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IBM will acquire process mining vendor MyInvenio in a bid to further build out the technology giant's automation portfolio.
The acquisition, made public on April 15, builds on an existing partnership between IBM and MyInvenio. Since December of last year, IBM has integrated MyInvenio's process mining and task mining technology into IBM Cloud Pak for Automation, a platform for building and running automation applications.
Expanding the automation portfolio
IBM's acquisition of the myInvenio, which is based in Reggio Emilia, Italy, gives IBM the chance to integrate MyInvenio technology more deeply into its Cloud Pak for Automation platform, said Neil Ward-Dutton, vice president of IDC's intelligent business execution practice.
"IBM wants to make the MyInvenio technology a seamless part of its automation platform, and wants to add process mining, analytics and optimization from MyInvenio as core parts of its business and IT automation proposition," he said.
MyInvenio's platform automatically analyzes users' business data to identify tasks that could benefit from automation and surface bottlenecks and other inefficiencies that users could improve. Its technology can analyze user interaction data to determine where robotic process automation (RPA) bots and other automation could benefit its users.
MyInvenio's technology could complement IBM's existing automation platform in a few ways, including by helping clients identify opportunities to automate with RPA or automate the generation of business rules, Ward-Dutton said.
"Longer term, MyInvenio's technology could also be used to provide a kind of ongoing operational insight capabilities for business, IT and network management processes, highlighting potential problems and proactively suggesting fixes," he added.
Neil Ward-DuttonVice president, IDC
For IBM, an obvious choice is to integrate output from MyInvenio with IBM Blueworks Live, a cloud-based business process modeler, so that analysis could move directly into a modeling and documentation tool for process reengineering, said Forrester analyst Rob Koplowitz.
"This can be done today by importing a BPMN [business process model and notation] model, but it will likely become more tightly integrated and easier to use," he added.
RPA and process mining
IBM's acquisition of MyInvenio builds on IBM's acquisition of Brazilian RPA vendor WDG Automation in July. At the time, IBM said it planned to integrate more than 600 prebuilt RPA functions from WDG Automation into its Cloud Pak products, beginning with Cloud Pak for Automation.
IBM's move with MyInvenio "totally builds on IBM's automation strategy, including, but not exclusive to, RPA," Koplowitz said. "Once automation is determined to be the right approach to optimize a process, easy provisioning of technology streamlines the process and directs a customer to IBM's tech stack."
Koplowitz added that he's concerned, though, that process mining is "increasingly becoming a feeder for a presumed automation solution."
So, with process mining, an enterprise using the technology could surface where automation could be useful, which in turn would provide the vendor -- in this case, IBM -- with opportunities to sell more services to automate that process.
"The automation market is much larger than the process mining market, so anything that can help a vendor feed that beast becomes compelling [to them]," he said.
The industry saw that, to a certain extent, with UiPath's acquisition of ProcessGold, a process mining vendor based in the Netherlands, and with SAP's acquisition of Signavio earlier this year, Koplowitz noted. Now, with MyInvenio, IBM is making a similar move.
Still, MyInvenio might be one of a few automation acquisitions IBM makes in the short term.
Ward-Dutton noted that IBM aims to build out the broadest possible automation platform. He said it wouldn't surprise him if the tech giant made one or two more acquisitions to this platform in the coming year or so.
IBM did not disclose the financial details of its MyInvenio deal.