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IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is #17 ranked solution in best RPA tools. PeerSpot users give IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is most commonly compared to UiPath: IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) vs UiPath. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 32% of all views.
What is IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

IBM Robotic Process Automation with Automation Anywhere enables you to automate the highly repetitive tasks normally performed by humans with robotic process automation (RPA) so you can boost employee productivity and allow employees to focus on higher-value knowledge work. The RPA solution from IBM includes market-leading RPA technology from Automation Anywhere, Inc. that is pre-integrated with IBM Business Process Manager Express, which allows organizations to orchestrate and manage multiple RPA bots, and better handle business process exceptions.

IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) was previously known as IBM RPA.

IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2022

IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Customers

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IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Video

Archived IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Reviews (more than two years old)

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Director of Cloud App Development at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Provides ease of use when you perform a task
Pros and Cons
  • "It is easy to use. We have enabled our resources who don't have a background in automation to be certified and trained, then implement this product within a very short period of time, as it is very user-friendly."
  • "I would like it to do pretty much everything out-of-the-box without any need for any customization. However, that is not the case right now. We absolutely have to do some amount of customization with the solution in order to use it out-of-the-box as-is."

What is our primary use case?

We have a client with a line of bars in the service/hospitality industry who wanted to have a system which takes a reservation for restaurants. They wanted to use IBM Robotic Process Automation software for this on the back-end. E.g., if a user wants to make a reservation, they can select a restaurant make if a table is available and at what time. On the back-end, IBM Robotic Process Automation will log all that data and create the reservation for the client.

How has it helped my organization?

From a business users perspective, all they care about is the dashboarding and reporting feature. It is very easy to take a dashboard or report, then use that report for their own internal purposes.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to use. We have enabled our resources who don't have a background in automation to be certified and trained, then implement this product within a very short period of time, as it is very user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

I would like more drag and drop type of features. If you look at some of the competition, they do provide that scalability feature, where a user who doesn't know anything about automation can work off of it using a bunch of drag and drop things. That is what our clients are looking for.

I would like it to do pretty much everything out-of-the-box without any need for any customization. However, that is not the case right now. We absolutely have to do some amount of customization with the solution in order to use it out-of-the-box as-is.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is great.

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

The client was looking at a solution. Because it was an IBM client, this solution was their top choice. When they were trying to compare IBM Robotic Process Automation against the other things which were there in the marketplace, we decided that because it was an IBM product backed by IBM support, this would be the primary driving factor for the client to pick the solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not complex at all. It took less than an hour to set up the solution. 

We were able to put up a solution, like set up a port or create an application, in such a short time from the ground up. We are able to run this and put it in production with minimal effort required, and that is a big deal for us.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator for the deployment. 

What was our ROI?

This solution produced a good ROI.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If you compare it to other competing products, it is pretty good in this space. It provides ease of use when you perform a task. If you compare IBM against the competition, the amount of effort required to set up a part or set up a process is way less than what you get from competition.

What other advice do I have?

Put IBM on top of your list because we have done the analysis. We have compared this solution with other solutions that are out there in the market. Nine times out of ten, this would be the go to solution if you are considering all of the factors. I would strongly recommend other clients to start looking here.

We have not integrated the solutions with other solutions. It is a standalone implementation.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
User at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Enables us to leverage automation for customers such as BPOs, helping them shift left
Pros and Cons
  • "It's integrated with all the other products within the Salesforce ecosystem."
  • "We are looking to see how it can connect with various interfaces seamlessly, through APIs."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our customers who are looking to leverage automation or artificial intelligence. We mostly use the solution where there are a lot of people in backend operations, like BPOs. We try to leverage automation by moving work, shifting left.

How has it helped my organization?

This product definitely helps with cost optimization and brings a lot of optimization to repetitive processes. So if today people are doing something manually which is repeated multiple times, by leveraging this solution we are bringing efficiency in expediting the process and saving the organization costs. The ballpark reduction in operating costs is 20 to 30 percent. It could be much more as we mature in this particular area.

It definitely increases productivity where there is a lot of user intervention. Some of the cases we are trying to improve revolve around optimizing sales processes. Where customers are taking about three days to process an RFP, we are trying to get the response down to one day for all RFPs.

We also see indirect benefits on decision-making and we're looking to optimize that.

