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

Microsoft has signaled its ambitions in the process automation market and has acquired Minit, a supplier of process mining technology from Bratislava, Slovakia, for an undisclosed sum, the companies announced today. Microsoft says the purchase will “further enable 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 analyse, monitor and optimize their processes. Minit’s solutions have helped companies gain deep insights into how processes work, uncover the root causes of operational challenges and reduce unwanted process outcomes,” Justin Graham, general manager of process insights at Microsoft, wrote in a post on the company blog. from Microsoft. †[With Minit, our] customers will be able to better understand their process data, discover what operations actually look like, and drive process standardization and improvement across the organization to ensure compliance every step of the way.”

Microsoft dipped its toes into process mining with the launch of new features in Power Automate in 2019 and the acquisition of Softomotive, an RPA software vendor, 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 a report from Polaris Market Research.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the entire Minit team will join Microsoft — or, indeed, whether the company will remain scattered across its current locations. (Minit is now headquartered in Amsterdam, with satellite offices in London and New York.) But CEO James Dening said customers should not 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 that brings us — how we can use that scale and excellence to continue to deliver great solutions to our customers,” Dening wrote in a blog post on website from Minit. “It has been a privilege to lead the company for the past year and I am excited to continue my journey with the team as part of what I consider to be the world’s leading software company.”

In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson told MovieUpdates that the Minit team will move to the… Microsoft Process Insights team and that there will be “no change” in the current work location of Minit team members. Microsoft is in the early stages of determining how Minit will be integrated into its offerings, she said, and the companies will share more details when they become available.

Founded in 2015 by Rasto Hlavac and having raised €10.3 million (~$11.40 million) prior to the acquisition, Minit is one of a growing number of startups developing process mining tools for enterprise customers. Process mining, also known as task discovery, involves identifying workflow problems and bottlenecks at their root cause by extracting data from systems, including desktops, email apps, and workflows. It is a key component of robotic process automation (RPA), a technology that promises to automate monotonous, repetitive tasks traditionally performed by human workers, while simultaneously generating logs to identify potential cost savings.

As Aisha Counts of Protocol points out, process mining is traditionally done by system integrators who map processes by analyzing manual workflows. Process mining software is designed to digitize the approach in a way that reduces the cost, time and effort involved.

Underscoring the appetite for process mining technologies, Celonis, a data processing company, earlier this week acquired Minit competitor Process Analytics Factory, which coincidentally integrates with Microsoft’s Power BI analytics platform. In recent years, RPA vendor Automation Anywhere has acquired the process discovery and mining start-ups FortressIQ, Process Gold and StepShot; Blue Prism has released a task mining solution called Capture; and rivals, including 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 sees the same trends we saw that drove the combination of FortressIQ and Automation Anywhere,” Pankaj Chowdhry, EVP of Discovery at Automation Anywhere and former CEO of FortressIQ, told MovieUpdates via email. “Customers are hungry for process data to help them in their transformation journeys, and any supplier that doesn’t have the best process capabilities is challenged to provide a compelling solution to their customers.”

Microsoft’s acquisition of Minit comes at a time when the broader business process automation industry, which is still cash-strapped, is moving toward general consolidation. SAP acquired German process automation company Signavio in January 2021, just before ServiceNow entered the RPA segment with the acquisition of India-based Intellibot.io. IBM acquired process mining software company MyInvenio in April. And MuleSoft and Microsoft of Salesforce followed suit with the purchases of automation technology providers Servicetrace and Clear Software, respectively.

“Process mining, discovery and task mining have undergone a lot of transformation in the past year with many acquisitions. [It] now appears to be maturing as a marketplace and commercialized among major automation platforms,” Saikat Ray, Gartner senior research director, told MovieUpdates via email. “Gartner sees an emergence of automation platform vendors offering process mining and task mining as embedded capabilities, along with RPA.”

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

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