Due to its growing popularity and customer value potential, robotic process automation (RPA) vendors are merging and acquiring other players at a rapid pace. Interestingly, the trending vendors in this space (i.e. Blue Prism, UiPath, Automate Anywhere) are not one of the big players we typically see in other technology spaces (e.g. Micro Focus, IBM, Broadcom). Microsoft, on the other hand, took a leap to try to compete against these big RPA players with its recent acquisition of Softomotive, maker of WinAutomation.
This acquisition brings a lot of promise to enhance the experience and capabilities of Microsoft’s Power Automate solution with WinAutomation, such as low-code desktop automation capabilities and out-of-the-box UI automation drivers for commonly used applications and services. Power Automate customers can take advantage of this acquisition by using their existing license to fully access WinAutomation. At the moment, the integration between these solutions is limited to building automation processes and scripts in WinAutomation and executing the bot in Power Automate. Hopefully, Microsoft and Softomotive customers will see more benefits in the future.
While it is not uncommon to see RPA vendors being snatched up by others, the traditional big IT players have yet to make a real mark in the RPA space, which is dominated by smaller players who may still be gathering funding from venture capitalists. Microsoft’s acquisition of Softomotive demonstrates how RPA is becoming more than just a trend and how it wants to be recognized as a viable option alongside existing players. We have yet to see how this acquisition will bolster its position in the market and how its large portfolio of tools and solutions will operate with its RPA solutions as a valuable platform.
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