What is our primary use case?
We use all three of the UiPath components which include: Studio, Roboyo, and Orchestrator. There are a bunch of use cases that we explored for the POC (Proof of Concept) to be sure the product fits with our expectations for automation. For example, one use case is reconciliation processes for insurance group retirement and LOB (Law on Occupational Benefits) plans. We built it, tested it, and now that is one of the primary things we use the product for.
How has it helped my organization?
This solution has improved the way our organization functions in several ways. It has helped to eliminate human errors. It already saves 20 hours per month for reconciliation and LOB. It helped clients schedule their transactions before the end of the month. All of that automates tasks and makes financial processing faster in the insurance industry. That works out great for us.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable features provide solutions for when I am using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. It easily integrates with Google OCR, Microsoft OCR, and ABBYY OCR. We are using that integration feature to incorporate OCR mostly for reading scans. To interact with Google OCR, Microsoft OCR, or Abby OCR, you don't need to implement a separate component but you can just — in a blink of an eye — integrate those peripheral solutions into the UiPath Studio and use them in your automated processes.
If we can integrate other features that are not part of UiPath, it makes it far more useful in automation. In this case, UiPath is not building out an actual OCR component but they are just giving you an option to incorporate the other OCRs. That is very valuable.
What needs improvement?
In the next release of the solution, I would like to see the ability to grant permission to users at the job level. Some jobs or processes may need to belong to only one person. Right now, I believe we don't have that feature in UiPath and we can't assign a job to a user. We can give permissions on a tenant level, or we can give permissions on the environment level, but not at the job or process level.
I would like to see the ability in UiPath to be able to assign each job or each process to a particular user and give that user some specific access and privilege. For example, maybe they should only be able to run or stop a particular job or a particular process, but they can not do anything else. That makes a lot of sense because all users may not need to see all the processes in Orchestrator in one instance or have access to administrative features. The same goes for a tenant or even in an environment. If UiPath can make that happen at the user-level or process-level for a robot, that helps a lot to enable customized bots.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
On a scale from one to five where five is the best and one the worst, I would rate the stability of the UiPath platform at a four-out-of-five. The stability is a four instead of a five because the stability is not completely dependent on only UiPath. Underlying obligations play a part too. Sometimes when I am writing applications, I'm not up on how to handle every exception. That is not possible because a developer does not know all the scenarios an application can become involved with. In that scenario, the product can lag. But, otherwise, it is really a very good solution that is dependable and stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Approximately five people in our organization are involved in our automation program working in the CoE (Center of Excellence). There are four developers and there are 200 users including business users. So, you can say there are around 250 people currently involved in this. I don't think scalability is an issue.
How are customer service and technical support?
We did have the opportunity to use UiPath Academy RPA training. On a scale from one to five where five is the most beneficial, I would rate the training as a four-out-of-five. It is good for basic understanding. We have usually had UiPath foundation training for all of our developers. Really, I think you can say that we have not put fully utilized it.
Other parts of technical support we have only used very minimally. For example, we have not used premium support or licensed support levels. Sometimes we called customer support on tickets to integrate with mainframe obligations the first time or some more involved issues. But that type of situation was unusual. We have barely used the customer support because most of the information is available in Academy, in the portals, or the user forums. A few times when we left a ticket, it was not even necessary for us to get back to technical support because we resolved the issue on our own.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We knew that we had an opportunity to invest in a new solution when we heard about RPA three years back. UiPath and WorkFusion came to us at the same time and saying, "We have a solution to improve your work processes."
We spent some time evaluating which tool was right for us by doing a study inside our organization to determine how much manual work could be automated. With some analysis, we found out that there is a huge opportunity for implementing this type of RPA solution in AXA (global insurance, not an acronym) as it is a large organization with a lot of repeated processes.
Because there was a lot of manual work, people in our organization had to work for more hours at times to properly complete a job. Sometimes they had to stay overnight and work additional hours on weekends to complete processing on time. To avoid that we requested that operations consider our proposal for automation.
We showed operations where we could automate repeatable and mundane tasks. The response was very positive and they realized we need to implement these solutions to help us to buy some time for employees to properly do their work and reduce labor intensity.
