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RPA Developer at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
Real User
Starts ready-to-use, has good tools for developers, facilitates optimization of existing processes for significant time saving
Pros and Cons
  • "The highest benefit of it is that it's just there, ready to use, and you don't need to start from a blank screen."
  • "From a developer's point of view, my biggest struggle with UiPath is debugging."

What is our primary use case?

I started my RPA journey as a developer, and I first heard about UiPath as a low-code, drag-and-drop automation platform. Back then, it was very much in the beginning stages of its development. Ever since then, I've seen it evolve quite fast. I would say even faster than other RPA platforms that I've used, in just a few years.

Thinking back to when I first started using it, there are many new features and updates and it's my preferred platform for RPA.

We primarily used unattended automation, where you deploy the bots to work autonomously. This is unattended, end-to-end automation with no human in the loop, other than providing the inputs or checking the outputs.

We have several use cases, but our main one is reducing manual work. The processes that require a lot of manual input and have a lot of human error are the focus. That could be, for instance, processes that have to do with invoicing, billing, reporting, and coding, which require a lot of man-hours, are very reliant on a human being available, and are time-sensitive. Those are the ones that are on the top list to be automated.

Beyond that, I can't specifically talk about the processes that we've automated.

How has it helped my organization?

UiPath helps to implement end-to-end automation, although the discovery of processes, gathering requirements, and creating the design, all happen outside of UiPath. But the development, which is developing the bots, then testing and then deploying them, does happen end-to-end within UiPath.

The end-to-end development capability is important, but this is because every tool offers this and it is expected. That said, there is definitely room for improvement in that end-to-end should include process discovery. It is end-to-end, but those ends can extend further than what it currently is. In that sense, it's no different than other RPA tools.

Another way that UiPath improves the way our organization functions is that the robots can run 24/7. If you think about a human workforce, they work eight hours a day, they take days off, they get sick, they leave, and they take knowledge with them once they leave the company. But, the robots can be run non-stop 24/7, and each process can be scaled up. The same process can be run by one bot, or it can be run by 10 or 100 bots. This means that there's a lot more flexibility that the bots bring, especially for high-volume processes that perhaps even have some peaks, such as an end-of-month rush to produce invoices or meet a deadline or an end-of-financial-year crunch.

These robots have an easier time addressing and variability when it comes to volume. They really create a lot more scalability to where businesses can grow and know that they can meet the demands of the future. So, they're a lot more future-proof, whereas people are harder to rely on.

Speaking from a business perspective, it's the FTE savings. A company obviously needs to spend money on UiPath licenses and development costs, but those costs are oftentimes lower than the cost of that FTE, the full-time employee, whose work is getting automated. If you purely just think about the financial benefits, it's the lower staffing costs.

There is also the ability to free up people. This means that even if people aren't replaced and their salary isn't saved, what they can do is pivot their focus to, for instance, be a lot more customer-facing or do a lot more strategic or creative tasks that perhaps get pushed to the side because there's not a lot of time allocated towards performing them. Now, FTEs have a lot more capacity to contribute and perform tasks that still to this day cannot be automated, like creative thinking, complex decision-making on the spot, strategy, and just human interaction.

In the beginning, employees meet automation with a critical eye. They're thinking, "Well, what's going on? Why are these robots coming in? Are we going to work alongside them? How is this going to work?" But to be honest, in the end, there are winners and losers. What I mean by that is that some jobs are replaced, and that's just simply because of that FTE saving that is usually the driver to justify the cost of development. But on the flip-side, the employees that do stay and do work alongside the bots are usually a lot happier because they have to juggle a lot fewer things.

The robots are there to make people feel like people and not like robots, where they just do the same thing over and over and don't enjoy their job or don't enjoy what they do. A robot takes that away and helps people enjoy their work a lot more because they can do non-repetitive tasks. They can be a lot more customer-facing and perhaps build stronger relationships with their customers, know them better, and have more time available to work on other projects or work on other things that they may never have had the time to do.

In our organization, the robots work on multiple projects. The amount of employee time that is freed up depends on the project and what you are automating, but a pretty good estimate would be a 20% to 40% savings.

With respect to the reduction of problems related to human error, the fact of the matter is that some employees, whether you like it or not, are more error-prone. By automating a process, we were able to standardize it, and therefore, identify the cause of the human error and remove it by replacing the process with a robot that makes a more reliable judgment in terms of action. It is literally just an if-else statement. It's a lot easier to quantify and therefore it's a lot easier to evaluate, and therefore the result is a lot more reliable. Whereas with an employee, let's say the output of their work is a lot more unreliable simply because they could be working on 10 different things on the same day. There could be a deadline approaching, and the quality of work fluctuates with an employee because of it.

With a robot, you will notice that over time, in fact, the quality improves, and that's just the basic truth of RPA. It doesn't happen automatically, and it does require work. It happens because you see the results of the automation and you see areas for improvement, ultimately leading you to make adjustments. You iterate on the RPA solution and make it better over time.

Although it does not improve automatically, through a conscious effort you can be a lot more confident in the output and then be able to see unbiased results at the end of the day. Part of these results is your exception rates, which can be errors. It can be failures, whether technical in nature or decision-making business rule types of errors. Then, you can adjust your process to where it can positively improve that exception rate, and just iterate on that to where it becomes acceptable. Moreover, it's quite stable, which is not the case with the human workforce.

