Founded 2009 | HQ Paris, France | 100 employees (approx.) | $15M revenue (est.)

Bonitasoft is an open source digital process automation company whose core strategy is to help developers work effectively with business analysts and citizen developers. Its open, flexible platform allows customers to build systems through a mix of process automation, RPA, and integration with other applications and development tools.


The Company

Bonitasoft is an open source digital process automation company founded in 2009 and headquartered in Paris, France. The company’s flagship software was initially developed in 2001 as business process and workflow software at the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science. It was then transferred to Groupe Bull and ultimately used to launch a separate company in 2009. The firm has approximately 100 employees and is led by co-founders Miguel Valdes-Faura and Charles Souillard. Bonitasoft has raised $27 million over three funding rounds, the last (series C) in 2013. The company is profitable, and we estimate its revenues to be around
$15 million.

The Technology

To understand Bonitasoft, you first need to know that it is committed to open source right to its core. The company is undoubtedly commercial, but its development and commitment to the community are clear-cut and deep-rooted. This report focuses on the commercial edition of its process management software, but many, if not most, customers will start with its free community edition. Indeed, the only real difference between the two is that the commercial edition provides bundled support services and the ability to scale, monitor, and secure the platform across an enterprise.
Bonitasoft provides a low-code business process automation platform called Bonita (see Figure 1). This consists of two main components: Studio – the development environment – and Bonita Runtime. Let’s look at these in turn.

Bonita Studio provides three tools for application development:

  1. A Whiteboard, to map out your process elements and create BPMN flowcharts.
  2. A UI development environment to create application forms and pages.
  3. Arguably most importantly, a set of low-code tools to design data models and applications.

Within Studio is an embedded runtime environment for testing purposes. Bonita Runtime is the meat of the Bonitasoft offering and provides an extensive range of connectors, APIs, and process management services. There is a lot of functionality to unpack in Runtime; suffice it to say that it is an advanced business process management engine that can run in the cloud or on-premises and is built on Java. Importantly, though it is very powerful and sophisticated, it has a surprisingly clean and low footprint for such a comprehensive platform. In short, Bonita is a full-fledged open source BPM system that is on parity with other major proprietary systems. So the question is, what makes it different?

Bonitasoft believes that the company’s biggest differentiator is supporting and integrating with application developers’ tools, but more importantly that their approach to low-code – clearly separating visual programming from coding – sets them apart. They also see open source as a big differentiator, specifically the existence of a community of 140,000 Bonitasoft experts, best practices for application developers, and an online marketplace for more than 500 reusable connectors, processes, and apps.
Bonitasoft’s platform provides:

  • Extension points for developers to add their own code.
  • Designer software for building the web UI.
  • The ability to integrate process low-code tools with widely used coding tools.

In addition to application developers, Bonitasoft also focuses on low-code tooling for business analysts and business developers in DevOps; examples include the company’s web composition tool and the Kanban board for tracking work.

Bonitasoft also offers a native process mining capability that is configurable, and the company will continue enhancing its process mining features. The platform leverages process mining algorithms to make predictions about when work will be completed and provides recommendations for the next best action (e.g., which branch to take) to complete the business objectives. Further, the company has recently sponsored and initiated a new open source project called Process Analytics, providing libraries and advanced insights into RPA, BI, BPM, etc. [1]

Figure 1
Bonita Platform Overview

Our Opinion

Bonitasoft’s core strategy is to help developers work most effectively with business analysts and citizen developers. The company does this by providing an open, flexible platform that allows customers to build their systems through a mix of process automation, RPA, and integration with other applications and development tools.

Advice to Buyers

You should certainly consider Bonitasoft on your organization’s shortlist if you are looking for a process automation tool targeted primarily at application developers and collaboration with citizen developers and low-code development tools. Look closely at Bonitasoft if you’re considering an open source, cloud, or on-premises process platform or contemplating process automation components (e.g., process automation engine or process mining).


SOAR Analysis

Strengths

  • Deep focus on application developers
  • Open source community with experienced developers
  • Sales emphasis on specific vertical applications (e.g., customer onboarding for telcos)

Aspirations

  • Continue to close new business with larger companies (>5,000 employees)

Opportunities

  • Target additional automation for enterprise software suites (e.g., ERP, SCM, HRM, etc.)
  • Penetrate more deeply in the installed base
  • Market strategic use cases for vertical processes

Results

  • Expanded beyond SMBs into larger enterprises
  • Widely deployed (Europe, US, and Latin America)
  • Eighty percent of customers in the last few years have had >5,000 employees

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