The big news for IT service management and automation industry. ServiceNow has entered the RPA industry by acquiring India based RPA tool, Intellibot and became an Hyperautomation platform. This is going to make a lot of RPA players sweat as the competition intensifies.
But, before we go into why ServiceNow wants to enter the RPA market and what will be the impact on the industry, let’s take a look at ServiceNow first.
- Founded in 2004
- Traded on NYSE:NOW
- Revenue in 2019: US $3,460,437,000
- Number of Employees: 12,500 (2020)
- Customers: 6200+ worldwide
- Services Offered: Cloud computing, IT Service Management, Enterprise Service Management
ServiceNow is a platform-as-a-service provider, providing technical management support, such as IT service management, to the IT operations of large corporations, including providing help desk functionality. The company’s core business revolves around the management of “incident, problem, and change” IT operational events. Their fee model was based on a cost per user (seat) per month, with that cost ranging down from US$100. (Source: Wikipedia)
So, why did such a big corporation has acquired a small RPA tool like Intellibot?
ServiceNow is a giant with a range of offerings from cloud to service management to IT workflow automation. Its initial growth was propelled by its expertise in IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Operations Management (ITOM). ServiceNow’s customer base includes 80% of the fortune 500 companies.
ServiceNow is a leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT Service Management 2020 and Zinnov Zones for Hyper Intelligent Automation 2021 – IT Automation report, leaving behind the long-time market leader, BMC Software.
BUT, ServiceNow’s current solution capability was limited to IT department only making it lose the rising popularity of business process automation and intelligent automation technologies.
How will this impact RPA space?
While the initial phase of RPA evolution was driven by new startups like UiPath, Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism, in the last 12 months, major software enterprises like Microsoft and IBM has also entered the automation space. Also, Covid-19 pandemic has forced companies to use automation at some or the other level.
ServiceNow didn’t want to be left behind and lose the opportunity.
Even though the RPA platforms has enjoyed the initial days, entry of bigger players has made the space a lot more competitive. This is not only going to affect RPA tools but also IT Automation tools like Ayehu and Moveworks. The entry of such giants in the space has reduced the pie size of the existing smaller IT Automation market.
Solutions like Workfusion and AutomationEdge were able to ride the automation wave by acting as an extension to ITSM tools and even automating service desk tickets. But the increasing innovation in service desks and technology inclusions like AI, the service desks are becoming self-sufficient in automating their own processes.
Does this mean this is the end for others? Not at all.
Automation technology is at the beginning of its growth curve. Most of the organizations that have implemented automation is at a very small scale. This leaves a huge scope for everyone in the market.
Also, giants like ServiceNow and BMC Software will not be able to service small and medium-level markets. This is a huge industry with even bigger potential. Innovation is going to play a crucial role in the success or failure of the automation tools.
[You may also like: How Conversational AI is Transforming IT Service Desk]
Why ServiceNow Choose Intellibot?
ServiceNow can embed Intellibot RPA capabilities into its platform. This will help ServiceNow expand its offering from automating just the IT processes to its huge number of global customers.
ServiceNow chose a relatively smaller RPA tool as it’ll be easy to integrate into its platform than a larger and complex tool like UiPath. Simultaneously, ServiceNow can also integrate with other RPA platforms adopted by its customers.
How this Acquisition will help ServiceNow?
The acquisition of Intellibot will help ServiceNow to expand its core capabilities from IT centric solutions to Enterprise level making it one of the biggest Hyperautomation solutions. The digital workflow platform intends to build Intellibot’s capabilities in to its native platform. This will enable customers easily integrate legacy systems with modern applications and automate mundane and repetitive business workflows.
“With Intellibot, we will extend ServiceNow’s ability to help customers connect systems so they can easily automate workflows and drive productivity,” says Josh Kahn, SVP of Creator Workflow Products at ServiceNow.
Recently, ServiceNow has announced its new release, ServiceNow Quebec. This version brings the native AI capabilities in the ServiceNow platform as well as low code development capability to help customers innovate quickly, reduce time to production and improve productivity.
The pandemic has acted as a catalyst in giving a boost to digital transformation and automation is a leading technology. With new automation capabilities, ServiceNow will be able to help customers with enterprise-level automation and agile development capability.