ServiceNow buys Czech task mining platform provider UltimateSuite

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Workflow automation giant ServiceNow Inc. said today it has agreed to buy a Czech task mining startup called UltimateSuite s.r.o. so it can better understand how work-related tasks flow through organizations.

The price of the acquisition was not announced, but the number is likely to be fairly minimal, given that the startup had raised less than $1 million prior to today’s announcement.

The startup specializes in task mining, which is a subset of the growing process mining industry that refers to the analysis of data to spot inefficient business processes and surface insights on how to improve them. With task mining, the focus is specifically on understanding how work flows through a company’s various departments, in order to identify bottlenecks that can potentially be eliminated.

Although ServiceNow has always been able to drill down into individual workflows, it has never been able to understand things at the level of the individual user, so the acquisition of UltimateSuite gives it new capabilities.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Eduardo Chiocconi, ServiceNow’s vice president and general manager of process mining, said that although it’s important to know where a specific inefficiency may exist, organizations also need to understand what individual employees are doing with regards to them.

These are exactly the kinds of capabilities UltimateSuite will provide to ServiceNow. According to Chiocconi, insights without action provide little value. Therefore, the company will not only be able to identify opportunities for eliminating inefficiencies, but also to use automation to assist the workers responsible for each inefficient process.

Today’s acquisition is just the latest in a series of high profile deals within the growing process automation industry. In August last year, one of the segment’s leading companies, Celonis Inc., closed on a $1 billion funding round that brought its value to north of $2.4 billion. Another process mining startup, Apromore Pty Ltd., raised $10 million in December 2022. The industry has seen some consolidation too, with Celonis acquiring a rival called Process Analytics Factory GmbH in March 2022, and Microsoft Corp. buying the Slovakia-based Minit j.s.a. that same month.

Chiocconi said ServiceNow will integrate the functionality of UltimateSuite’s platform within its own process mining software, which means the startup’s tools will not be sold as a separate product in future. So existing customers will need to migrate to ServiceNow’s more comprehensive platform, or else find an alternative.

“Our whole objective is to bring more value to our customers by replatforming all this IP and know how that comes from UltimateSuite and surfacing it as an organic extension of process mining,” Chiocconi told TechCrunch.

Image: UltimateSuite

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