What is our primary use case?
We primarily use the Studio, which is for developing the robots, and we deploy to Orchestrator.
We went through a large SAP transformation and we had a lot of issues getting the users to accept the new systems. They were issues related to the adoption of new systems. We decided to build these attended bots in order to guide the users through the system. Essentially, it is navigation or guidance assistance. By helping the users with proper data entry and design, flowing in a logical sequence that is easy for the user to follow, it minimizes end-user training.
Running our automations in a virtual environment is something that we had tried during our PoC. Currently, we have attended bots deployed in more than twenty thousand laptops, and eventually, we're planning to have more than eighty thousand deployments. Because of the large scale, initially, we were having a lot of challenges because of things that go on with the users' machines. We wanted to explore Citrix because there is just one virtual environment that every user logs on to, and then run the processes from there. Unfortunately, it did not work for us. We were seeing a lot of issues and felt that it was much more stable deploying individually to each laptop, instead of using Citrix.
With respect to how easy it is to automate our company's processes, on a scale of one to five, I would rate this solution a four. There is always room for improvement.
On a scale of one to five, judging how beneficial it is, I would rate the training a five. The material is very sequential and logical. You don't get lost because you just follow the modules from beginner to intermediate to advanced. You cover everything from end-to-end, and it is very structured.
From the point that we purchased our UiPath license until we had our first robot was approximately one year. This included our pilot project, then the development and the UAT. When we went live in production there were three thousand users.
How has it helped my organization?
This solution saves our users time. For example, on a standard SAP system where a user has no training, and you tell them to go and finish performing a transaction, it will take them between thirty and forty minutes. Now, with these attended bots, it is almost reduced to half. They can finish the same transaction with minimum training in probably fifteen minutes.
This solution has definitely reduced human errors. We have cleaned up the transaction screens and we help the user to focus on what is needed. We give them the right instructions to make sure that they enter the right information.
This solution is mainly used for navigation, position making, and reducing errors. It means that we have a quicker time to finish any transaction. We are a financial organization, so obviously, for us, it's important to record every sale that we make and every client that we have. It has significantly helped our client servers to reduce the time that they spend on these systems to finish a particular transaction.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature of this solution is the ease of using it. This includes the way the activities are set up, and how easy it is to solve problems by searching with Google if we're stuck.
We did not have to do a lot of customization because the standard UiPath activities fit our needs. This is a big point for us because we end up customizing most of the products that we use just to satisfy our own business needs. In the case of Studio, we didn't have to create a lot of custom activities.
What needs improvement?
I find it difficult to set up the Orchestrator and it should be more user-friendly for non-technical people. I understand how we create packages and push them, but I find the maintenance hard to follow. As it is now, I have to contact our IT department, which takes two to three days. In the meantime, we just have to wait.
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 four. In terms of attended automation, we did have a lot of issues. We have requested lots of product enhancements, which then came through the pipeline. Initially, we did see a lot of issues and they had to make some changes to cater to our needs. Also, we have some more requests that have been put in the pipeline to make it a bit easier for us.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have about twenty people working with RPA in our organization. At this time we have automations running on more than twenty thousand laptops.
How are customer service and technical support?
The technical support for this solution is very good. They're very responsive.
We have had people working on-site at UiPath too, and they have been hands-on trying to see what we are solving. They have given us very good and very relevant suggestions, which has been helpful for us.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We did not use another RPA prior to this solution.
We knew that we needed to invest in this solution based on user feedback. When we launched our new SAP system, everybody kept complaining about how difficult it was to use. There is a lot of training involved, but it's not like you can remember the training. We replaced fourteen hundred systems and put them into a single instance, so even if you are trained for weeks it is hard to remember all of it.
Basically, we needed something that was easier and helps us navigate through the systems so that we can complete our transactions. This solution does just that. It guides the user, waits for the user to give the right input based on what is expected, and then takes the user to the next relevant screen so that they can perform the transaction.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup has been complicated for us. After we went live in production, one of the issues we saw, but didn't realize initially, was that even though the tray was not open, by default though, if the bot is pushed onto a user's machine then it will be connected to the Orchestrator. Even though the user is not running the process, the bot always stayed connected. That was causing a large load on the Orchestrator and we didn't realize it until we started increasing from three thousand to twenty thousand users. That's when we were seeing a lot of timeouts. The production connection kept dropping and we were not able to figure out why. UiPath helped us to restructure the whole SQL database and the way we established the connections.
What was our ROI?
We have not yet seen ROI, although I think it's too early because we only went live two or three months ago. The big expansion in users was just this week, so it is too early for us to say.
We do know that we have been receiving very positive feedback so far. The users with machines where these bots are deployed have been saying it is very easy to use and there is minimal training required. It's out there, on the desktop or laptop, and they just have to launch by clicking the play button and the process starts.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
When we started this project, we explored Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere. I don't think that they were able to give us what we were looking for in terms of attended automation. When we looked at UiPath we found that it could satisfy all of our business requirements, which is why we chose this solution over the others.
What other advice do I have?
I am really excited about the new Studio X. Ours is a consulting firm where not everybody is tech-savvy, but everyone wants to get their hands into automation. UiPath is saying that it is going to be very easy. Even for people without a technical background at all, they will be able to build their own process and bot. I'm looking forward to seeing how our users are going to make use of that within the UI.
This solution is easy to use and adopt in an existing environment. The best part for us is that even though some features were lacking, the turnaround time to have them implemented was amazing. We have always coordinated with our UiPath partner to tell them what it is that we need. When we have requested features, we have found that in the next release they are added. We found this unique among vendors.
My advice to anyone who is researching this type of solution is to definitely go for it. There are a lot of materials out there which will help them make the decision. Our own journey showed that it was easy for us to use, learn, adopt, and finally deploy.
I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
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