What is most valuable?

It's integrated with all the other products within the Salesforce ecosystem.

What needs improvement?

We are looking to see how it can connect with various interfaces seamlessly, through APIs.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As for scalability, we are starting with a very small footprint. We will explore and see how it performs when it is scaled.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is pretty good. We were able to get the right support for the customers, as needed.

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

We were using Blue Prism. That is one of the competitors that we were evaluating.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. We have used various versions of automation solutions in the past, so we understand the whole setup process.

What was our ROI?

We are looking at a 20 to 30 percent ROI due to automation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are exploring multiple options. We have done a lot of proofs of value and, through that process, we are identifying the product that should be used in the future.

What other advice do I have?

We would definitely recommend the solution to colleagues and suggest that they evaluate it based on their needs. The biggest lesson we have learned in using this product is that leveraging automation has benefits for our customers in their daily processes and that it can be a stepping-stone in improving ROI for them.

In terms of usability, we are working with customers in the initial phases and the deployment is pretty good. But we need to look at the longer term for how it is being deployed in customers' businesses and we need to get their feedback. Some of our customers' business users use it and, in the initial phases, the usability looks good.

As for using it for compliance and/or governance issues, we haven't explored that part of it. It is more on the optimization, productivity, and cost-saving sides.

I would rate this solution at eight out of ten. We are still in the various stages of exploration of scalability and business-user response. We are still in the evaluation process. But it's pretty good, so that's why I am keeping it at eight.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Learn what your peers think about IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
563,780 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Head of Process Innovation and Robotic Automation at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 10
Enables us to very quickly move automation to production, but needs PDF integration
Pros and Cons
  • "It's not inclusive, in terms of automation, you can just do it standalone, in its own silo. It's not going to force your existing system or teams, your admin teams, to create new IDs for you or even force them to create new services or APIs for you or expose something from there. They can just keep the way they are doing it right now, but you still automate it."
  • "Extensibility is the key, especially in terms of the Recorders feature that we have. That should be browser independent. Enhance it because some people have Chrome, some have Internet Explorer, etc. Also, integration with PDFs: Not just the ability to read information from PDFs but the ability to write information from PDFs, make it secure, sign it, etc. Finally, if they can allow a token exchange inside the tool itself, that would help."

What is our primary use case?

There are a lot of legacy applications which are not modernized in terms of exposing APIs or services. Those are the places we are using Robotic Automation a lot.

How has it helped my organization?

Speed. That's the key. When you create a transformation-type of a program, just the discovery itself usually takes between six to eight weeks. But in six weeks you can actually take a robotic solution and move it all the way into production. So speed is definitely the key here.

Cost as well, not just from a software perspective, but cost from an enterprise perspective. Since it's not inclusive, in terms of automation, you can just do it standalone, in its own silo. It's not going to force your existing system or teams, your admin teams, to create new IDs for you or even force them to create new services or APIs for you or expose something from there. They can just keep the way they are doing it right now, but you still automate it.

So speed and agility in terms of not having inclusive automation, both really help.

What is most valuable?

The ability to do screen-level automation becomes key, and people can connect to it. Especially extracting data from a legacy application, putting information into an Excel, running some macros, etc. Those are well-defined use cases from an RPA perspective.

What needs improvement?

Extensibility is the key, especially in terms of the Recorders feature that we have. That should be browser independent. Enhance it, because some people have Chrome, some have Internet Explorer, etc. Allow it to be browser independent.

Integration with PDFs: Not just the ability to read information from PDFs but the ability to write information from PDFs, make it secure, sign it, etc.

An additional enhancement would be: How do you connect to your Microsoft Exchange Servers? Right now, the connection forces Microsoft Exchange to expose a port. Some enterprises are not allowed to expose a port, so it has to go through the firewall and security and token assessment.

And that's another thing: If they can allow a token exchange inside the tool itself, that would help.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is still evolving. It is going through the rounds right now. We hope it will become more stable, but right now, since it works on the laptop, it has a lot of dependency on your browser or what type of operating system you have. Sometimes it has dependency on your credentials - are you using a network type of an ID or a local ID, etc. The use case has to be selected properly and then, accordingly, once you scale it up, it works fine. But the use-case selection becomes key here.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Just from an IT perspective, increasing the number of bots or reducing the number of bots on demand is a click of a button. It's as simple as that.

