Process automation and IDP: better together?

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Process automation and IDP: better together?

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IDP from RPA vendors is the fastest-growing segment of the IDP market

October 25 Update

Just got off the Automation Anywhere briefing about their generative AI tools and roadmap. Solid examples were given of how the combination of automation, document understanding, and GenAI are powering front and back office use cases – some new, and some old that are suddenly cost-effective.

The Petrobras case study alone is mind-blowing. $120 million in savings identified after a 3 week project using RPA, IDP and GenAI to analyze thousands of financial spreadsheets? That’s a ridiculous win. GenAI for AA’s Document Automation IDP platform is available now, with more functionality on the near horizon.

With this powerful combo of AI functionality and ease of use, AA and the other automation vendors bringing GenAI are creating a new enterprise persona I shall call the “Citizen Data Scientist”.

Another new datapoint comes from SS&C Blue Prism, who recently briefed us on its progress integrating Chorus Document Automation IDP with Blue Prism’s automation platform. 

Original Story (Sept. 5 2023)

Process automation software vendors who market their own in-house IDP product have rocketed from <1% to over 10% share* of the IDP market. This makes IDP from process automation vendors the fastest-growing segment of the IDP market.

Through Deep Analysis’ exclusive IDP market database methodology, we uncovered and profiled 31 process automation vendors who have either developed an IDP product in-house or acquired an IDP vendor – or both. For end users, purchasing process automation and IDP from the same vendor can make sense, especially for the many use cases where the document is simply the beginning, the trigger, of a workflow.

Process automation vendors recognize the value of IDP to extract data for bots and to classify documents for workflows. To meet this demand from their customers, at first RPA and BPM vendors formed alliances with IDP vendors like ABBYY and Indico. Some of those partnerships have worked out well and are still in place.

Next, we saw RPA vendors introduce some basic IDP features within their product stack, focused on simpler forms such as the USA W-2 income tax form. In 2020 SS&C acquired Captricity’s Vidado, renamed it Chorus Document Automation, and then in 2022 acquired RPA leader Blue Prism with its Decipher IDP product. SS&C are merging the product lines to offer an intriguing end-to-end document process automation platform.

There are several other process automation companies who now have strong IDP offerings (Appian, Automation Anywhere, Infosys, and Workfusion come to mind). Kofax also bears honorable mention for its process automation product line; but we think capture is still king over there, so we cover Kofax under the separate IDP Product category.

The UiPath surprise

One process automation vendor has stood out from the pack this year. In May UiPath was crowned the “IDP market leader” in one of those magic-peak-zone-scape reports. That surprised us; Deep Analysis covers UiPath through our process automation practice and, while we have acknowledged their IDP moves and applauded the Re:infer acquisition, we did not see IDP market leadership bonafides.

Curious to learn why, we secured a briefing from the UiPath IDP team. They started by telling us the Document Understanding IDP platform is the company’s fastest-growing product line. As analysts, we hear that a lot and are always skeptical. Often it means “we grew from zero to $1 million and closed our first customer”. Less impressive than it sounds.

UiPath blew that skepticism completely out of the water. The team shared the revenue breakout for its IDP product. That number is confidential, but I can put it into context: if UiPath were an IDP-only company it would be pushing up against the top 10 IDP vendors by revenue. UiPath described a recent multi-million dollar win at a large bank where Document Understanding displaced a legacy IDP vendor. They also won a clinical test order processing deal that could be hundreds of millions of documents a year. Several other impressive IDP wins can be viewed on the UiPath website.

The product team also provided us with a deep-dive review of the platform. I’ll not go into the technical detail here; our subscribers should stay tuned for the upcoming UiPath vendor report.

The executive summary is this: in our opinion, UiPath now has an end-to-end IDP platform that can compete against the best of the “best-of-breed” IDP players. UiPath looks to have most structured and semi-structured document types well-covered and is working on new unstructured document processing solutions that integrate its Re:infer NLP acquisition.

What does this mean for the IDP market?

We estimate about $300 million in IDP business will flow to the process automation vendors in 2023. Some of this will be net-new business not previously seen in the market, coming from users that grasp the value of end-to-end document process automation. But as UiPath has already demonstrated in several wins, process automation vendors will take significant business away from the standalone IDP vendors.

As a result, we think the process automation IDP segment will continue growing by double digits for several years and that will suppress the growth of the standalone IDP segment. If your company is a process automation vendor with its own IDP and would like to be included in our coverage, please contact us to schedule a briefing.

(*Market share estimate counts IDP revenue only and does not include process automation and mining revenue. To avoid double-counting we were also careful not to include sales of third-party IDP products.)

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