The automation cloud Orchestrator has its benefits and negative sides. The benefit is the fact that it's web-based. A person who has the login credentials can access it without the necessity to have something installed. The development and the monitoring of the bots are separated in UiPath, where the development happens in the Studio and the monitoring happens in the Orchestrator.

In other tools like Blue Prism, it happens in the same place. I've used both, and the Orchestrator is nice. It has a very nice UI, it's user-friendly, it has a lot of features, and I find it quite easy to use. For example, you can see all of the machines, you can see the robots, and you can schedule them. If the business wants to see a lot more across the output of the Work Queue, they can have that visibility from Orchestrator, which is great.

The downside of Orchestrator is the package deployment, which is perhaps another minus of UiPath in general. The deployment of a new package does not take a long time, but there are a lot of steps. It's not an intuitive process. If you have to release a lot of packages, which does occur, especially in the early stage of deployment, when you are releasing hotfixes, or when something goes wrong and you need to redeploy a fix really quickly to minimize business impact, it does slow you down.

I wish it would be just one or two clicks, rather than the whole importing or exporting and connecting to the desktop application and everything that accompanies it. I wish it were a lot easier. Again, it has its upsides but it's not perfect.

What is most valuable?

The best feature in UiPath is their robotic enterprise framework because that is an inbuilt processing framework for utilizing their work queues. It's plug-and-play, and already pre-built to where you don't have to start from scratch. It's enterprise-grade and ready to be used. All you need to do is populate your dispatcher, create a queue, create a performer, and you're good to go.

The highest benefit of it is that it's just there, ready to use, and you don't need to start from a blank screen. You don't have to figure out, for example, how to create an environment where the robots can check if there's anything in the queue to be worked on. The framework is already there. The other tools that I've used, like Blue Prism, don't have that built-in quite as well.

My perspective and overview are from that of a developer, and I find that the recorder feature is really good. This is because UiPath lets you record your actions on the screen. So, if you want to interact with a web-based interface, for example, then you have UiPath record your actions and then build the activities that you would need in order to replicate those actions through the robot. It makes it a lot better and although it's not perfect and it does need to be reviewed and adjusted, it speeds up development quite a bit. This is especially true when it's basic back development like populating fields and clicking buttons and navigating on a web.

Compared to other RPA tools that I have used, something that stands out to me in UiPath is that it has a very extensive library of activities. Those activities are easy to search for and use.

When you are writing code, there is a feature called IntelliSense, which autocompletes your code. More specifically, when you're typing code, if you're starting to type the name of a variable, it will show you all of the variables available and you can just click them. It's very interactive and it's reminiscent of the Microsoft Visual Studio environment, both from the UI perspective and the coding perspective. This means that developers that are familiar with Visual Studio will probably feel right at home using UiPath. It's very developer-friendly and it's geared towards appealing to existing developers.

The UiPath Academy courses definitely help in the process of bringing employees up to speed. The Academy is the go-to place for UiPath learning and I think that other RPA tools are copying this model of disseminating knowledge, being a lot more open with training, making it freely available, and providing an online classroom. These are things that UiPath has always done, and it certainly helps new developers get upskilled in RPA, and specifically with UiPath.

When it comes to ease of use, UiPath is intuitive insofar as the basic features have a low learning curve. However, if you want to take full advantage of what UiPath can do, and if organizations want to create more sophisticated automation solutions, it is more difficult. For instance, automations involving back-end access, maybe writing directly to databases such as SQL or using API, that's a steep learning curve. In fact, I think the learning curve is exponential.

If you just want to make a robot that sends an email, that's really easy to do. But, if you really want tangible benefits, like if you really want something that solves a business problem, it is a huge learning curve and it takes a while to master. Obviously, it does have that low-code requirement, but I would say that's only for entry automation projects, like proof-of-concept or something along those lines. For something that really solves a business problem, you would need code, because that just makes it a lot more robust and a lot more powerful if you can custom-code certain steps of the process.

What needs improvement?

Features for process discovery would improve the end-to-end development capabilities.

From a developer's point of view, my biggest struggle with UiPath is debugging. The debug mode in UiPath feels clunky and it is a sore spot. It feels it's hard to control the flow of the process. There are a lot of internal errors and it's not intuitive. In general, debugging is not a good experience and I don't enjoy doing it. In contrast, Blue Prism has better debugging capabilities.

Blue Prism is a little more dynamic; you can adjust variables, you can jump around the flow, and it's easier to control. With UiPath, it's a little bit of a nightmare. It becomes harder to debug the bigger your automation is, because it's quite unpredictable, and it's quite unstable. Definitely, if debugging was improved, I would say UiPath would get 11 out of 10.

Something that I noticed recently is that they have moved to paid certification for developers, whereas it used to have free certification. This is a little bit outside of the platform itself but the pain point here from my perspective is that there is a barrier to entry for new RPA developers, or ones that want to renew their certification. It has become a lot harder and that used to be a differentiator for UiPath. It had a very strong online learning offering and it offered no-charge recertification on top. This is now very similar to what other tools are doing and I see that as a negative.

