ServiceNow enters RPA market with Intellibot acquisition

ServiceNow continues its AI company buying spree, this time with robotic process automation provider Intellibot.

Intellibot’s RPA technology is primarily used to help users automate repetitive tasks. Because it integrates with the ServiceNow platform, users can integrate both modern and legacy systems, enriching existing AI and machine learning tools from ServiceNow and third parties.

Josh Kahn, Senior Vice President, Creator Workflow Products at ServiceNow, explained ServiceNow’s decision to enter the RPA market now and said the company has worked closely with large organizations building platforms for digital transformation. These organizations are increasingly forming teams specifically responsible for building applications for use with RPA.

Josh Kahn

“It’s common these days to see a team called ‘The Automation Team’ bringing together low-code platforms and RPA,” said Kahn. “We have worked well with RPA-only providers in the past, but many customers tell us they want a platform that combines low code, virtual agents, machine learning and RPA in one package.”

One analyst believes that entering the RPA market is logical given the last four or five AI-powered acquisitions ServiceNow has made.

“When you think of Element AI and the other AI deals, [Intellibot] is a nice extension. Because of their existing workflow automation and analytics model, they needed a certain type of robotic process automation role, “said Stephen Elliot, vice president of IDC’s management software and DevOps practice.” And it fits in with their no-code / low-code approach. “

With this acquisition, ServiceNow seeks to achieve competitive advantages that go beyond the integration of the different parts that make up the core of the ServiceNow platform. They also add a number of features that can compete on their own, such as: B. Analysis.

“Essentially, they are trying to turn their platform from a bunch of different seeds with AI capabilities into a bunch of oak trees that can grow on their own, adding more value to users,” he said.

It is now common to see a team [in user organizations] called “the automation team” that brings together low-code platforms and RPA.

Josh KahnSenior Vice President, ServiceNow

When asked if ServiceNow will consider selling the Intellibot offerings as standalone products, Kahn said the company intends to make them an integral part of the ServiceNow platform rather than attempting an RPA pure play to be. The company can gain a greater competitive advantage in building an integrated platform. He added that ServiceNow’s in-house RPA team will work hand-in-hand with India-based Intellibot developers to deliver joint products.

“In cases where our customers have a number of automated processes [by another vendor]We can deploy the ServiceNow platform and call these bots like any other external system, “said Kahn.” That way, the Intellibot team will think less about the old competitors and think more about the solutions we are developing together. “

The timing of the acquisition of Intellibot could prove to be random given the features of the newest ServiceNow platform called Quebec, which was released last week. This offering is specifically aimed at business users who want to take advantage of low-code offerings to complete digital transformation projects faster. Intellibot will complement some of the capabilities in Quebec by expanding ServiceNow’s existing AI and machine learning, virtual agent, and low-code development capabilities, the company said.

ServiceNow also plans to build two new data centers in India, with completion scheduled for the first quarter of 2022. The new centers will become part of ServiceNow’s high availability architecture and support the scalability of the company’s cloud services business. The company expects to double the number of employees in India in the next two to three years.

The acquisition of Intellibot is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. Financial details were not disclosed.

As a contributing editor at TechTarget News Group, Ed Scannell is responsible for breaking news writing and reporting, news analysis and functions focusing on technology issues and trends affecting enterprise IT professionals. He has also worked for Infoworld and Computerworld for 26 years, working on enterprise-class products and technologies from larger IT companies such as IBM and Microsoft. For three years he was editor of Redmond and directed the editorial content of the magazine.

March 30, 2021