Our previous solution was either no solution at all except for manual labor or some experience we had with one tool called OpenSpan. OpenSpan did not have a proper management console and was difficult to use so it mostly remained unimplemented. When we introduced the potential solution for seriously pursuing RPA to reducing the workload, that is when we started looking at UiPath.
How was the initial setup?
The set up for the product is straightforward. It is seamless. In fact, you just need to know the server where it will reside. There is material available in UiPath guides and the UiPath forum where you can just follow along step-by-step and install your Orchestrator. So it is very straightforward.
From the time we purchased the UiPath license until we had our first robot in production is not exactly clear. We had developed a POC, which was ready to be put into production and then we bought a license. After we bought the license, we just put it into production and it had already been built.
What about the implementation team?
We did the entire implementation ourselves with some contact with UiPath.
What was our ROI?
We are not yet really realizing a return on investment as our deployment continues to be in progress. How much money we have saved is what we are hoping to eventually count in the ROI. In terms of the calculations that we started last year, we asked that the KPI (Key Performance Indicator) points look at time-saving and not really the dollar saving. The time saving you can say approximately 20 hours per month, which we have achieved consistently up until now. We have achieved something but we are expecting that to grow a lot.
The solution has also helped to eliminate human errors. I cannot say exactly what that percentage is — say even 20% or something like that. There are a couple of instances before we automated the reconciliation process last month — before we actually put the bot into production — where people were getting the wrong details by mistake. I would say we have reduced the human error because those situations are being handled by the bot and they will not be repeated now.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We license the product on a yearly basis and it costs us around $80,000. We are a very large organization. We have unattended bots and there is a pricing structure surrounding that but I'm not involved in the licensing terms.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
What made us choose UiPath to automate our processes was evaluating the capabilities of competition and deciding on the best solution for us. We compared UiPath, WorkFusion and other products — and even other types of tools — in terms of infrastructure, setup, how easily it could be scaled, etcetera. UiPath stood out a little as it had the capability to invoke virtual machines automatically without any human intervention. A lot of other tools didn't have that capability at that point. But the time we had to come down to a decision, UiPath had features that were not available in any of the other tools. With other research into the company and product, we saw that UiPath listened to the customers' needs and was often upgrading. Now all the competition has seen them as the leader and they have tried to incorporate features UiPath had already deployed.
That initial difference we saw between UiPath and the other tools we compared was the reason we took this direction. We believed UiPath and we decided that this was our theater for RPA. Now, if we see some enhancements that need to be made in the product, we just communicate to UiPath and we know they will look at the idea and maybe implement it. UiPath has the capability of adding features immediately. They are releasing around 10 or more versions in a year with important new features.
What other advice do I have?
We do use a virtual environment such as Citrix when it is appropriate and that works out pretty well. The obvious advantage is there is no dependency on a physical machine being available and they are available 24/7 from anywhere. I am actually comfortable developing anything and everything in Citrix via virtual machines.
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 five. Ease of use is one other thing that I like a lot about UiPath.
Going a step further, on a scale from one to ten, I would rate this product overall as a ten compared to other RPA solutions. In comparison to its nearest competitor — Blue Prism — UiPath is way ahead in terms of providing features, giving customer support, ease of use, ease of access to our personal history, and surely in the development of robots.
Everybody can understand easily what exactly the product is doing and can become familiar with it quickly. With other competitors, there is a huge infrastructure to set up. Some of the products make it so each bot needs a control room. Those products are not centralized, which makes them more confusing to use.
People have to manage on their own how they are going to build all their RPA management solutions. When you are using UiPath, you just get Orchestrator instead of multiple robots and control panels, then you just scale whenever you want.
I definitely recommend UiPath for simplicity and ease-of-use. If somebody was getting an RPA solution, the advice I would give them is to definitely go for it. Setting up RPAs eliminates human error in tasks and lightens workloads for menial jobs. This lets people focus on more innovative work and it can lead to further integration. What I would think is the natural path for UiPath is that it can integrate the AI in the future. Right now, people think that this is already cognitive or AI integrated, but there is a very long way to go in the future for it to become truly like artificial intelligence.
So, what I am saying is I would take it as a first step towards the AI. I would definitely recommend people use it so that in future when AI comes in, you can just grab an AI solution from UiPath and improve your implementations further.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
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