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5 Questions & Answers on RPA

Today our The Robots have Arrived, Are you Taking Advantage? live webinar was delivered to a fully engaged audience of business and IT leaders across multiple verticals. And as promised, we are posting the transcript of the Questions and Answers portion from the live broadcast here for you. If you have more questions related to this subject, please feel free to contact us and our automation experts will be happy to provide the answers and support needed. You can download the recording and presentation deck on our webinar on-demand page here.

See below the transcript of the questions answered by our presenters Chris Thilburg and Jeremy Gililland:

Question: What is the average cost to get started with RPA?

  • Answer: [Jeremy] Generally with RPA, the costs are associated with how rapidly do you want to scale, the biggest questions include the licensing components, do you want 10 licenses, 20 licenses? I've seen organizations stand up small teams with a spend of under 100k, I've seen 13 to 15 member RPA teams that run well over a quarter million dollars, so it definitely varies and depends on your strategy. [Chris] I'll continue to elaborate a little more on that, this is a subject that has been talked about frequently. Yes, you're looking potentially between software and services at a couple hundred thousand dollars, but when you consider that comparative to the overall technology spend, for potentially cloud apps, ERP and other enterprise investments and the ROI that you are able to truly realize in the short term compared to those type of models its really not a big ask. And a lot of organizations are able to self-fund these operations.

Question: We realized the current RPA platform is not the right fit for our organization, how complex it will be to switch to a different RPA software?

  • Answer: [Chris] So this happens from time to time, someone maybe in the business area goes out there and learn about a specific RPA tool and download a trial to get going with it and get an operation going in their business unit, but its not institutionalized, they don't have a Center of Excellence and so forth, and maybe they go down a path and do a POC, and into it 6-8 months they got a significant time and dollar investment in there, and realize maybe this platform doesn't have the ability to take us to where we want to go, maybe its not as scalable as we hoped. Obviously the CFO is looking at the amount of money already invested and will push to make this work. The good news is that specifically speaking to UiPath, the usability, no code/low code, computer vision and recording capabilities, as long as your processes are well documented, there would not be a huge effort to get those things converted over, and to that point, JOLT realizes that this is a struggle on the market and we are actually working on a proprietary tool specifically to say Automation Anywhere where we can take the AA code and converted into usable assets for UiPath, so stay tuned on that as well.

Question: We are struggling to scale beyond the POC stage with issues that relate back to potential mistakes made during our early implementation, how can solve this without scraping everything and start from scratch?

  • Answer: [Jeremy] Very good question, so generally if the situation here is that it seems to be a gap between delivery, and maybe management at a higher level, the goal is to align your strategy and for everyone to be on the same page, there will need to be a review of where you're at and where you want to go and how to get there, and build that bridge. To that point, one of our value-added services include a pulse-check, where we come in to do an assessment of where that program is, and build the buy-in of where we want to go in order to get there. So its not that you need to scrap what you're doing, because i'm sure that the bots you built are delivering value but its probably more of a realignment of all the team members and the management to try to deliver the value.

Question: How many bots do you need per process? and who typically owns this initiative?

  • Answer: [Jeremy] There is not a good one to one ratio, its not one process to one bot, the biggest thing here is understanding the value of that impact, you might have a situation where you're processing a hundred thousand transactions a day and that's massive, and it might take you 3 bots, or you might have a situation where you have a business process only running a thousand transactions a day, and that process only takes you an hour to complete, so you can add multiple process per one bot. So you should look at the capacity of your business process and then do an analysis of 'if I take this away from a person and assign it to a bot, which is done much quicker, what is my license capacity left after its been automated?'.

Question: Our operations run on virtual machines, how well does RPA work with VMs such as Citrix or Azure?

  • Answer: [Jeremy] It works great, i'm currently working on it with a large corporate retailer, and from the ground up we built bots on VMs on Azure Cloud, so everything its been interacting with the organizations applications, it works quite well, obviously you have additional security, so consider getting approvals from IT Sec, but it definitely works, and the industry is making sure to stay compatible with all the emerging technologies.