For how long have I used the solution?

My first introduction to UiPath was in early 2018 or late 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The robots could be a lot more stable, which is another area for improvement. The stability issue with UiPath is a prominent one, especially in comparison to other tools like Blue Prism. I feel that there are a lot of errors that are caused by the UiPath framework, as opposed to the robot design. Sometimes it's just very unreliable and crashes unexpectedly, which creates serious issues in terms of reliability. In early deployment, it always happens that it's very late nights, and there's a lot of babysitting processes. The robots need it because you never know what's going to crash.

In comparison with other RPA tools, it is average when it comes to reliability. I would rate other tools a little bit easier to manage expectations as to what you can reasonably expect to go wrong, and what you can reasonably expect to break. With UiPath, our developers, even our experienced ones, oftentimes get errors that we've never seen in our lifetime. This is partly due to the flexibility of UiPath, with it being so easy to adapt to all types of applications and all types of environments and it being so malleable. It is one of the most versatile tools; it's industry agnostic, platform-agnostic, and tool-agnostic, but that flexibility creates a lot more room for error in the code. It means that a lot more things can break or interfere with each other, compared to other platforms that are perhaps more niche and more targeted in what they're actually trying to solve.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

UiPath is definitely scalable. It is modular, where you build a workflow and that can be reused across multiple robots or multiple processes. Those processes can then be run by one, two, three, five, and 100 bots, provided that they can work concurrently in the same environment, performing the same process. It's wonderful and the scalability is uncapped. If you have licenses, then you can use them, which is great.

The only limits are how many licenses are you willing to buy, and the inherent limits of your own infrastructure and your own process. It comes down to how many robots can realistically work concurrently in the same infrastructure and in the same network without breaking it.

We have approximately 20 developers who use UiPath. We have business users, but it is difficult for me to say how many there are.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have been in contact with technical support, and I have experienced submitting a support ticket to them. I even got on a call with them and they were very helpful. We had been having issues with automating a platform and we wanted to get their specific insight as to what was going wrong. It had to do with UiPath not being able to extract selectors from that specific interface.

I was really surprised because they spent the time to not only address my ticket and answer my questions, but also to allocate time to schedule a meeting, and really look into the platform via screen share. I was sharing the screen with them and showing them what was happening, and they really looked into it and gave it a lot of attention.

I understand they get a lot of tickets, and I really felt they provided a good answer. They responded really fast, I would say within 24 hours, and we began exchanging details through a back and forth conversation.

They provided me with the outcome that I was happy with. It was a very good experience.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In addition to UiPath, we used Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere. UiPath is king here, and I rarely hear anything about the other two. I would estimate that we use UiPath 95% of the time, perhaps even 99%.

The alternative to UiPath that I am more familiar with is Blue Prism. From my perspective, UiPath is geared towards developers. The audience towards which it's skewed is the developer or the technical person. Blue Prism is geared more towards business people. It's geared towards converting business people, including SMEs and subject matter experts that know the process well, into developers. You will find that the language that each program uses is one that's geared towards the target market. Consequently, UiPath uses a lot of developer language and developer concepts.

For example, UiPath works similarly to the Visual Studio Environment. Blue Prism, on the other hand, uses a lot of flowcharting visuals, as well as the language that it uses for the same concept. It's going to use a definition that's more from a business process flowcharting realm. Recently, both platforms are converging onto each other and I feel like they're becoming more and more similar, but they still have a few things that are different.

One thing that stands out for me is that Blue Prism has wonderful debugging. It's a lot better than UiPath, and it's an all-in-one tool where the monitoring and the building of the robots happen in one application. The deployment is also really easy.

Blue Prism also offers online learning, which is great. They didn't use to have that offering, and I think that they got a lot of inspiration from UiPath. Their online courses have been great because previously when I was learning RPA, I had to use YouTube. Now, they have a whole Blue Prism university, which is amazing.

Blue Prism has inbuilt version control and a lot of other great features. They have a heavy emphasis on security and encryption, which UiPath perhaps needs to improve on. Companies such as banks, insurance agencies, and finance agencies are a lot more interested in Blue Prism because of its very strong security protocols. The encryption offering is a key requirement for companies that work with a lot of sensitive personal data.

How was the initial setup?

I have never been involved in the initial setup, although my understanding is that it's quite a journey.

What was our ROI?

The areas of the organization with the most ROI from UiPath are operations, finance, HR, and sales. Those are the key departments, although it's across every organization because those departments have a lot of manual work-intensive processes that are the first contenders for automation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We have a yearly licensing model that gives us access to the development and production environments. The cost of licensing is expensive.

What other advice do I have?

Part of automation is the analysis and optimization of processes because the analysis phase is a by-product of wanting to automate a task. If you want to automate something, you have to break it down into parts and really look at it and think, "How can I reduce this into a series of business rules, a series of decisions, or series of steps?" It's an exercise of process optimization in and of itself because a good practice in automation is to not just take what it is and automate it, but to think, "Does what is currently in place actually work? How can it be improved? How can it be streamlined? How can it be done in fewer steps?" It's a good chance to practice some process review, improvement, and transformation.

