MuleSoft acquires RPA provider Servicetrace

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Salesforce today announced that it’s entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Servicetrace, a robotic process automation provider (RPA) headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany. Upon the closing of the acquisition, Servicetrace will become a part of Salesforce-owned MuleSoft, the companies said in a press release.

Recently, RPA has grown to the forefront as a top software trend, combining robotics and automation to perform repetitive tasks. It enables business users to automate processes without needing specialized development skills. However, the shift to digital-first customer and employee experiences has created more data from more systems than ever before. Companies face the challenge of securely integrating, automating, and managing workflows across multiple silos of data and systems.

There’s no shortage of RPA vendors, but what sets Servicetrace apart is its combination of integration, API management, and automation, according to MuleSoft CEO Brent Hayward. The company leverages technologies including mage recognition, pattern search, AI-assisted optical character recognition to recognize graphical user interfaces like a human. Through dashboards, customers can drag, drop, and customize automation workflows for software robots without using code. And once deployed, the robots can be configured to work in hidden and access-secure sessions, ensuring a baseline level of security.

Above: Servicetrace’s automation workflow designer.

“[These technologies are] required for companies to scale and increase the speed of work — from streamlining sales operations to speeding up customer case resolution. And that’s why we’re thrilled to bring together Servicetrace’s leading RPA solution with our leading API and integration platform,” Hayward wrote in a blog post. “Our platform makes it easy to unlock and integrate data from anywhere — wherever it resides — and manage, monitor, secure, and govern that data at scale. MuleSoft will now also make it easy for line of business and knowledge workers to automate business processes and dramatically increase efficiency and speed.”

A growing market

Servicetrace was founded in 2004 by CEO Markus Duus in his unheated basement. In a recent Gartner study, analysts at the firm gave high marks to its intelligent process recorder, scaling technology with parallel bot sessions on one end device, and integrated return on investment analytics, and Kanban board for collaborative automation projects, among other capabilities.

The market for RPA has grown substantially during the pandemic, despite challenges. While Deloitte reports that 17% of organizations face employee resistance when piloting RPA and that 63% of those organizations struggle to meet time-to-implement expectations, Grand View Research anticipates that the RPA industry will be worth $3.1 billion in 2025, up from $358 million in 2017.

MuleSoft’s Salesforce acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of Salesforce’s fiscal year 2022, ending October 31, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

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