The MyInvenio deal follows closely on the heels of IBM’s acquisition of Brazilian RPA vendor WDG and add’s yet more practical functionality to its growing Cloud Pak services. Despite IBM being one of the largest IT vendors, its work in moving advanced automation to the cloud has received less attention than one might expect.
Intelligent Process Manaagement
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?
But, here’s the thing, a couple of years ago, everyone was talking about AI, but few were doing it. This past year things changed fast; now, there is a mad rush to embrace AI or get left behind. But its easier said than done, AI tools, models, and libraries are readily available, but skills, knowledge of specific user needs, and good data are not.
Software companies, and analysts alike, love to come up with unique product positions, and categories, that enable them to stand out from their competition. Put a bunch of related capabilities together in a box and give it a catchy name. Hey, presto! Congratulations, you just invented a new market and, guess what, you’re the King.
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.
It seems like every week; a technology vendor tells me how their AI product will free workers from mundane jobs and enable them to do more exciting work. And, every week I respond the same way (though sometimes more diplomatically) ‘that is not true.’ As AI works its way through blue-collar jobs, lower-paid white-collar jobs and now into higher-paid professions, that sales pitch that falls flat. In theory, AI automation could free workers from the mundane and create new and more exciting jobs. But in reality, that will seldom happen, workers are made redundant.