The idea is to make it optimal because the current process usually has unquestioned practices that maybe haven't been reviewed for a very long time. A lot of businesses say, "We've always done it this way," and they've never thought to revisit the approach. RPA gives you an opportunity to think about whether what you've always been doing will work when it's being done by a robot. Most often, the processes get streamlined through the requirements gathering phase, understanding the as-is, and then a key part of that is doing the process design, which is the to-be vision.

During that time, processes go through a few design iterations where they are optimized and streamlined because we want the robots to be as efficient as possible. This means performing as few steps as possible without sacrificing value and efficiency. It is important because any inefficiencies in a robot are going to scale with the number of times you're going to run that process. If you run a process a thousand times, and let's say there exists inefficiency that results in an extra minute being used, that could be shed if you were to review and optimize that process.

Ultimately, optimization is an important exercise because the benefits include a further capacity to run more automated processes, and less time is taken up by inefficient steps.

Something to be aware of is that updates to the platform have to be managed because any update could impact the performance of a bot that was built with an earlier version. To avoid having a newer version impact the performance of something that was built previously, all of the updates need to go through a due diligence process.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from UiPath is surprising; not everything needs to be automated. It feels weird to say it because thinking, "Well, I have this platform, I have these bots, why not just automate absolutely everything?", but the truth is that there are things that can be streamlined outside of RPAs. Also, some processes can be automated through other means. Consider the very simple example of sending automated emails, or sorting out your inbox by putting the right email in the right folder, those types of things can be done with email rules rather than RPA.

If a platform already has some sort of inbuilt automation, whether that's a social media platform, email platform, networking platform, or any other type of platform, it's always better to explore that first before looking to solve that problem with RPA. There are times when an Excel Macro or an email rule will be a lot faster and a lot more cost-efficient. RPA should be directed towards big-ticket items, big problems, and large volumes to where no existing solution would provide the same level of value.

My advice for anybody who is considering UiPath is to try it out for themselves. The most beautiful thing is when companies take the leap to have a very small citizen developer team, where they upskill a few technically-minded people with free courses and try to build a small proof of concept to see if RPA is the right path for them. I really encourage that sort of curiosity and experimentation because all of the resources are out there and anybody can learn, as long as they're driven and passionate and curious about automation. I would really encourage people just to give it a try and see what comes out of it.

In our organization, UiPath is the number one RPA tool. Being close to the industry as a developer, and I do feel like it's the preferred tool, at least where I'm based in Australia. It is definitely the preferred RPA solution on the market. Our usage is definitely going to increase in the future. I feel like the future is bright for UiPath. That said, it isn't perfect.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Managing Director, Business Transformation at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
The willingness to partner with us and understand our needs was key, as are the time and cost savings from automation
Pros and Cons
  • "The way Jiffy.ai integrates into existing infrastructure has been great for us. Our company is pretty stringent when it comes to cyber security and integrating with our apps... We've definitely had very strong scrutiny over this platform and this work, and even within that, it's been really successful at being able to integrate."
  • "I believe this is also being addressed, but a lot of the platform work, as we were putting in new versions or making some updates, was, ironically, very manual. It's improved greatly, but I would imagine that's an area that they're probably still working on, on the backend, to help when it comes to what we need to do for platform support."

What is our primary use case?

We have a number of use cases. We've intentionally started with a focus in our finance controller organization as well as our supply chain organization. The bulk of our bots that have been deployed are in those two areas, doing a number of different business processes across those areas.

How has it helped my organization?

We've seen really good productivity gains. For the areas where we've chosen to automate, it's not that we have freed up 30 heads in one area with one project. It's more an aggregation of 20 heads across all of the different bots that have been developed. But we've seen tremendous value, especially in the pandemic. As an airline, we have had to cut costs and we were able to go through some pretty strong voluntary separation efforts and redistribute resources and cover things because of the automation work that we've been doing.

It has definitely reduced manual processing efforts in our company. We've automated about 10 percent of the work within particular areas that we're working on. I'm sure, across the company, there's a lot more opportunity. We have chosen to start small and get our bearing before we go too far. It has also reduced errors in our organization although I can't put a specific number on that right now. We haven't had as much focus on that front as we have around how much we've been able to automate.

It has also saved us time with the amount of manual work that has been addressed. The time savings are around 5 to 10 percent in the areas where we've been focused. And the automations have helped to save us money, in the $2 million to $3 million range, in annual savings.

What is most valuable?

The way Jiffy.ai integrates into existing infrastructure has been great for us. Our company is pretty stringent when it comes to cyber security and integrating with our apps. For every automation that we do, we have our technical architects involved especially since, when we implemented this a few years ago, it was really something of a new technology, knowing that you've got "robots" accessing systems and updating records and altering information. It's a little bit daunting if you're not familiar with it. We've definitely had very strong scrutiny over this platform and this work, and even within that, it's been really successful at being able to integrate.

You still have to integrate with, or at least access, the systems that you're automating within. For example, if you're doing something within SAP, you're still going to need to access data or screens or APIs or something to interact with that system. But the fact that the solution incorporates intelligent document processing, among other features, means we don't have to integrate with another document processing capability or technology. That's a big reason we chose Jiffy.

What needs improvement?

