ServiceNow became the latest company to take the robotic process automation (RPA) plunge when it announced it was acquiring Intellibot, an RPA startup based in Hyderabad, India. The companies did not reveal the purchase price.
The purchase comes at a time where companies are looking to automate workflows across the organization. RPA provides a way to automate a set of legacy processes, which often involve humans dealing with mundane repetitive work.
The announcement comes on the heels of the company's no-code workflow announcements earlier this month and is part of the company's broader workflow strategy, according to Josh Kahn, SVP of Creator Workflow Products at ServiceNow.
"RPA enhances ServiceNow’s current automation capabilities including low code tools, workflow, playbooks, integrations with over 150 out of the box connectors, machine learning, process mining and predictive analytics," Kahn explained. He says that the company can now bring RPA natively to the platform with this acquisition, yet still use RPA bots from other vendors if that's what the customer requires.
"ServiceNow customers can build workflows that incorporate bots from the pure play RPA vendors such as Automation Anywhere, UiPath and Blue Prism, and we will continue to partner with those companies. There will be many instances where customers want to use our native RPA capabilities alongside those from our partners as they build intelligent, end-to-end automation workflows on the Now Platform," Kahn explained.
The company is making this purchase as other enterprise vendors enter the RPA market. SAP announced a new RPA tool at the end of December and acquired process automation startup Signavio in January. Meanwhile Microsoft announced a free RPA tool earlier this month, as the space is clearly getting the attention of these larger vendors.
ServiceNow has been on a buying spree over the last year or so buying five companies including Element AI, Loom Systems, Passage AI and Sweagle. Kahn says the acquisitions are all in the service of helping companies create automation across the organization.
"As we bring all of these technologies into the Now Platform, we will accelerate our ability to automate more and more sophisticated use cases. Things like better handling of unstructured data from documents such as written forms, emails and PDFs, and more resilient automations such as larger data sets and non-routine tasks," Kahn said.
Intellibot was founded in 2015 and will provide the added bonus of giving ServiceNow a stronger foothold in India. The companies expect to close the deal no later than June.
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