The Automation Anywhere Enterprise (AAE) platform is a critical tool many organizations use to support their automation programs and overall effectiveness. The latest AAE version, A2019, is essential for enterprises looking to move up the automation maturity curve. Just like other platforms and tools, AAE requires proactive management and installation. Recently, Automation Anywhere announced plans to discontinue support for earlier AAE versions over the next two quarters. To ensure continuity in production automation and avoid complications and disruptions, enterprises need a comprehensive A2019 migration plan.
ISG’s recommendation for enterprises using the AAE platform is as follows:
- For enterprises on AAE v10, make plans to upgrade to v11 as soon as possible. Automation Anywhere has stated it will end support and maintenance for v10x and earlier versions on December 31, 2019 with end of life on March 31, 2020. Migration to v11 requires planning and a meticulous approach as it is not an “in place” upgrade. Automation Anywhere also recommends a full migration to AAE v11.3.x by March 31, 2020. Once that migration is successfully completed, proceed with plans to migrate to A2019.
- For enterprises currently on AAE v11, wait to migrate until mid-to-late Q2 2020 when the vendor delivers full feature parity between A2019 and v11. If a critical feature is required that is only available on A2019, consider pursuing a migration to A2019 from v11 in Q1 2020, but consider it very carefully to ensure there are no unintended consequences.
ISG does not recommend migrating directly from AAE v10 to A2019. This approach is risky as it means critical business activities are running on an unsupported version for a period of time post January 1, 2020. Moreover, additional v10 components, such as control rooms, bot runners and bot creators, are no longer available for procurement.
Answer the following questions to determine timing of the upgrade:
- Is the current automation / bot inventory up to date? Are there common modules that require a refresh? Are there other enhancement / maintenance activities underway that could be impacted by a migration? Conduct a full review of your current environment.
- How many bots can business users test at once? Are there any critical business activities to plan around? The business needs to revalidate existing automations / bots once they are migrated.
- Will the enhanced product features in v11 and / or A2019 help solve internal problems such as workload management, scheduling and security issues? If so, how can these features be maximized without getting backlogged into a list of enhancements or maintenance activities? Review your current workload management and security procedures for any impacts.
- Is there or should there be a change to the current hosting solution whether on premise or in a cloud solution? If so, is the required technical expertise available in-house?
Take on migration activities only as a formal project with its associated detailed planning and communication. Timing will depend on current platform size as well as the number of automations. Migration generally takes as little as four to eight weeks. During the migration, make sure the current and new AAE versions exist in parallel. If you are attempting to perform all migration testing in a short period of time, be aware that additional costs may be incurred when adding bot creator and/or bot runner capacity. ISG recommends assessing the overall platform, including infrastructure and expected growth, as part of the migration project.
As enterprises set their 2020 automation goals, consider platform upgrades, infrastructure and capacity (e.g., bot creators and bot runners). For enterprises that have already migrated to AAE v11, 2020 plans should include migration to A2019, along with a strategy to take advantage of the newest features in A2019, and also to optimize their current and future automations. For enterprises that are currently on AAE v10 or lower, immediate action is required. Your strategic plan for 2020 needs to include two separate platform upgrades (due to v10 end of support/life), both of which must be planned carefully to maximize resources (people, technology and dollars) while ensuring the least amount of risk to the current automation production environment.
ISG has assisted clients with AAE migration activity for years; we are Automation Anywhere’s Preferred Partner for v11 upgrades. Partnering with an experienced provider like ISG can minimize disruption to operations and enable your organization to make the most of new features for enhanced efficiency. Don’t wait. Ensure that migration to the A2019 platform is part of your 2020 strategic plan!
Contact us to discuss how ISG can help with your migration plan.
About the author
Tracy Lipasek is an experienced consultant with more than 20 years of experience in information technology, process automation, transformation, leadership and software development. Her experience includes work for EDS and HP. Currently, she is ISG’s Global Operations Director for RPA and Cognitive Automation.