Automation Anywhere announced in October 2019 it was releasing its newest flagship product Automation Anywhere Enterprise (AAE) A2019 (A2019). The official generally available (GA) version A2019.17 should be available at the end of November 2020. The company bills A2019 as the “foundation for the modern digital portfolio” – and it lives up to its moniker: it will be a disruptive force in the automation world. A2019 brings much more power, reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) and increased ease of use. And along with the recent end-of-life (EOL) announcement for Automation Anywhere Enterprise V11 (to take place on September 1, 2022), it behooves clients to begin serious planning for migration.
What to do now?
Each time a vital application gets a version upgrade, it demands serious attention. Plans must be made to compare feature function of old vs. new, determine timing and dependency of key production automations based on periodic business cycles (such as month end, seasonal or year-end cycles, freeze dates, etc.), and develop the business case for increased functionality, to name a few. An automation center of excellence should be prepared with appropriate procedures to accommodate most migrations, but, in the case of version upgrades, more care and detailed planning is needed.
A2019’s new architecture demands careful consideration of the pros and cons of the new cloud environment. Two scenarios are common: 1) An organization hasn’t started its automation initiative yet and is facing a greenfield deployment, or 2) An organization has significantly invested in AAE V11 and is not sure of its options for upgrading and migrating. Let’s address each of these in turn.
Greenfield deployment: Companies that are just now considering automation and have no automation assets to migrate face a simple question: why wait? Perform due diligence across automation cloud platforms, make your selection and get going! There is no time like the present. Though full function parity has not been attained, you will gain enhanced user interface and many new commands that are available now.
V11-to-A2019 migration: Here are a few reasons to consider migrating from V11 to A2019 earlier rather than later – even for organizations that have just completed a migration to V11:
- A2019 is the latest and greatest technology. You’re an innovator – you gotta have it!
- The ease of infrastructure, Bot Runner and operations set up gives your developers more time to develop.
- Moving your automations to the cloud means reduced infrastructure TCO.
- A2019’s capability with basic Excel functions means you may not require a Microsoft license; this could result in lower operational costs.
- V11 will reach EOL on September 1, 2022. AAE has already sunset the V11 Community Edition as of June 1, 2020.
When determining the timing of an upgrade, consider the following:
- Conduct a full review of your current environment, checking that your bot inventory, common modules and maintenance are up to date.
- Revalidate/test existing automations once they are migrated being sure to plan around critical business cycles and the number of bots that can be tested at a time.
- Review your current workload management and security procedures for impacts and adjustments required for A2019’s workload management, scheduling and security functions.
- If you are considering moving to a cloud-based or a hybrid version of A2019, ensure you have the requisite technical expertise available, either in-house or with a third party; prudently consider the impact of the new architecture on existing infrastructure and automations.
Migration can be a significant undertaking, especially if you have a large number of automations. While AAE is building tools to assist in migrating automations, the remaining effort to fully migrate each process is not insignificant. Having a solid plan in place to migrate the remaining functionality and take advantage of the new functionality and user interface is key.
Once migrated, be cognizant that your center of excellence needs to be dedicated to keeping up with A2019 updates, which are expected to occur every six to eight weeks. The updates occur to each component (e.g., Control Room, Bot Runner, Bot Agent, Bot Creator). Moving to updated releases is a matter of when, not if. A2019 will support older versions up to a point but only around four to six months.
The Benefits of Upgrading to A2019
A2019 is a formidable addition to the Automation Anywhere platform. Organizations should be accommodating this new release as a usual part of their upgrade/migration and governance activities. However, undertaking this migration project without the requisite expertise can be a challenge. The allure of the new interface and cloud capabilities will have many Automation Anywhere customers looking to upgrade in the next six to 12 months.
ISG has the experience and expertise to assist and accelerate your automation journey, whether beginning with A2019, migrating from AAE V11 or building and fortifying your center of excellence. We are taking reservations now - contact us now to save your spot!
About the author
Linda joined ISG in 2018 as the Director of Business Development for Robotic Process and Cognitive Automation, helping clients harness innovative technology to bring intelligent automation initiatives and the workplace of the future to fruition. Whether coordinating with a team or working with clients one-on-one, Linda thrives on the complexity and challenge of meeting each client’s unique technological needs. With over 30 years of experience at IBM, she most recently transformed client workplaces with analytics, AI, Cloud and automation to personalize IT support and is considered a global subject matter expert in Digital Workplace Services. Linda has worked with many Fortune 500 companies in varied IBM management positions, signing over $20B in outsourcing deals. Linda holds a doctorate in Computer Science (minor in Artificial Intelligence) from George Washington University and certifications in ITIL and Agile Foundations, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and PMI PMP.