What is our primary use case?
We use UiPath Studio, Orchestrator and Robots, all unattended currently. Our primary use case is one-off for mediation projects because we're trying to set up our infrastructure. Once the infrastructure is set up, we plan on creating a federated model throughout our entire organization.
How has it helped my organization?
Right now, our remediation teams do a lot of large one-time projects where they have to have policies for scaling up and scaling down the volume of full-time employees. I know we have avoided that situation in at least three cases now where they have not had to hire or remove people because they have been able to automate the remediation process.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable features for me in Studio can be anything that helps me test or debug. It saves me a lot of time and it saves our QA team a lot of time setting up separate environments, test data, and things like that.
The most valuable thing in Orchestrator is just how easy it is and the fact that it's cloud-based. It is also useful in that it allows non-technical users to get information about their projects. For example, they can find out if independent components are up and functioning; if something is down they can find out what went wrong.
What needs improvement?
In the next release of the solution, my biggest hope would be getting more accessibility to test data processing information. I was told that this feature was coming already. Being able to see what my variables and my arguments look like when things are being passed and making the processes very clear to my customers when we are doing test cases for UAT (User Acceptance Testing). That would be invaluable. It would help the customer to see and understand the data flow more easily without having to go through training or being very tech-savvy.
I think Studio has a little more room for improvement and could use a few more features. They just announced Studio X and Studio 2 which actually addressed many of the issues I hope to see resolved, but that is assuming that they come through in development and do what they say they are going to do.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
On a scale from one to five, where one is not stable and five is very stable, I would rate the stability of the UiPath platform as a four-and-a-half. I've only seen one or two buggy behaviors, so I think that qualifies as extremely stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
In our organization, there are five full-time people involved in the automation program. We can drag people in from different departments in the business on a case-by-case basis when necessary for resolving issues with automating.
How are customer service and technical support?
Before we started, all of us were involved in using UiPath Academy RPA training and learning through it. On a scale from one to five where one is the least beneficial and five is the most, the Academy is something I would give a three. I say that because I don't think they went into enough detail. I understand that they didn't because they are trying to save time for non-technical people, but I love knowing everything and I would love to see more detail in their presentations or have options to do so.
Customer support overall is very responsive and they say a lot of helpful things, but I'm often able to find the same information and answers on the forums. It would be nice at times to be able to talk to someone from support over the phone. I can describe my problems without having to send dozens of emails back and forth in order to get an answer. It just isn't terribly efficient.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
The decision to automate and the product selection for the solution were completed before I was brought on as part of the team. I was actually brought on as an expert from another company in order to help them stabilize their deployment. The product vendors which were on the short-list actually include some vendors which the company has licenses for in addition to UiPath, like Blue Prism. They are exploring multiple options because we are a global entity. They want to offer the option to entities to choose whatever partner they prefer to go with.
How was the initial setup?
The approach to the initial setup which was selected was a complicated process. I don't know much more than it took a long time, it wasn't very successful and that's why they brought me on.
What about the implementation team?
They did the entire implementation in-house.
What was our ROI?
We have seen some return on investment to a certain extent, but a lot of it's coming from one-time processes and not from recurring processes. In other words, the ROI is already there, but it is from one-time processes we've deployed. These are processes that we would run a bunch of items through one time and the circumstances are not repeatable the next year or even the next week.
I'm not sure about the exact numbers, but I know that the cost of our department has been saved roughly four times over. Again, a lot of those savings are from one-time events that won't be recurring in the following year so they can't really be seen as predicting the future results.
The solution has helped to eliminate human errors in some cases and that also has value. In addition, there is the benefit of saving the employees time. Right now I believe that we have approximated that we saved somewhere between 40,000 and 45,000 human hours. That resource can be re-allocated.
What other advice do I have?
Part of our deployment is in a virtual environment and part of it is not. The implementation is actually still in progress. We are in the phase of setting up our infrastructure and trying to automate some POCs (Proof of Concepts) and some early successes to show the financial benefits of RPA to the C-suite (C-level executives such as the CEO and CFO).
On a scale from one to five where one is very difficult and five is very easy, I would rate the ease of use of the platform as a four. I think the product is fairly intuitive. Because I come from a tech background though, I feel like it is going to be a little easier for me to understand than some other people who don't have that same background. The only reason I don't give it a five is because the integration between Orchestrator, Robots, and Studio does require a little bit of intimate knowledge to be able to connect them all and make sure that they stay connected.
We have not used attended robots yet, so I'm not sure how cost-effective they are because we don't have any data on that. We use unattended bots and they seem to be effective solutions, but I don't know what they pay for them.
On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a nine. The only reason I'm not going to give it a ten is that I have struggled with certain errors and stability issues. Whether that is our fault or a general bug in the actual software is yet to be seen. I have a few open tickets, but I've really liked this software overall.
Advice that I would give to a colleague at another company researching this or similar solutions would be that they look at their organization and see if they are really ready for deploying RPA solutions. A lot of RPA solutions are sold with the promise that anyone can build solutions with the products and the bots are going to deploy quickly. I don't think quick deployment is deceiving, but I do think that trying to implement a solution that does move so quickly like this into an organization that doesn't move quickly can create friction.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
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