Microsoft acquires process mining vendor Minit to expand its automation offerings – TechCrunch

Signaling its ambitions in the process automation market, Microsoft acquired minit, a process extraction technology provider from Bratislava, Slovakia, for an undisclosed amount, the companies announced today. Microsoft says the purchase will “empower it” to “help…customers digitally transform” by creating a more complete picture of their processes – and identifying which of those processes are ripe for automation.

“Minit is currently enabling companies to transform the way they analyze, monitor and optimize their processes. Minit’s solutions have helped companies gain deep insight into how processes work, uncover the root causes of operational challenges, and mitigate undesirable process outcomes,” wrote Justin Graham, general manager of process insights at Microsoft, in a press release. Publish on Microsoft’s corporate blog. “[With Minit, our] customers will be able to better understand their process data, see what operations look like in the real world, and drive process standardization and improvement across the organization to ensure compliance at every stage.

Microsoft embarked on process exploration with the launch of new features in Power Automate in 2019 and the acquisition of Softomotive, an RPA software provider, a year later. But with Minit, the tech giant is doubling down on a software category that could be worth more than $11 billion by 2030. according to to a Polaris Market Research report.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the entire Minit team would join Microsoft — or, indeed, if the company would remain spread across its current locations. (Minit is now headquartered in Amsterdam, with satellite offices in London and New York.) But CEO James Dening said customers shouldn’t expect a change in the level of support they currently receive. .

“We look forward to what it means to be part of an industry leader like Microsoft and what it gives us – how we can use this scale and this excellence to continue to deliver great solutions to our customers,” said writes Dening in a blog post. Publish on the Minit website. “It has been a privilege to lead the company over the past year, and I am thrilled to continue my journey with the team at what I consider to be the world’s leading software company.”

In a statement, Microsoft spokeswoman Zara Huang told TechCrunch that the Minit team will be moving into the Microsoft Process Insights and that there will be “no change” to the current workplace of Minit team members. Microsoft is in the early stages of determining how Minit will integrate with its offerings, she said, and the companies will share more details when they become available.

Minit, which was founded in 2015 by Rasto Hlavac and had raised €10.3m (~$11.40m) prior to the acquisition, is among a growing number of startups developing process mining tools aimed at business customers. Process mining, also known as task discovery, involves pinpointing workflow issues and root bottlenecks by extracting data from systems including desktops, messaging applications and workflows. It’s a key component of robotic process automation (RPA), a technology that promises to automate monotonous and repetitive tasks traditionally performed by human workers while generating logs to identify potential cost savings.

Like Aisha from protocol counts Remarks, process mining has traditionally been performed by systems integrators who map processes by analyzing manual workflows. Process mining software is designed to digitize the approach in a way that reduces the expense, time, and effort required.

Underlining the appetite for process mining technologies, Celonis, a data processing company, earlier this week acquired Minit competitor Process Analytics Factory, which coincidentally integrates with the platform of Microsoft’s Power BI analysis. In recent years, the RPA Automation Anywhere provider has acquired process discovery and data mining startups FortressIQ, Process Gold, and StepShot; Blue Prism released a task mining solution called Capture; and competitors like ABBYY and Kryon have expanded their process mining offerings.

“You know the process space is hot when even Microsoft with its vast resources has to buy its way in. I’m sure Microsoft is seeing the same trends we’ve seen which has led to the combination of FortressIQ and from Automation Anywhere,” Pankaj said. Chowdhry, executive vice president of discovery at Automation Anywhere and former CEO of FortressIQ, told TechCrunch via email. “Customers are hungry for process data to help them navigate their transformation journeys and any vendor that does not have best-in-class process capabilities will find themselves challenged to deliver a compelling solution to their customers. »

Microsoft’s acquisition of Minit comes at a time when the broader business process automation industry, which remains running out of money, is heading for a general consolidation. SAP acquired German process automation company Signavio in January 2021, just before ServiceNow entered the RPA segment with the acquisition of Indian company IBM acquired process mining software company MyInvenio in April. And Salesforce’s MuleSoft and Microsoft have followed suit with purchases of automation technology vendors service track and Delete softwarerespectively.

“Process mining, discovery and task mining have seen many transformations with many acquisitions over the past year. [It] now seems to be maturing as a market and becoming commonplace under major automation platforms,” Saikat Ray, senior research director at Gartner, told TechCrunch via email. “Gartner sees an emergence of automation platform vendors offering process mining and task mining as built-in capabilities, as well as RPA.”

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET, March 31, with quotes from Microsoft and Automation Anywhere.

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