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Cloud computing firm ServiceNow today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Intellibot, a robotic process automation company based in Hyderabad, India, for an undisclosed amount. ServiceNow, which expects to complete the purchase in Q2 2011, says it plans to fold Intellibot’s capabilities natively into its platform, enabling ServiceNow customers to bring AI and machine learning to legacy systems.
RPA — technology that automates monotonous, repetitive chores traditionally performed by human workers — is big business. Forrester estimates that RPA and other AI subfields created jobs for 40% of companies in 2019 and that a tenth of startups now employ more digital workers than human ones. According to a McKinsey survey, at least a third of activities could be automated in about 60% of occupations. And in its recent Trends in Workflow Automation report, Salesforce found that 95% of IT leaders are prioritizing workflow automation, with 70% seeing the equivalent of more than four hours savings per employee each week.
Intellibot, which was cofounded in 2015 by Alekh Barli, Srikanth Vemulapalli, and Kushang Moorthy, offers RPA solutions designed specifically for enterprise corporations. Its design studio helps with the modeling and development of RPA projects, while its orchestrator assists with cloud compatibility, multitenancy, and compliance. Beyond this, Intellibot provides features including role-based access control, version control, business and IT reports, audit logging, and 256-bit encryption.
“We are proud to join forces with ServiceNow as it continues to invest in powerful end-to-end automation capabilities to make the world of work, work better for people,” Vemulapalli said in a statement. “Our RPA combined with ServiceNow workflows will help businesses better connect disparate systems to accelerate innovation and thrive in a new world of work.”
ServiceNow SVP Josh Kahn notes that the acquisition supports ServiceNow’s broader commitment to the Indian market. The company plans to bring two datacenters in India online by the first quarter of 2022, which will form part of ServiceNow’s high-availability architecture as the company doubles its staff in the country within the next three years.
ServiceNow recently released Now Platform Quebec, which brought several AI-powered and low-code capabilities to the Now Platform. Kahn says Intellibot will complement these technologies, extending ServiceNow’s existing integrations, process mining, process automation, chatbot, and virtual agent capabilities — including a tie-in with RPA startup UiPath that launched last April.
“ServiceNow is the platform of platforms for the workflow revolution, offering powerful end-to-end automation capabilities that allow customers to streamline business decisions and unlock new levels of productivity,” Kahn said in a press release. “Our customers represent nearly 80% of the Fortune 500, and the vast majority are trying to drive automation across a mix of legacy and modern applications. With Intellibot, we will extend ServiceNow’s ability to help customers connect systems so they can easily automate workflows and drive productivity.”
ServiceNow’s buyout — its first this year — comes after Google said it would partner with Automation Anywhere to develop RPA capabilities and Microsoft and IBM snatched up Softomotive and WDG Automation, respectively. With a market opportunity anticipated to be worth $3.97 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, RPA is fast becoming too large to ignore. Automation Anywhere rival Blue Prism has raised over $120 million, Kryon $40 million, and FortressIQ $30 million. And in July, UiPath nabbed $750 million, bringing its total raised to $2 billion at a post-money valuation of $35 billion.
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