It turns out yesterday’s announcement by UiPath moving in the direction of API automation was not the only thing happening in the market: ServiceNow announced that they will acquire Intellibot and thereby go in the other direction. Read the press release
I’m sure all of you know what ServiceNow is: a company offering workflow automation as PaaS. Most customers probably use it for IT service management, but it’s in fact much more powerful than that. Head to their website if you’re interested in learning more.
The target of the acquisition is Intellibot, one of the smaller RPA vendors based in India. Their RPA seems solid enough, targeting both RPA (unattended) and DPA (attended) automation but I don’t have any experience with it. Their lineup is pretty similar to the core RPA components of UiPath: Studio, Orchestrator and robots.
They also cite a dashboard component that presumably helps with managing, and there is, of course, the mandatory fluff about AI that is hard to evaluate but always sounds great to untrained ears. Frankly, at this point, whenever I read “AI” somewhere I tend to discount whatever else they are saying somewhat. This over-hype has to stop.
So what does this mean for RPA land? It sure looks to be getting more and more crowded, but with Analysts proclaiming astronomical growth rates, who can blame ServiceNow to want in on the action? Having the resources of a large organisation behind them should surely help Intellibot up their game, and ServiceNow’s name and existing customer base is certain to open doors that previously remained shut.
Going by what usually happens in tech, my guess would be that the market will settle on a “winner” and 2-3 other major contenders along with some low-price or niche alternatives. Who will be who remains to be seen, but I have a hunch it will be decided some time in the next 24-36 months. If I had to bet, I would put my money on UiPath, Microsoft and ServiceNow to have the best chances to win the market, in that order but not very far apart.
I would also prognosticate that we will see the workflow automation, BPM, Process Mining and RPA markets to converge more and more in the coming years.