But from a business perspective, scalability takes a different meaning altogether because they want the same kind of bot to do a variety of different use cases. The key comes out in terms of design. At our company, one of the key things that we do regarding bots is to lay out the governance structure and always think from a microservices architecture perspective. Once it is from a microservice architecture perspective from the business side as well, it just looks like Lego blocks. You just combine them together and complete the use case and it becomes more scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

From an RPA perspective, since this tool is kind of new, there are a lot of incidences that we have discussed a lot with IT support. Right now, in version 11.2, the Control Room gets disconnected frequently, so we are working with IT support on that. Earlier, we had an issue where we wanted to put information into a PDF document and, again, we worked with IT support to get a solution and work around that. So there have been a variety of use cases where we have had to work with and rely heavily on them to give us solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is a little complex as compared to Blueworks Live but it is not as complex as IBM BPM or IBM ODM. From a structure perspective, you still go through creating your three layers - your Bot Creator, Bot Runner, and your Control Room - along with the database. So from a structure perspective, you're still going through the same stages, but the tool itself is so small compared to the size of IBM BPM that it's not very difficult to install. Typically, we allocate two days for installation, which is about 16 hours of effort to do the installation in a test environment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are a lot more options in the market. For example, Pega. If our clients already have a Pega product, especially the BPM side of Pega, they are often inclined to take Pega's RPA. Then there are the integrated products like Kapow from Kofax. If they already have a Kofax solution, Kapow comes as RPA-based so it's all integrated together and they use it. Then there are standalone products as well in the market, such as UiPath, WorkFusion, and Blue Prism. 

Out of all these, UiPath and Blue Prism are the current contenders. Kapow is up and coming and has great potential.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of advice, every tool has an issue. We have evaluated multiple tools and every tool had an issue from a scalability perspective as well as from extensibility perspective. There is no reason not to go with Automation Anywhere. The use case selection is the key. If your use case is heavy on document management, I may not be inclined to suggest Automation Anywhere, but if it is more on the integration side of it, definitely go with IBM RPA.

We are solely working with an IBM product for this solution.

In terms of the important criteria when selecting a tool like this, the starting point for our customers is cost. The other thing that comes into it is the security aspect and, "What will happen to my human workforce if I put bots in there?" It depends upon what the enterprise objectives are. Operational cost saving is definitely a done deal when executing excellent RPA, but in terms of enterprise goals, the overall operational cost on the human side, it's completely based on the business case, and how they want to manage it.

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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user845691
Head of Data Science at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Automate mundane tasks improving efficiency and reliability
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the ability to automate mundane tasks. This improves efficiency, reliability, etc. You can form critical operations which can be highly automated."
  • "The initial setup is straightforward."
  • "We would like more focus on understanding AI and how it can be used to manage exception handling."

What is our primary use case?

We use robotic process automation for automating financial services processes, so back office processes for accounts receivable, accounts payable, etc. We are at the PoC stage at this point. 

The performance has been good. We are still in the early stages. One of the challenges that we have solved is helping to replace individuals with robots or bots, so we can free up capacity. We have not had any attrition; we have simply taken on more work. Therefore, it has been helpful. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to automate mundane tasks. This improves efficiency, reliability, etc. You can form critical operations which can be highly automated. 

At this stage though, we are not using AI. I think that is the next step. Today, we are mostly focused on taking the human element out of processes. The next step for us before we can deploy to scale will be solving for exception handling. We think AI can help with this. 

What needs improvement?

We would like more focus on understanding AI and how it can be used to manage exception handling. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not really explored it as much as we would like yet. That is something we are going to start focusing on. We wanted to try it out as a PoC to see how it worked. So far, it has been good. 

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

We were not using anything previously. We just tried this solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. I don't think there are any issues with the product usability.

I think it is more about the features: How we leverage them, then how we apply them at scale in our enterprise. There is a lot more focus on change management when you are bringing robots in, e.g., people start getting concerned about losing their jobs. 

What about the implementation team?

We worked with a local partner.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

Focus more on change and make sure that there is buy in to try it out. Use a PoC model (proof of concept model), otherwise it gets really challenging to implement it at scale. 

Right now, we have more pull than push because people understand the worth of robotic process automation in financial services, and are not as threatened by it as they once were. 

