What is our primary use case?
We are using Studio, Orchestrator, attended and unattended robots.
Our primary use for this solution started with automating processes in finance, procurement, and HR. Now, we are researching various directions in logistics.
We do not run our automations in a virtual environment. This is something that we are trying to avoid.
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. I'm an IT-based person, and for IT people it is easy to learn. UiPath claims that it is easy to learn and it's for everybody, but it's not true. For business people, it is hard to learn and hard to understand how to code to make things work. They need a lot of help with things like exception handling. If somebody lacks technical or programming skills then it makes it much more difficult to use. Although UiPath is getting closer to business users, there are still some basic skills that they need to have to make it work.
On a scale of one to five, judging how beneficial it is, I would rate the training a five. When I get new hires it doesn't matter whether they have previous experience in RPA or development, they have to go through all of the basic training from the Academy. This includes the Orchestrator and I've been recommending SAP training because we are experiencing growth in the use of SAP. Going to my team, this is the base, and then we have created our internal framework and standards that also require training. Some people may already have experience with UiPath or Blue Prism, but they still need to take the training from the Academy.
Before I arrived at the company, there were already some automations running. However, fifteen months ago we shut down a couple of robots because they were failing terribly. From that time, it took us five months to create the first robot.
How has it helped my organization?
We have a project that combines UiPath with OCR and our integration tool. This allows us to automate processes we use in different projects that are coming from different vendors in different countries. Apart from gathering the information, we are template invoicing. The robots take invoice information and post the results into our SAP and other systems. It is much faster than our original process. This has been implemented in Spain, and we are now releasing it to other countries, one by one.
Using this solution is not just about saving time or reducing the number of staff. It is also for improving stability and decreasing the number of errors that we have. In Spain, where we were implementing a pilot project for purchase orders, we saw a decrease in the number of human errors. When they started, there was an error rate of ten percent. After three months in production, the error rate decreased to five or six percent, and after six months it was one or two percent. Also, even though there was still an error rate, it was consistent and it is something that we can account for.
In terms of money savings, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is Studio, which allows developers to specifically focus on development. Orchestrator allows us to connect those things together.
What needs improvement?
I would like to see some use cases and additional information on the process mining and the OCR features that are being released. There are other products that offer OCR features, and at this point, it is hard for me to determine the benefit of using UiPath for OCR rather than integrating it with another solution. This is not just from a business perspective, but from a development perspective as well. For example, I would like to see how you can connect UiPath to all of the applications to collect the logs and the data. Then, how we can put that information together. If there is a thirty-minute delay then how do you identify whether it was because the person went to lunch, or rather that they were working and thinking.
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 three.
The stability of this solution really depends on the developer or the execution. It's not always a UiPath issue. If the process is unstable, it's the issue of the business case and not the actual execution of any development. So it really depends on how you use the platform and how you understand it. We will use a more stable technology, such as alerting through an API, before we go to the UI path.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have about one hundred licenses for production and four Orchestrators.
How are customer service and technical support?
Both customer support and technical support are really good. Whenever I have a question, whether it is business, Studio, or Orchestrator related, I usually get an answer. We have our own customer success manager who helps us on a daily basis. I also have connections to the lab and to the production team so I can ask questions there as well.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
At this company, they did not have an RPA solution in place before this one.
Personally, I have also used Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism. From my perspective, it's about how you use the tool, and not about which tool you use. Personally, I don't like Automation Anywhere, and I used to be a Blue Prism guy.
I feel that Blue Prism is easier to learn because you can do things in terms of processes or objects. Logically, it is easier. In UiPath there are more options, but it's also harder to learn because you need to create a logical structure on your own. It doesn't show you how to do that in an easier way. UiPath has more connections and more inbuilt stuff than Blue Prism, but on the other hand, the navigation between the types of variables is slightly different. It's not a disadvantage, but it is something that takes time to learn.
I find that Automation Anywhere is not that user-friendly. For example, in Blue Prism you have loops that you can put a component into. In Automation Anywhere, you have to copy all of those stages, one-by-one. You cannot create a loop, which is basic.
What was our ROI?
We have not been tracking ROI yet, although we are working on it. It is difficult to calculate because to collect the information for each process it requires a logging system. Each project will require a specific logging system so that we can collect the same information to compare and evaluate it. We have to consider our development costs, maintenance costs, licensing costs, etc. At this point, we do not have enough people to work on this, so it is a work in progress.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
They ran a selection process here and my understanding is that Blue Prism was not able to provide a free Studio license, unlike the policy they now have in place. This is the reason that UiPath was selected.
What other advice do I have?
The majority of our use cases are unattended, and that is the way that you should go. We do use attended bots as digital assistants, where you have small automations that are triggered by the users on their own to direct the robot. These are two separate products.
My advice to anybody who is researching this solution is not to be scared to use it. Play with it as much as possible and see if it brings value. There are different applications that can bring more value in certain cases.
Overall, this is a good solution, but there are always ways to improve a product.
I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
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