It has gotten better over time, but some of the training and product documentation could be better. 

I believe this is also being addressed, but a lot of the platform work, as we were putting in new versions or making some updates, was, ironically, very manual. It's improved greatly, but I would imagine that's an area that they're probably still working on, on the backend, to help when it comes to what we need to do for platform support.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Jiffy.ai for two years now. We are on version 3.2. We're in the process of working through the upgrade to the newest version of 4.2. So we're on the prior version to what is current right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is fantastic. They're a startup, they're a young company, and the product has things that can be improved on and worked on, but they have been nothing but there for us, and ready to help solve, and ready to help fix.

Some of those things, early on, were with security. Our cybersecurity positioning and stance on what we expect and what we allow and don't allow, are pretty advanced. It was a pretty tall order to meet a lot of our cybersecurity constraints, so that's an area where we had to do quite a bit of work. The very first bot we put into production fell into the PCI realm. We actually have two environments, one that has to be PCI-compliant, and a regular environment, and Jiffy has been fantastic from a partnership perspective.

A lot of the challenges that we uncover are really internal to our environment, as opposed to the platform. There's a little bit of both, and that's where it really comes back to the partnership with Jiffy. They are always super-responsive in addressing any challenges with the product or the platform and supporting us as we work through how to integrate or automate a certain homegrown application of ours that is probably an outdated legacy application. We've run into challenges along the way, but we partner with our internal folks and then with Jiffy to work through the challenges.

How was the initial setup?

Our deployment was over a period of about three to six months. That was because we were working through internal challenges in getting it set up.

I can't speak to the actual architecture, but organizationally we have a center of excellence which is my responsibility and under my leadership. We partner with, and act as more of a matrixed team with, our technology organization. They help with the platform and all of the configuration management, the change management, migration, and production through the different environments. 

With every area that we're developing a bot for, the business area that we're working with—whether that's finance or pricing, etc.—we have engagement and involvement and leadership involved from that side. It's really like a three-legged stool with our center of excellence making sure that we're working on the right things with a good RPA fit, making sure that we're developing in the right way, following the standards and all the things that we need to do from a good-hygiene perspective. Then, our technology organization makes sure we're security-compliant, and they oversee the change management and the architecture, and make sure we're not doing any harm to existing systems that we're trying to access. And, of course, the business is driving where the opportunities are and what are the business processes that we're trying to automate.

What about the implementation team?

Jiffy helped us with the implementation. We leveraged their professional services for the implementation support as well as ongoing development and for RPA architecture-type support as well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere. 

When we were looking at the other platforms and tools, Jiffy's willingness to partner and work with us and truly understand our needs stood out.

It is also more user-friendly. The understanding of the business process, and how that translates into what you need to develop and code within the platform, was more intuitive than what we saw in some of the other platforms.

We also liked something that's in the new version, the version we're not using yet, which is the AI, the artificial intelligence capabilities, including document processing and OCR. We knew those features were coming and didn't require getting individual licenses. The strategy of some of the other product platforms was, "Yeah, we can integrate with any other tools," but we liked the idea of having that capability built-in, and part of the actual platform itself.

What other advice do I have?

Lean into Jiffy as a partner for their expertise and knowledge. Be respectful of the partnership and the relationships, and our experience has been that they will really jump in to help and be there for you. You have to be honest and you have to just make sure you've got good communication in place as you're working through things.

We've definitely automated end-to-end business processes, but you have to find the right level of granularity where you can do it all. We haven't explored an end-to-end process for a major value stream within the company. But within large-grain, end-to-end processes, we've definitely identified many sub-processes, and their entire end-to-end workflows, that we have been able to automate.

We haven't used Jiffy's Natural Language Processing yet. It is something that we would like to explore, among many of those capabilities in the next version. We've just got so much on our plate right now, trying to implement in the current version, that we're trying to figure out that time to cut over.

There is definitely some human intervention, but it's really not Human In The Loop. That's another of those things that will be in our next release and that we've got planned for the future. We wanted to crawl-before-we-walk-before-we-run, so we've started with some more basic automations. I'm sure the capability is there. We just haven't taken advantage of it yet.

A lot of the challenges that we uncover are really internal to our environment, as opposed to the platform. There's a little bit of both, and that's where it really comes back to the partnership with Jiffy. They are always super-responsive in addressing any challenges with the product or the platform and supporting us as we work through how to integrate or automate a certain homegrown application of ours that is probably an outdated legacy application. We've run into challenges along the way, but we partner with our internal folks and then with Jiffy to work through the challenges.

In the beginning, I'll admit, I had some concern about Jiffy's stability as a company. They were working through some additional rounds of funding. They were a small startup when we first selected them, but they've gone through some additional rounds of funding. They've done some hiring. They've done some solidifying. I feel really confident about it now. They're in a good spot, and they've made a lot of good progress this year.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Radhaprem Ramaraj
Group Head IT at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Top 10
Reduces complexity, provides a good user experience, and allows us to integrate it with our in-house solutions through APIs
Pros and Cons
  • "The ease of use for the end user and the very low complexity in trying to build a bot are the big factors for us. We are able to work on a project, identify a use case, come up with a design spec, and execute and build a bot within a span of six to eight weeks. In nine to ten weeks, we are able to go live, which reduced complexity. Once we go live, the user interface and the user experience are extremely good."
  • "Their bot runners could be made to handle multiple payloads at the same time because if I want to run multiple parallel operations, the number of bot runners that I have to buy just keeps increasing. It is adding to the cost. However, there is a possibility that we don't need that many bot runners, and we can run multiple operations in a bot runner. This would be a great addition to have."

