Edit May 19, 2020: Microsoft has confirmed the acquisition of Sofotomotive.
There are strong rumors that Microsoft is in talks to buy Softomotive. Softomotive is one of the pioneers in automation. Softomotive was founded in 2005 in Greece and moved its headquarters to London in 2015. It is a gold partner for Microsoft.
Softomotive has two RPA products:
- A standalone serverless product called WinAuotmation (Attended automation or RDA) and
- A server-based RPA called ProcessRobot (Unattended automation).
They also have a free RPA language – Robin. I recently did a Webinar on Robin with the product owner. It is a free Domain Specific programming language created for building RPA software bots. They would like everyone to eventually use this language to create RPA!
So taking everything into consideration, if the deal is real and goes through, Microsoft is going to get a whole lot of RPA. Along with this, they also get more than 8000 RPA customers that Softomotive has.
From a Softomotive’s perspective, this is a great deal too as this could mean a big willing Microsoft community that could enable the wider use of Robin. Also, they get to be Microsoft’s RPA and probably RDA too.
Microsoft released its own “RPA” called Uiflows last year as part of the Power Automate platform. The Power Automate was a rebranding of its Microsoft flow which works like IFTTT. Microsoft just added a Selenium IDE on top which became UiFlows. Now, with this acquisition, Microsoft will add real RPA and quite a bit of it!
Having said that, I am also hearing mostly from Softomotive people that they consider this as a big rumor. So, take this with a pinch of salt. We will see how this goes but this is part of an overall trend.
As I penned down my thoughts for RPA in 2020, one of the predictions was the consolidation in the space. This could just be just the beginning of that.