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Microsoft RPA Software Acquisition: Democratization of Process Automation

If you’re new to my three-part blog series on the state of process automation with the Microsoft RPA software acquisition, Softmotive – welcome.

But first, be sure to check out Part 1: Industry Shakeup or Stabilization in Process Automation and Part 2: Microsoft RPA and the Future in Process Automation

In this three-part series, I unpack what this acquisition means for the industry, Microsoft trajectory and, most importantly, what this means for you as you modernize your business processes and application.

Three Part Series

  1. Industry Shakeup or Stabilization in Process Automation
  2. Microsoft Future in Process Automation
  3. Democratization of Process Automation

Part 3 of 3: Democratization of Process Automation

I don’t think it can be refuted that Microsoft, by way of its market share, influences a large, if I am being modest, populous in the world of knowledge workers, it controls the market. With Microsoft now being a major player in the RPA space and for all the aforementioned co-mingling of technologies there is no doubt that just from an install base perspective, will grow, and with efforts from both the community and ISV’s adoption will flourish. This will further the growth of the Low-Code / No-Code and Citizen Developer market influence as well.

Impact to Organizations and Individuals

From a pricing perspective here is where I think Microsoft will separate itself from the rest of the existing market: by bundling Softmotive into Power Automate and the existing pricing plans of Microsoft 365 in once single swoop it has priced itself below the median price of ALL RPA vendors out there already. If price is King, go ahead and crown Microsoft now!

Second thing to consider especially from Build last year, if you recall, Microsoft touted a partnership with UiPath on its PDFForms reader. Well, that is not the only relationship that Microsoft has with RPA ISV’s. They have strong partnerships and relationships with Nintex right down the street, Automation Anywhere and also Blue Prism. As these relationships also put revenue in terms of Azure consumption for Microsoft, and also reduces operating costs for the ISV’s – don’t expect that to end soon. This is colloquially called “co-opetition” and I can all but guarantee that it will continue.

Third, expect more consolidation in this space. I would suspect that there are deals probably queued up as I pen this blog where another DPA company is looking to acquire another RPA company or vice versa.  In doing so, we are getting a confluence of technology under one umbrella to do more and act faster with digital transformation.

We as consumers will benefit from the pricing strategy too as the other market players will have to adjust their pricing model, and/or provide more value for less dollars than they would have otherwise.  Not only that, but we can expect to see traditional RPA ISV’s divest into other complimentary areas such as Process Mining, Intelligent Document Processing and Virtual Agents, etc.

For questions or further assistance with business process automation, please contact a member of Withum’s Digital and Technology Transformation team.

I already touched on Developers in my second post relative to Visual Studio having a template for traditional developers to build against, I won’t go more into that here, but consider how already we see in PowerPoint and Outlook AI capabilities that is so sneakily seamless i.e. Images placement recommendations, images that you last used top of list for selection, meeting suggestions when a date is in the body of an email. Imagine now being able to stitch together a task similar to what you have now if you are an iOS user to automate certain task. Imagine this in your Office Products as well.

I think end users will have [buzzword bingo time], better experiences through empowerment of these democratized software technologies that we have only begun to scratch the surface on.

Summary

I’m glad you stuck around, and I hope you found value in this 3-part series of where I think RPA is headed now that Microsoft IMO has bet big in this space and industry. Let me know your thoughts either here or on twitter @fabianwilliams Cheers.

Digital and Technology Transformation

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