Microsoft right this moment announced that it acquired robotic course of automation (RPA) startup Softomotive for an undisclosed sum. In a weblog put up, Charles Lamanna, company vp of Microsoft’s citizen software platform, stated that the corporate’s desktop automation options will be a part of along with Microsoft’s Power Automate (previously Microsoft Flow) capabilities at “uniquely affordable pricing.”

To this finish, beginning right this moment, Softomotive’s WinAutomation platform is on the market for gratis to current Power Automate prospects with RPA attended licenses. “Microsoft is further democratizing RPA and enabling everyone to create bots to automate manual business processes,” Lamanna wrote. “Together with Power Automate, WinAutomation will provide customers additional options for RPA desktop authoring so anyone can build a bot and automate Windows-based tasks.”

In an announcement on Softomotive’s web site, CEO Marios Stavropoulos stated that Microsoft supplied a “natural path” to not solely larger scalability however complementary options like augmented AI and analytics. He additionally stated that he expects Softomotive will be capable of present its prospects with “better professional services” on account of the buyout.

“As part of Microsoft, we will usher in the next phase of RPA with a true end-to-end, agile offering together. We’ve come a long way from our roots and are now ready to deliver a new RPA vision to our customers,” he stated.

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RPA — know-how that automates monotonous, repetitive chores historically carried out by human employees — is huge enterprise. Forrester estimates that in 2019, RPA and different AI subfields created jobs for 40% of corporations and {that a} full one-tenth of startups now make use of extra digital employees than human ones. Moreover, Market and Markets anticipates the market shall be price $493 billion by 2022, with a compound annual development fee of 19%.


Microsoft acquires RPA startup Softomotive to bolster Power Automate

Above: Softomotive display screen

Softomotive, which was based in 2005 in Greece and moved its headquarters to London in 2015, presents a strong set of connectors and functions for desktop automations — akin to SAP, HTML5, .NET, legacy terminal screens, Java, Citrix, and extra — that permit prospects execute a number of workflows and automations in parallel and on the identical machine. With a drag-and-drop consumer interface, macro recorder, and internet recorder, WinAutomation customers can outline workflows based mostly on day-to-day actions whereas growing, configuring, troubleshooting, and testing processes.

Prior to the acquisition, Softomotive had over 9,000 international prospects in sectors like well being care, banking, insurance coverage, and telecommunications industries and had raised $25 million in enterprise capital from Grafton Capital. That compares with the over 350,000 organizations that use Power Automate each month, based on Microsoft.

Microsoft asserts that options like AI-based knowledge understanding, UI-based software automation, and a database of over 315 built-in API connectors, along with WinAutomation and Softomotive’s server-based ProcessRobot product, differentiate Power Automate from the RPA competitors. But it does have formidable competitors. UiPath’s newest funding spherical totaled $568 million at a valuation of $7 billion. Automation Anywhere final secured a $290 million funding from SoftBank, valuing the corporate at $6.eight billion. And Blue Prism, Kryon, and FortressIQ lately raised over $120 million, $40 million, and $30 million, respectively.

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