We have seen a lot of trend line up by 2020 and in 2021 around the movement for automation, workflow, robotic process automation (RPA) and low-code and no-code application building. While all these technologies can work on their own, they are deeply entrenched and we are starting some movement towards bringing them together.
Although the definition of process automation is open to interpretation, and may include such things as industrial automation, Statista estimates the process automation market to be worth $ 74 billion in 2021. Those are the numbers that attract the attention of both investors and enterprise software. Officer.
This week, Berlin-based Camunda announced a $ 98 million Series B to help the RPA bot act as a layer to increase the flow of data between microservices and human employees. Meanwhile, UIPath, a pure-play RPA startup that is going into an IPO at some point, acquired Cloud Elements, moving it from RPA to API automation.
Not enough evidence for you? How is the announcement of ServiceOne announced this week that Indian startup IntelliBot is buying – you guessed it – RPA capabilities to deliver it. The acquisition is part of a broader strategy by the company to move into full-scale workflow and automation, which was discussed only a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, late last year, SAP purchased a separate Berlin process automation startup, Signavio, for $ 1.2 billion after announcing new automated workflow tools and an RPA tool in early December. Microsoft is also at it, after acquiring the process automation startup Softmotive last May, which then combined with its automation tool PowerAutomate.
What we have here is a great mix of startups and a mix of large companies to provide a broad spectrum of workflow automation tools for companies to spin up workflows quickly and through an organization that incorporates both human and machine labor To work to do.
The result is that Hot Startups started off with unique funding, while other startups are pulling out these big companies through acquisitions, which are looking to buy rather than build to accelerate this market.
The reason for the rapidly growing interest is that while these companies are still on the upside, says Karty Tornbohm, Gartner’s Distinguished Research Vice President, they see an opportunity and are using their checkbooks.
“IBM, SAP, Pega, Appian, Microsoft, ServiceNow all bought into the RPA market because for years they did not focus on how data came into their systems when working between organizations or humans. [Instead] He focused more on what happens inside the customer’s organization. Torboheim told me that data ingestion and optimization of data flow is necessary to make the drive digitally more efficient.
For all the glitter from the big sellers, they do not control the pure-game RPA market. In fact, Gartner found that the top three players in this space are UIPath, Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism.
But Torbohm says that, even though traditional enterprise vendors try to pave their way into the space, these pure-play companies are not sitting still. They are expanding beyond their RPA roots into the broader automation space, which may explain why UIPath came out of its pre-IPO quiet period to announce Cloud Elements this week.
Dharmesh Thakkar, managing partner of Battery Ventures, agrees with Tornbome, adding that the rapid cloud shifting by COVID-19 has expanded what RPA vendors are doing.
“RPA has traditionally focused on automation-UI flow and user stages, but we believe that a complete automation suite requires the ability to automate processes across the stack. For large companies, we see their interest in the category as a way to process data in their systems. And for standalone RPA vendors, we see this as an invitation to expand their offerings for category validation and other pillars of automation.
The activity we have seen in the automation and workflow space over the past year may just be the beginning of Thackker and Tornbohm, as companies of all sizes fight to become the automation stack of choice in the coming years.