Digital Process Automation

Digital Process Automation

A Buff-tailed bee on the flower of the Creeping Thistle

Why we need to automate our automation choices, and why we often don’t.

Those who know me well will know that I’m a massive public transport nerd outside my weekday life. Avoid me at parties, but specifically because I’ll end up talking about this. It’s not the trains. It’s more about networks and their interconnectivity, how these networks have grown over time, often through accident rather than design, and how their development tracks against our collective social history.

Box Works 2022 Report

Unlike the past two years’ flurry of game-changing product announcements such as Box Sign, Box Shield, Box Governance, and Box Shuttle, Box Works 2022 was short on “new” and long on “we’re now in GA with all the stuff we said we would do”. This will be good news for Box’s enterprise license customers who seem eager to deploy the new tools.

market shifts 2022

5 Years of Deep Analysis & Market Shifts

It’s hard to believe that I founded Deep Analysis five years ago (almost to the day). It’s hard to believe we made it this far and that we are looking forward to the next five. But maybe what is hardest to grasp is just how much our industry has changed over these past few years. …

5 Years of Deep Analysis & Market Shifts Read More »

When RPA Met BPM: Post-Acquisition News from Blue Prism

This was a bullish briefing from Blue Prism. SS&C paid $1.65 billion, so we expected nothing less than a moon shot effort. Of course, the proof will be in the pudding, as a lot of product integration promises were made and there is still much work to do here. It’s also hard to imagine that this is the last acquisition SS&C will make. Will the portfolio grow even further with a process intelligence/mining addition on the horizon?

ECM Challenges

The Real Challenge of Information Management & Automation

Every technology vendor and enterprise that recognizes that humans are the essential ingredient rather than the technology itself, that more data or information is not always better, and that unraveling decades of technology and culture takes time and often a brave leap of faith will be agents of positive change. They will leave behind the hoarders, the tech-obsessed, and the unrealistic in their wake.

ECM M&A

M&A Roundup Dec 2021

This will be the last of the year of these notes, but what a year it has been! From a macro perspective, this year has seen over $1,200 B in M&A activity; yes, I said $1,200 B, almost double 2020 and three times 2019’s spend. At a slightly more granular level, we should note that investors have seen a massive increase in tech investment in previously ignored regions. For example, in Latin America, VCs spent nearly $15B, compared to just $4.4B in 2019, and you can see a trend in plain sight. For all the real-world horror of the pandemic from both an individual and global perspective, the fact is that the COVID virus has accelerated mass digitization in almost every area of business. Be that to support remote working, remote healthcare, or remote banking. It’s not hyperbole to say that this past year has been revolutionary from a tech perspective, and its impact on the industry will reverberate for many years to come.

Our Enterprise Information and Automation Management sub-sector has also been busy this year. Still, I suspect the next 2 to 5 years will be even more active, accompanied by a changing of the guard. What I mean by that is that many well-established, aka legacy vendors, will be walloped. Goliaths like Google & Microsoft are moving into the enterprise mainstream, and a veritable army of innovative startups is thriving. Out with the old, in with the new. Not that the old will necessarily go away, rather their strength will diminish over time as new blood comes in to transform the sector. At Deep Analysis, we are excited about the changes coming and the opportunities for both enterprises and vendors alike. So much to look forward to in the coming year and beyond.

The year-end is always a time to closeout deals, and this year is no exception. Below is a list (though not comprehensive) of some that have caught our eye recently:

EFSS vendor FileCloud secured a $30m round of investment from Savant Growth
Governance vendor Gimmal also secured a new round of funding from Rubicon Technology Partners
Governance firm Workiva acquired AuditNet
Tableau acquired NLP vendor Narrative Science
Component Content Management vendor Orbis Technologies acquired Innovasys
ProTitle USA acquired document prep company DocSolution
MarkLogic acquired veteran search vendor Smartlogic

But the eye-catching deal of the year-end has to be Oracle’s eye-popping acquisitions of medical records company Cerner for $28.3B, the biggest deal Oracle has ever closed, and that’s saying something. Oracle has stated that it expects Cerner to deliver substantial additional revenue for years to come, and we don’t doubt that. If medical records were of value before COVID, they are now priceless. But if medical records alone are of immense value, imagine what a transformation of the medical industry through increased automation, document processing, and AI-driven analysis will be worth? Its unpalatable and a concept few outside of the US can grasp. Still, the management of US medical records is in desperate need of a digital transformation, one that will take many years to undertake but maybe finally on the cusp of happening.