What is our primary use case?

We are currently working on a vendor bill reconciliation process. It is in production now. We are also working on an incident management process for customer service. Within the customer services, there are four or five different processes that we are working on. All of them are incident management but for different categories at different levels. The next use case that we will be working on is bank reconciliation, and then we are planning to expand into HR for onboarding and recruitment. These are unattended robots. 

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to integrate it with other products through APIs, which we may not have thought about. For example, there are some in-house solutions that we have for which we have built APIs, and we're able to integrate those APIs with Automation Anywhere. We didn't expect that we'll be working on that but it happened.

What is most valuable?

The ease of use for the end user and the very low complexity in trying to build a bot are the big factors for us. We are able to work on a project, identify a use case, come up with a design spec, and execute and build a bot within a span of six to eight weeks. In nine to ten weeks, we are able to go live, which reduced complexity. Once we go live, the user interface and the user experience are extremely good.

What needs improvement?

Their bot runners could be made to handle multiple payloads at the same time because if I want to run multiple parallel operations, the number of bot runners that I have to buy just keeps increasing. It is adding to the cost. However, there is a possibility that we don't need that many bot runners, and we can run multiple operations in a bot runner. This would be a great addition to have.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

You get what you paid for. What it says on the tin is what you'll get inside. As a customer, you will not be disappointed. If you're thinking that you want to build rockets using Automation Anywhere, then you will be disappointed. As long as you know your business needs, the automation that you want to focus on, and you understand the product's functionalities in a good way, you will not be disappointed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability depends on how many parallel processes you want to run. A bot runner basically runs a bot. How many bots can it run? How many of these need to run in serial? How many of these need to run in parallel? This information will determine how much you have to scale. Now, if you're willing to pay a lot of money and have multiple bot runners, that means for each and every bot runner, you can have multiple processes running at the same time. So, if you are willing to pay, yes, you can scale. It depends on your budget. The product works whether you're on 1 bot or 20 bots. The product just goes off and does its thing. That's not a problem.

If it is 1 bot that you're running once a day at 10:00 in the morning, then you need one bot runner. If you have 20 processes that you're automating and these 20 things have to run throughout the day at different points in time at 10:00, 12:00, or 2:00, you can still run them with one bot runner. In those use cases, scalability is not a problem. Scalability becomes an issue when you have multiple processes. If a reconciliation process needs to run along with the general ledger balancing, month-end closing, and everything else, and all of them need to run at the same time, then you're looking at about 10 bot runners running 10 different bots at the same time. If you're willing to pay, you can get what you want, but it becomes a very expensive affair.

We have 15 to 20 people who are touching the application for various purposes. We have business analysts, developers, testers, and the external implementation team. We also have business users.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used both UiPath and BluePrism in my previous organizations. Automation Anywhere gives me the flexibility for both on-prem and SaaS, and the difference is not huge for me in terms of performance, security, and all that stuff. It gives me the flexibility, but honestly, on paper, all these three products pretty much do the same. There is a plus or minus 5% difference here or there, but you'll not go wrong with any of these products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. There are specific things that they ask in terms of the environments that we need to build in our typical Windows server, that is, what kind of memory and what kind of processing capability we require. I can't talk from the SaaS perspective because we have an on-prem deployment, but giving on-prem equipment based on the defined specs is pretty much child's play. There is nothing complex about it. It is very easy for developers who understand the platform. You can quickly roll out something and get it live, but you need to understand a lot of logic and the complexity behind the applications such as ServiceNow, Workday, Salesforce, etc. 

What about the implementation team?

We started off with an implementation partner, and our experience with them was good. They had about three people in their team, and we had our business people who were giving the requirements. We also had our technology people who were basically acting as the bridge between our business people and their developers.

What was our ROI?

We are expecting a significant ROI by the end of the year. 

What other advice do I have?

From a business angle, understand what is it that you need. Where do you see inefficiencies? If you're going to fix inefficiencies that are going to be fixed as part of a larger company-wide transformation program, then use the transformation program and fix those inefficiencies as part of the existing solution. If you think that that larger transformation program is not going to touch some places or if that larger transformation program will touch some of these inefficient areas but not in the near future, and you want some immediate wins, then going in for an RPA tool is a good decision.

At the end of the day, the business needs to be aligned with why you're making the decision, and where and what is your priority? What is your sense of urgency with respect to the places where you're implementing it. For example, in my office, we are working on customer service. There is a massive transformation program going on right now, but that transformation program is touching sales, marketing, finance, and all those areas. It is not touching customer service at all, but customer service has its own inefficiencies. So, we introduced automation in customer service because it's not being touched by the transformation program, and we don't want to keep waiting to gain the ROI of whatever we can get or the reduced cost we'll get from customer service. For example, if I'm going to implement a massive cloud ERP like Oracle or SAP, then I will fix the process as part of that cloud ERP implementation and not wait for a bot to be developed.

