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Automation Anywhere’s Enterprise A2019, Simpler to Use, Quicker to Scale

‘Anything Else is Legacy’ was the messaging presented at Automation Anywhere’s Enterprise A2019 launch, hosted in New York.

The event, the first under new CMO Riadh Dridi, showcased improvements in the new version of the Automation Anywhere platform around:

  • Experience – the most immediate change is in the UI. While prior versions utilized code, workflow, and mixed code/workflow views, the new version features a completely revamped workflow view that simplifies the UX with little coding environment
  • Cloud –delivery now utilizes a completely web-based interface, allowing users to sign in and create bots in minutes with zero required installation. This speed of development was demonstrated live on stage with SVP of products Abhijit Kakhandiki successfully racing to create a simple bot against the arrival of an Uber ordered by CEO Mihir Shukla. The bot used in this example was part of Automation Anywhere’s RPA-aaS offering, hosted on Azure leveraging its partnership with Microsoft. Automation Anywhere was also keen to point out the ability to use the platform on-premise or in a private cloud, as is deployed at JP Morgan Chase, the client speaking at the event
  • Ecosystem – Automation Anywhere highlighted it has strong and growing ecosystem. With Microsoft, for example, the partnership has been operating for over a year and has so far featured the ability to embed Microsoft’s AI tools into bots, and the above-mentioned Azure partnership. The event featured a demonstration of the integration of Automation Anywhere into Office: a user was able to select and use bots from Excel, as a single joined experience
  • Intelligent Automation – in addition to leveraging the ecosystem for its ability to drag and drop third-party AI components, another improvement in A2019 was the integration of the capabilities gained through the Klevops acquisition earlier this year to improve assisted automation capabilities, providing a greater bot and human collaboration across teams and workflows

The majority of these enhancements are already analyzed in NelsonHall’s profile of Automation Anywhere’s capabilities as part of the Intelligent Automation Platform NEAT assessment.

Using the above enhancements, Automation Anywhere estimates that whereas previously clients required 3 to 6 months to POC, and a further 6 to 24 months to scale, it now takes 1-4 months to POC and 4-12 months to scale.

Absent from the event were enhancements to the governance procedure of bots, vitally important as the access to build bots increases, and the bot store for which curation could still be an issue.

While the messaging of the event was ‘Anything Else is Legacy’, there were some natural points in which the announcement looks unfinished – the partnership with Office currently only extends to Excel, the rest of the suite will follow, and the Community version of Automation Anywhere, which is how a large proportion of users dip their toes in the water of automation, is set to be updated to match A2019 later in Q4 2019. Likewise, while the improvement to the workflow view is much cleaner, easier to use than competitors, leading to quicker bot development, the competitor platforms more easily handle complex, branching operations. Therefore, while A2019 can be ideal for organizations that are looking to have citizen developers build simple bots, organizations looking to automate more complex workflows should include the competing platforms in shortlisting.

NelsonHall's profile on the Automation Anywhere platform can be found here.

The recent NEAT evaluation of Intelligent Automation Platforms can be found here.

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