Microsoft purchased Softomotive, an RPA vendor. When these types of consolidation happen it lends credibility to an industry. I’ve watched this happen in other industries before, like when Oracle bought big machines, when IBM bought Varicent, when SAP bought Callidus and the list goes on. These acquisitions all had their pro’s and cons. I can’t help but wonder what the result of this one will yield.

When IBM and SAP bought the respective companies they looked at how to integrate the key aspects of the technology into their footprint, rolling it out to customers. In each of these cases it required the help of the partner ecosystem of the smaller company to get the technology out into the larger footprint. Eventually this ebbs and everyone in the partner ecosystem can put the application in place. I have a feeling that this will be a similar path for the Softomotive acquisition.

Many people will initially take Microsoft up on their free software for winautomation, but will lack direction. RPA isn’t just something you stick on your desktop and pray. Organizationally and individually there should be a plan. What is the situation you want to augment, what will you solve, how will you or the company benefit? See, if I just loaded excel on my computer and didn’t know what I was going to do with it, it would just be software clogging up my machine. We have all bought things we thought would make life easier (My purchase of dragonware voice recognition software was mine). You buy it, use it 3 or 4 times and it just sits there because it’s hard to just randomly use. Winautomation will be no different.

Ernst & Young suggest 30 to 50 % of RPA implementations fail. So that’s going to get better if we just dump it on someone’s desktop and say go? There will have to be training, corporate direction and understanding of importance. We have been talking to several companies who went big and failed. Often this is due to a lack of end state goals. So it is great that people will want to leverage their new Microsoft technology, and that many CIO’s will be fully bought in now. This doesn’t discount the method by which your company uses to identify use cases and training. This along with several other critical factors will define this purchase in the coming years. Will it be shelved in the Microsoft suite or will it become the stalwart of their applications?