From a technical perspective or an integration perspective, use an API to directly communicate between the apps, if you can. You don't need a bot or an RPA to do what an API can do.

I would rate Automation Anywhere an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Head of Intelligent Automation - Africa Regions at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Enables us to serve various automation needs as both tech and business users
Pros and Cons
  • "The Robotic Desktop Automation Express component allows us to do rapid development outside the normal, time-consuming processes."
  • "The product could do more to expand its 'codeless' coding options by adding drag-and-drop assistance in building bots for non-technical users."

What is our primary use case?

We are using WorkFusion as our enterprise RPA solution at this time to help us deploy some automation. It is a hybrid-based installation. Eventually, we are going to try to move everything to the cloud. Some of our customers are dealing with transactions, trader solutions, governance compliance needs, and other special cases so it is not totally possible to go totally on the cloud at this time. There are also clients who deal with things like a KYC (Know Your Customer) type solution, and then a few operational needs like ATM reconciliation and financial revenue reconciliation. The regulations sometimes preclude certain solutions in certain configurations.  

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us to provide some of the bot solutions we need to work with our customers.  

What is most valuable?

I suppose that the most useful feature in WorkFusion has been the desktop solution — also known as a desktop option. It is a type of RDA (Robotic Desktop Automation) express option because it allows us to do very quick developments outside of the normal BI (Business Intelligence) process. Even though the bigger enterprise is obviously more robust, there are a lot of small solutions that can solve pain points in our business at a particular moment that do not require more rigorous development.  

What needs improvement?

Obviously, the WorkFusion Enterprise product is very technical. You have got to be Java proficient and otherwise technically oriented. I guess what could be an improvement in the product is moving towards more "codeless" coding. That would be using things like a drag-and-drop interface to build solutions with premade components. These components would have set functions to simplify using the coding portion of the product for the business user. Instead of keeping the product in use with only the more technically inclined users, they might create a way for the business user to assemble what they need and enhance development opportunities.  

I think a move towards that sort of codeless coding would be a great step in creating more utility for more end users. Maybe API calls or other creative components could be worked in. The express version does not do API calls and the Enterprise version does not do codeless coding. It would be nice to have a solution somewhere in the middle. WorkFusion has got the very easy, light version covered and the very technical, heavy one covered. There seems to me to be a gray area or gap in the middle where a whole set of potential users is not addressed.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I think our organization has been using WorkFusion for three or maybe four years overall. With my group in the Africa regions, we have been using it for about two years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I do not think we have ever had issues with stability. It seems to be very good from my personal experience. It is more likely that something in the solution will be affected by the environment changing than it just breaking down. The question becomes can an RPA solution adapt to changing architecture through various upgrades and version changes and remain compatible with the environment.  

The stability of the product itself is something we have not had issues with.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would say there are probably just less than 100 users currently working with WorkFusion at our company. I am not sure what the total number is, but probably less than 100. Within the African group, we have probably got about 15 to 20 total users.  

Most of the people using the product are using it on a daily basis. The processes created as bots are obviously running in real-time all the time. The developers are either busy with deployments or they get involved from an analysis and design perspective. But working directly with the product consumes a high percentage of the users' time.  

Our scaling is simply replication across countries and geography. There are always new projects and configurations that need to take place to augment the system, but it is pretty easy to scale usage of completed bots.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I do not ever have the need to contact the WorkFusion tech support directly. We have got a Center of Excellence that supports us from a group perspective. We deal with them and they deal with the vendor if anything needs to be resolved.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This solution is actually the first RPA I have used. Maybe it is not so surprising considering the technology is not very old.  

I joined the team after all of the internal architectural decisions, choices, and implementations were completed. Because of that, I can not really comment on the evaluation process. I have just been making use of the system that was in place after its adoption, and I can not really complain.  

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial installation as it happened before I arrived. I can only say that I have not heard anything about the issues that may have occurred.  

It does require maintenance and there is ongoing support from a technical training standpoint. Then the bots themselves require maintenance and updates. That is, if there is anything that changes in the environment or any process changes, the bots may need to be reconfigured — or even replaced — to work with the changes.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

WorkFusion is cheaper than quite a few of the potential solutions, but we have also heard some complaints that it is a more expensive solution than others. It is certainly not the cheapest solution. I think Help Automate came in as quite a bit less expensive. Obviously, we have to have an enterprise solution with a company of our size and there is an opportunity to negotiate to potentially work out a volume discount. That would make the cost less significant in the choice of what we continue to use.  

As far as I know, all other services are included in the license as a single point of pay without any additional fees.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

While we have got WorkFusion as a solution at the moment, we continue going through due diligence. We actively check and evaluate the alternatives that are available. We consider it an ongoing or proactive review of our current toolkit. We currently use mostly WorkFusion, but we also use Python for some of the other automation. We are looking at other important products like UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, and Help Automate. Those are the tools that we are pulling in to use for our comparisons. One of them may solve potential pain points the current solutions do not.  

What other advice do I have?

