Now IBM joins the party, making a modest acquisition of Sao Paolo based WDG Automation.
Whenever we discuss trends, the conversations inevitably turn to the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in process automation and robotic process automation (RPA). Frankly, I’ve found that most vendors latch on to the idea but have very little substance behind their words in terms of strategy and product roadmaps.
Increasingly, my colleague, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, and I are finding substantial convergence and common ground in our coverage areas. (Alan covers blockchain, content, compliance, and AI/ML, and I cover digital process automation, RPA, process mining, and customer experience.) The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing this trend even harder as companies struggle to get their arms around documents, tasks, processes, commerce, and customers so they can deliver products and services more rapidly across ever-morphing supply chains.
Have you ever wondered where all the Lean, Six Sigma, continuous improvement, and operational excellence practitioners have gone? When the BPM (methodology + software) conversation turned toward digital process automation (software and very little process methodology) much of the continuous improvement conversation went away. Poof–it disappeared, to be replaced by a lot of technical talk.
Though one can speculate that these deals may not have gone through had they been delayed a week or two, the fact is they did, and the industry continues to move forward. Recently Hyland acquired Learning Machine, OpenText bought xMedius, and Alfresco closed their first significant deal by catching TSG (Technology Services Group. Each is interesting and significant deals that may well herald more similar deals in the future.
I just got off an informative and compelling webinar by SAP about its robotic process automation (RPA) offering. The bottom line is that SAP sees RPA and BPM (aka digital process automation) as belonging together.[i] Two direct quotes were “RPA by itself does not do the trick” and “RPA and BPM are two sides of the same coin.”
We have been ongoing about innovation (or the lack of it) for some time now. And though there is no question that the process and content industry is slow to move, and typically lacks that creative spark, there are glimmers of hope. Over the past year, we have taken close to 200 briefings, and if …