a bot and other tools and the customer experience skyrocketed. We reduced the processing by five minutes just for that service. Not only did we apply that solution for one country, but we also applied it to seven different countries. It was a success story.
What is most valuable?
What I think is the best thing about UiPath is that it is fairly easy to understand and learn how to use it. One of the most valuable things about the product is the improvement they are making with the tools. They are offering around thirteen new products now. With these additions, there is a lot of value-added enhancement that we can provide via the automation to augment what we already have implemented.
The studio's Orchestrator is the tool that we use in order to create the scripts for the bot. It is what enables us to deliver automation. Having these new technologies within the studio is what enables us to be more creative. With the Orchestrator we can monitor the bots, we can "orchestrate" them, and we can deliver that tool to customers so that they can manage their bots. It is really like digital workforce management. If we created a bot for a business, usually it would just do its job and the customer would not see what the bots are really doing. With this tool, the client has that opportunity to see what the bots are doing.
The bots automate the work that otherwise would have to be done with other interventions and resources, so reallocation of resources and focus is the most valuable thing overall.
What needs improvement?
There are a lot of things that can be done to the product to make it better. The feature list that I develop between releases is often covered new releases of the product. That is good. But there are still a lot of enhancements that I would like to have within the Orchestrator and the queues. For example, how we manage the queues is an important thing.
I would like to see the ability to have other ways to look for one transaction within the queue. If I am looking for a single transaction, it would be good to have a filter that you can use to specify a detail, like just looking for a reference name that starts with a particular letter — but not the entire reference, but wildcards. Those are the kind of things that can be enhanced and make a big difference. Maybe they are not on the roadmap for the company when it comes to upgrades at this point because those are tiny things within the tools. But even those tiny little things can make a lot of difference in the functionality of the tools.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
On a scale of one to five where five is the best and one is the worst, I would rate the stability of this platform a five. The stability of the platform is very good. During the four years that we have been working with UiPath, we have not encountered any issues with stability because of the platform. There are always issues with the environment and that can affect stability and performance, but with the platform itself, there are no issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Within the RPA suite, we have around 40 people working with the product. But we also have to consider that we usually engage people from other places to contribute to every single project. There are a lot more users than are working with us within the project and within our immediate company team. The peripheral people are going to be people from security, people from IT, people with specific business backgrounds, etcetera. The number of users and the product itself are scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
The technical support is actually pretty good. We worked a lot with our CSM (Customer Service Management). They are always doing a great job to find someone to help us out when we have issues. They get the right person for the right issue. For now, if I had to rate it from one to five where five is the best, it is going to be a five.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
At the beginning, we would try to automate tasks using spreadsheets where we had calculations. We had macros and things of that sort to automate small tasks. The next step in moving to a new era was to turn to RPAs. There were a lot of things that we needed to implement through this new technology. So we did have another solution before for some types of automation but it wasn't really a dedicated system for automation and it wasn't capable of this scale.
How was the initial setup?
We have a turn-around time of four to six weeks. In order to go to implementation and production, it depends on the complexity of the project. A normal project that is not that complex will obviously take less time. We have to take into consideration the time that we have in assessment, in the evaluation of the project, and in development, and only after that do we do testing to put it into production.
There are, of course, always challenges, but not all of them come because of the UiPath platform. There's a lot of things that are an issue because of the environment or the target applications that we're using. It is often more because of that than the platform itself.
What about the implementation team?
We have in-house developers, we have a QA team, and we have a training and communication team specifically for the RPA suite. We also have managers for the teams, the support team, and solution architects. We do our own implementations and assist others in doing theirs.
What was our ROI?
We usually try to calculate return on investment within a year or two depending on the project. But we start to look at the benefits from the first month we put the product into production. Not really the ROI exactly, but the benefits. What I mean by benefit is if the automation is achieving the goals it was intended to achieve. Once we pass through the cost of implementation, license cost and any additional expenditure of resources, then we look into ROI.
We have seen a lot of benefits in a variety of ways depending on the projects. Most of what we have been seeing is capacity creation. There are a lot of things that can be introduced to automate processes. If there is work that can't be handled by a team and they are not going to meet SLA (Service Level Agreement), creating bots and putting bots into their team to take over redundant tasks is letting the team use resources differently. It creates additional capacity so the team can focus on more important things — like quality or process. That enables the business unit to accomplish their tasks while raising quality. The bot can always be depended on to do a specific task in the same way. If we have the right steps and if we have the right process to execute, the output from the bot is going to be right. That is another incredible benefit. Of course and for example, giving the customer a response in one hour instead of five hours enhances the customer experience. Proper use of automation can do all of these things.
Bots can also be used in eliminating human errors. Being cautious in estimating that, it could be as much as a 60% to 80% reduction. It will be reducing human error, but there is always some level of error in processing.
The percentage of time saved using UiPath bots depends on the projects, but most processes can save teams 85% of the time they would spend on tasks that can be automated. Some other automated tasks we have the efficiency go up to 90 or 95%. That is pretty good and a great way to allow for the reallocation of resources.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The cost depends on how many licenses we have and how we use the bots. We have a rate for attended bots and a rate for unattended bots. The price itself depends on the project and the number of licenses required. The prices, in general, are good — actually they are the best — but they could always be cheaper. Right now there is no one that is cheaper. The cost is in line with what we thought that it should be.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
In 2016, we started to evaluate vendors. We went through Automation Anywhere and a lot of the competing products. We decided to go with UiPath not only because of the cost and the model that they have, but also the relationship that they have with customers. They actually care for you. They are always looking to provide you with the newest and best technologies. They try to make you use it in the best ways and they try to make you test out new features and provide feedback. If you need it and you realize that it's really good, then they help you make it happen. That is the best thing. They are being humble even though they are growing a lot. It is what actually made us go through UiPath.
What other advice do I have?
We are using the entire UiPath tool. We are using the studios, we are using the orchestrator, we are using the bots. That is both unattended and attended bots.
We have two different environments. One is on-prem within Costa Rica data center and then we have another in the U.S. that is on an internal cloud and we use VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and Citrix.
The virtual environment is actually pretty functional. There are some pros and cons. The pro is that it enables you to add virtual machines if you need them. The con might be that sometimes you need to enable connections that are not enabled. You might have to go through firewalls, go through network issues, etcetera. With that, it is a little bit more complex to build out automation sometimes. You have to go through configuration hurdles when you encounter them.
On a scale of one to five with five being very easy and one being very hard, I would rate the ease of use of the platform as a five. It is a five because when comparing it with the other RPA (Robotic Process Automation) platforms, it is easier to navigate within the studio and it is more comprehensive. There is a saying in usability that if you need to take more than five clicks in order to find what you're looking for, it is not easy. Finding what you want in one or two clicks is what makes a product easy to use.
We use UiPath Academy RPA training all the time. Every new employee or intern that we employ in our company goes through the RPA academy training first. That is kind of the bible for us. On a scale of one to five, five being very beneficial and one being not beneficial at all, I would rate the academy as a five.
My advice for anyone considering this solution is very simple: It is worth it, go ahead and give it a try. You will like it. Try to experience everything within UiPath and go through every single feature that they have and can provide currently before you commit to it. The company's support will back you up and they will make sure that you find what you are looking for.
On a scale of one to ten, where ten is the best and one is the worst, I would rate the product as an eight. To get a ten, a product should be perfect. Nothing is perfect. It is not a nine because it is just a cautious rating. In technology, we always say that for every question there is an answer that says "depending on...[something]". Depending on what you're looking at, it is going to be an eight or it's going to be a nine. It should never be a ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
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