RPA has entered mainstream operations and is no longer considered a niche technology. While the technology is gaining momentum and every other software vendor showing interest in RPA, most companies are failing with implementation as their RPA strategy doesn’t account for lack of technology knowhow and skilled resources. Inorganic growth strategy has become the most suitable approach for independent software vendors (ISVs) and IT Service providers (ITSPs). Whilst partnerships with RPA vendors remain as the important tactical approach for IT service vendors to gain market share for RPA implementations, we have witnessed few strategic acquisitions from leading software vendors who are integrating RPA technology with their own software applications. While top vendors such as Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, and UiPath have taken a leap forward in their market presence and software capabilities, many other RPA vendors are gearing up as favourable options for large IT vendors to acquire and strengthen their product portfolio and offer custom built RPA to enterprises. However, performance and functional capability of RPA platform offered by different vendors is crucial while evaluating vendors for acquisition. Also, RPA vendors themselves are focusing on acquisitions to leverage their product offering in digital space including AI, analytics, and others.
Some major RPA acquisitions:
- SAP: In November 2019, SAP announced the acquisition of Contextor, a European RPA provider. Contextor’s majority of its clients are based out of France and has helped its clients to deploy more than 100,000 bots. Contextor’s product offering lacks in its analytics capability than the market leaders, but the acquisition by SAP is expected to enhance its offerings to next level integrating SAP, SAP HANA, and Contextor RPA.
- Accenture: In April 2017, Accenture acquired Genfour to leverage its position in offering RPA consulting, development and deployment for enterprises. Accenture estimates great opportunity in low-level process automation such as data entry or forms processing. Also, the RPA can greatly help an organization with its M&A operations as well. Accenture is expected to leverage the power of AI for the automation function of its customers.
- Pegasystems: In April 2016, Pegasystems announced the acquisition of OpenSpan, a vendor offering desktop automation and it helps BPOs to automate repetitive tasks. OpenSpan has deployed more than 200,000 desktop bots that helps enterprises in integrated desktop and in developing a unified CRM solution.
The market of RPA is still considered to be its infancy in terms of market capitalization currently and its boom is expected to transform how business processes across industries are carried out today. The IT software and service vendors are all competing to take early but game changing steps than its competitors, to gain optimum market share in RPA which propels the RPA acquisition activities to grow faster than other technology space.
– Swarup Bhowal
ICT – Research Analyst