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: There were not that many vendors in the market, at least not in the consideration set. 

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.
it_user845679
Director at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Quick deployment, also helps reduce costs and save time in call centers

What is our primary use case?

For growth industries, the automation of call centers, service to the customer, these are the principal use cases.

How has it helped my organization?

The results in cost and time savings, the change in people, and the way they work.

What is most valuable?

Deployment is done in a small amount of time.

What needs improvement?

Better integration with artificial intelligence or with machine-learning.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable.

What other advice do I have?

What's important for me when selecting a vendor are the price and the benefits. I am a strategist. So, I have to define a strategy for different companies. Not for buying, I…

What is our primary use case?

For growth industries, the automation of call centers, service to the customer, these are the principal use cases.

How has it helped my organization?

The results in cost and time savings, the change in people, and the way they work.

What is most valuable?

Deployment is done in a small amount of time.

What needs improvement?

Better integration with artificial intelligence or with machine-learning.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable.

What other advice do I have?

What's important for me when selecting a vendor are the price and the benefits.

I am a strategist. So, I have to define a strategy for different companies. Not for buying, I myself am not going to buy. But I am going to recommend to my clients, the companies, that they use a vetted RPA automation.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Luis Benitez
VP, Digital Workplace Strategy at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The simplicity means our developers - and business users - have quickly adopted it
Pros and Cons
  • "I think simplicity is key. One of the things that we've noticed is how our developers have been able to quickly adopt the platform; but not only the developers or the techy people, also the business."
  • "One of the things I would definitely like to see is more of the machine-learning and cognitive capabilities. For example, now that we're starting to automate more and more tasks, there are some things that still require us to go back and modify the robots when we need to. But if we had more of the machine-learning integrated into it, I believe it would be easier to maintain, so that we wouldn't have to go back and adjust every time."

What is our primary use case?

One of the things that we're doing is trying to automate a lot of processes that, today, happen in a very manual way with paper. We're trying to take advantage of our human resources and apply them in better places, in more value-added activities that truly contribute to the customer experience. 

We are trying to automate a lot of the decision-making that we have, and a lot of the old-school processes that take many, many clicks and that robots can do a lot faster and better than humans can.

So far so good. The results that we've seen have been pretty positive. We are aiming, by the end of the year, to record about $10,000,000 in savings just by automating the processes that we have identified so far.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to transform the processes that we have so that, again, the simple tasks that happen on a day to day basis, but that are very time consuming, can be done by machines. Then we can have our people focus on the things that truly do matter, where we do need human creativity to make decisions.

What is most valuable?

I think simplicity is key. One of the things that we've noticed is how our developers have been able to quickly adopt the platform; but not only the developers or the techy people, also the business.

One of the things I want to do is empower different business units to be able to do their own automations, so that I, from IT, don't become a bottleneck, but rather I empower others and I enable others to be successful.

What needs improvement?

One of the things I would definitely like to see is more of the machine-learning and cognitive capabilities. For example, now that we're starting to automate more and more tasks, there are some things that still require us to go back and modify the robots when we need to. But if we had more of the machine-learning integrated into it, I believe it would be easier to maintain, so that we wouldn't have to go back and adjust every time.

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, no complaints. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far we've built 10 robots, so we haven't scaled it to the 100s, but from what I've seen on the architecture diagrams, and how we're building it, it seems like it's going to be scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support yet.

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

I think it actually came out of The World of Watson last year or Interconnect. There was a lot of talk about process automation and robotics, so we had a couple of meetings with Accenture and KPMG. They were coaching us on RPA and that's where we started looking into different solutions that were available and that's how we got here.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are

  • price
  • reputation
  • stability
  • simplicity.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. The packaging of the solution was pretty straightforward to just deploy. We're running it actually on Azure, on our cloud services, so we were able to get it up and running, I think literally, within less than half a day. It's also a PoC environment, but just getting that up and running was simple.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Blue Prism, which is provided by KPMG, and another one.

Overall it came down to the simplicity, the security that was behind it, and it was also pretty competitive from a price perspective.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this quality robotic process automation software a nine out of ten. I have to say I was pretty impressed with what I saw. I think now they can close the gap on bringing that climative angle into it, and that would make it a 10.

I would say start small, do a PoC, try it out. Make sure that it meets your needs and then go from there.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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