The “cusp of change” could be our theme for 2022 as a whole. For all the talk of Digital Transformation, there has been little to see beyond upgrades and a few new bells and whistles. The last true era of Transformation was the late 90’s with the introduction of both the internet (birth of SaaS) and the massive rollout of heavyweight, high-cost ERP systems. But if the sudden disruption and enforced discretion of the workforce have taught us anything, it’s that we need to rethink, reimagine and reinvent the way we work. The technology from AI to Blockchain is ready and waiting to go, but it was always required a massive leap of faith or a hard push for many enterprises to change; many are now prepared, whether they like it or not, to make that jump.

Deep Analysis Reports

2021 Deep Analysis Pick of the Pops

analyst notes we published at Deep Analysis in 2021? There are 89 in total! As the writers of this research, we have our personal favorites, but we thought it would be fun to just pull the numbers and see what were your favorites – remember our research is open source so anyone can access it from anywhere. That said  I would never have guessed the following would have been the most popular reports of 2021 in a million years 🙂

The grunt work of Digital Transformation just got easier

TWAIN Direct’s ultimate goal is connecting devices directly to the software app, completely removing the PC from the middle. That’s really important to the new wave of cloud developers; it abstracts the proprietary hardware layer and replaces all the other confusing scanner connectors. Plus it’s free to any developer.

Microsoft Ignite: a good old fashioned product conference for the new age

Ignite was a vast digital event befitting of the newly-crowned world’s most valuable public company, with a dizzying array of product announcements rolled out around the main theme of making hybrid work the new normal. Here are some very brief highlights…

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Hoisted on its own (AI) petard – Zillow’s bad week

Does the Zillow algorithm fail have larger meaning for AI? Some tech pundits have used this story to rail against the blind adoption of AI by businesses or to preach against the sins of replacing human wisdom with AI bots. After reading a few posts, you’d be forgiven for thinking this could be the beginning of the end for evil AI. At Deep Analysis, we thoroughly disagree with the fearmongers and naysayers.

process mining report

Why the sudden interest in Process & Task Mining?

Driven largely by the rise in popularity and similarly huge valuations of RPA (Robotic Process Automation), there is the impression that PTM and RPA technologies are tied at the hip. Indeed, RPA projects are likely to be far more successful if the business analysts involved in those projects make use of PTM tools. But that is only part of a much more complex story.

dreamforce 2021

Salesforce and the Revolution….

Salesforce has a vision; much of its work is customer-driven and reflects their needs, rather than the silicon valley norm of inventing things and finding a use for them. But it’s also a huge company, with many moving parts. Though it tells an admirable story, the reality is that so many technology parts and new acquisitions are not easy to balance, integrate, maintain, and manage.

abbyy marlin

Marlin Equity Partners & Abbyy – Our Thoughts

Today there was important news in the Cognitive Capture market. ABBYY, a privately-held company, announced an investment from Marlin Equity Partners, which will make Marlin the largest shareholder. Terms of the investment were not revealed. Marlin is a global private equity firm that acquires businesses across diverse industries and has built a significant portfolio of software companies.

Signavio Acquired

SAP Buys Signavio – Our Thoughts

Today SAP announced that it is to acquire process intelligence vendor Signavio for $1.2B. Considering Signavio’s revenues were around $100m, and it had raised almost $230m in funding, that’s a high price to pay. But is such a high price justified, and why would SAP contemplate paying so much in the first place?