Overall, I would recommend this solution to other users. I have got nothing against UiPath or Blue Prism or any of those other products, and I think there are other options like Python people can make use of. But from my experience with this product, I certainly recommend it.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate WorkFusion about an eight. Between a seven and an eight but on the high end of that range.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AshishTyagi
Solutions Architect at PureSoftware Ltd
Real User
Top 5
Good customer support but some technical issues need to be addressed
Pros and Cons
  • "Automation Anywhere provides a very flexible UI."
  • "Sometimes I feel like it doesn't work properly and we are not able to provide the dexterity needed."

What is our primary use case?

I have used BotFarm to automate web applications and Microsoft products. I have also automated mainframe applications for a healthcare product. I automated around five to six processes for them. All together I have automated more than fifteen processes with this solution that we have deployed in-house.

What is most valuable?

The task bots are good features. I also like enabling the IQ bots to read PDF documents and automate PDF projects and invoices. Because we employ so many people, it is very useful to automate any processes compatible with Automation Anywhere.

What needs improvement?

We are not permitted to use web applications, so we find ourselves using Object Cloning and web control commands instead. Sometimes I feel like it doesn't work properly and we are not able to provide the dexterity needed. Also, on multiple occasions, the service bot deactivates without reason and Automation Anywhere will not function properly until it is reactivated.

In general, everything is fine but they should remove the unattended or attended bot feature. This can be confusing to customers because an unattended bot license costs around $5,000, whereas an attended bot license costs roughly $1,500, which can cause customers to think: “why should I purchase an expensive unattended bot license when I can purchase an attend bot license for much cheaper?” Also, if I want to install my runner license on another machine, for example: if you install your license on a specific machine and a second vendor (like we did), you’re now installed on machine B but you can’t log in on machine B with your credentials from machine A. This is meant to be a security feature, but it makes things very difficult for customers and clients.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with BotFarm for the last four years. I started with version 10.10 and currently, I am exploring A2019 which was just launched by Automation Anywhere.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Scheduling bots has been an issue. For example, if you want to schedule automation and it’s set for 5:00 pm, it means that you would need to execute it on the client’s machine every day at 5:00 pm. The issue though, is that it fails a lot because I could have it scheduled but sometimes the bots don’t get involved. That’s an issue that has been a struggle.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. We have a team that uses Automation Anywhere on a daily basis, automating processes.

How are customer service and technical support?

In terms of customer support, they are very good. I am an Automation Anywhere vendor and if I have a problem, I can create a ticket on their portal, they will call or set up a Zoom or WebEx meeting within half an hour, and they always provide a solution. 

They give very active support and will definitely help you and provide the solution to the issue you are experiencing. They are very, very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used to use UiPath, Kofax and Blue Prism. Automation Anywhere is great for people who are not very "techie". For example, the code can easily be read and understood, line by line, by anyone with or without a technical background.

Automation Anywhere provides and facilitates cloud service, which means you can access your license from anywhere, easily executing and developing your bots from anywhere in the world.  

Any RPA tool provides the commands to automate any process, but what is the difference between them? How can you understand a new product? Automation Anywhere provides a very flexible UI. It allows you to easily read and build code.

How was the initial setup?

Depending on the system that you are installing, the setup can be complex. Installation time is not predictable and you may have to pay customer support for help with the installation procedure.

If I am installing on five machines but one is taking too long, then they all will take a long time, but if all five machines are installing at the same time, then the procedure can be done within five minutes. These ongoing issues make it very complicated to predict how long the installation will take. Someone has to create a ticket with Automation Anywhere customer support and pay for service personnel to help. Installing Automation Anywhere is complex.

In regards to deployment, it's quite simple. Anyone can deploy a bot on a client's machine after one or two days of training.

Also, Automation Anywhere now provides the facility for cloud service, because of this, you can access your license from anywhere. For example, if you are in London and you are heading to another country, you can easily access your license and execute and develop your bots from anywhere. In 2011, this was a desktop application and the client’s version was based on a desktop, but right now it’s not based on a desktop, which is a good thing. The main reason to choose Automation Anywhere is because no one else is providing cloud service.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I purchased a package from Automation Anywhere that included one control room, two developer licenses, and two bot-runner licenses. I think payment can vary but it's a re-occurring fee that needs to be paid every year. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In RPA, we have so many products available to choose from which we can use to automate any applications. I have used Blue Prism, UiPath and other third-party applications. I have used all of these tools to automate various processes under RPA technology.

What other advice do I have?

It’s hard to give any advice without seeing the project you are working with. If you want to purchase any RPA tool, then I’d have to check the project or your process so that I can identify the requirement and I can see which product will completely fulfill your requirement. Make sure to choose your solution based completely on the project you wish to automate. In other words, I can’t give you any direct answer. If you’re automating a web application, then I would use UiPath. If you’re also automating their applications but you have to automate PDFs as well, then I would definitely choose Automation Anywhere, but the selection of the tool is completely based on the project you wish to automate.

I am rating Automation Anywhere 7.5 out of 10 in terms of their activity. Sometimes, when I am in the middle of something, I experience issues or my work gets stuck. This rating is based on my three years of experience with Automation Anywhere. Although they give very good support, I still wasted a lot of time because of the above mentioned issues. So, for this reason, I am giving Automation Anywhere a rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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