What is our primary use case?
We have robots and we have Orchestrator and we are exploring the new analytics model over the next few months. Right now, our primary use is mostly operational processes and deploying apps for the global operations team. We have multiple automation processes in place for them already.
How has it helped my organization?
The product has improved the way our organization functions in a lot of ways. Mostly, I would say it improves our processing efficiency. When you have one person working eight to five to take care of tasks and can replace that, instead, with a bot that can work 24 hours a day to onboard customers or entering information to a form, that drives a lot of value for the organization. With that benefit and decreasing human error as well, that turns into a lot of value for a global organization like us.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature in UiPath is different from one process that we build to the next. I would say that the ease of configuring new processes may be one of the most consistently valuable features for our robot production. Creating a process is just a drag-and-drop solution most of the time. With this automated feature for process creation, it is very easy to make what we need, and that ease-of-use is valuable.
What needs improvement?
There are a few areas where the product can be improved for our use. Invoice processing, for us, is a major use case. I saw some examples in our research that mentioned machine learning models and how to implement that in the new, upcoming version. It seems that the machine learning would solve some of our current issues in processing. That is one feature that I would like to see and experiment with when it is released. I want to explore that to see not only what it can do, but how efficient it is and how it affects the performance of invoice processing models. The other feature we are interested in that is promised to be in the next release is the VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) desktop.
Those two features, for us, are critical. But we also need them to be fast and efficient for us to be able to use it in practice. Otherwise, we are going to continue struggling with the solutions we already have. The solutions are kind of already there in UiPath, and I think they need to work hard on the performance of anything they release. This is especially true for those two solutions. For us to have a good business case for deploying them for use, we need them to be efficient.
A feature that we tried to use that clearly has room for improvement is the UiPath Computer Vision component. We have tried to use that but it was not efficient enough for our planned applications. It was a little disappointing. It needs to be improved in performance and in the design of the machine learning models. It is pretty easy to use for people considering the technology. I just don't think it is quite to the point where it should be.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using UiPath for about a year-and-a-half
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
On a scale from one to five with one being the least stable and five being the most, I would rate the stability of UiPath as pretty stable. For us, it has really been a five.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have 35 employees involved in the automation program doing configuration. We also have three platform administrators and a bunch of automation champions right now — there are quite a few of the latter.
How are customer service and technical support?
Customer support, in general, is pretty good. They are very responsive. We have one dedicated support person in New York and we always get support right away. But there are other facets to UiPath technical support.
The classroom and Academy training are both easy to use and beneficial. On a scale of one to five where five is the best, I would rate these resources as a five-out-of-five. It was and is beneficial and it is available to help the staff get oriented to the product and resolve production issues.
We have 35 configurators. Of those 35, I will say that only five or ten of them were formally and personally trained by a trainer at our site in Costa Rica. The rest — and really most of the configurators — have been trained only using the UIPath Academy suite. So, with some senior resources available and the Academy, you can establish a team of proficient configurators in a very short time.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
The reason why we choose UiPath was because they let us play with the tool before we bought into it. We were looking at many vendors for an RPA solution, but the other vendors wanted us to pay first before they would let us explore the products and what they could do. With UiPath we were able to play first without paying and that's something that was attractive and showed that the company was forward-thinking and confident. We explored the product and saw that it was something that could help us to solve some of our problems. So that is why we identified it as a solution and eventually selected it as the product that was going to cover our processing needs.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was pretty easy because we had the assistance of UiPath experts on-site. They helped us with the first deployment. They did a lot to help make it pretty easy. It might be more accurate to say it was not easy, but that because of them it went smoothly. That's what their group was there to do: sort out modeling problems pretty quickly and get the product to production.
What about the implementation team?
We used a consultant and our experience with them on a scale from one to five where five is the best, I would say they were a five-out-of-five. They knew what they were doing and were excellent in promoting the deployment. We have no complaints about their services or the result.
What was our ROI?
We have automated a lot of things and realized about a million-dollar return on investment in about a year-and-a-half. There is still a lot more to do in our company. We are big, so we have a lot of opportunities for automation and we are expected to be producing even more benefits than we already have. But a million-dollar return on investment is pretty good and is only the beginning of what we will eventually realize.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Right now we have around 200 licenses in terms of the bots we have in production. I know the cost is about $200,000 or $300,000 per year. I am not sure about additional costs.
From what I understand UiPath is cheap when you compare the costs to other vendors in the same market. In any case, the price seems to be good in comparison to the actual benefit. We also have some type of special agreement for pricing discounts because we are one of the early adopters who engaged with UiPath for use of the product. I feel we have some very special treatment and the price, for us, is reasonable and convenient.
What other advice do I have?
On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as an eight out of ten. The reason why it is an eight and not a ten is because there are some specific considerations — especially in performance and machine learning — that we believe has a lot of room for improvement. They are starting to introduce the functionality, they are doing a good thing in introducing it, but there could be a lot of improvement.
If I would make a recommendation for people considering automation options, I would say that they should take advantage of manufacturers that let you play with their product to evaluate if a particular solution is convenient for you. This is the reason why UiPath became the more convenient option for our company when we were looking to start with process automation.
For us, the virtual implementation has been working well because we have deployed everything that we automated in our Citrix environment. Now the new question is how easy it will be to interact with target applications through our VDI desktop. Resolving that to this point has been pretty tough for us and it is actually one of our constraints in making processes work efficiently.
Robotic processing has helped to eliminate human errors and reducing human error is definitely one of the basic benefits that those moving into robotics should expect — if they are approaching automation correctly.
The solution also saved our organization time. For example, we had the one case where we had to onboard around 2 million customers. What that would take in terms of manual hours is about a month and a half. Instead, using RPAs, we were able to complete the task in one week. That is just one example. We have multiple examples in three years of automation.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
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