Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella disclosed the acquisition of Softomotive, one of the leading providers of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) during the company’s annual developer conference, Microsoft Build 2020.
The tech giant from now onwards will be using Softomotive’s Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA) tool, WinAutomation and ProcessRobot that provide a powerful, robust and easy-to-use Windows-based platform for building software robots and an enterprise Robotic Process Automation platform, including enterprise-grade security and controls respectively.
At the virtual event, Nadella shared how Microsoft and its customers are addressing developer needs across all industries and how the company is uniquely positioned to help businesses adapt in a remote world.
In a blog post, Charles Lamanna, CVP at Microsoft, stated that by involving the products of Softomotive’s desktop automation together with the existing Power Automate capabilities, at an affordable price, the tech giant is aiming to democratise the power of RPA while enabling everyone to create bots to automate manual business processes in the organisations.
Before discussing the possibilities that this acquisition opened up for its customers, let’s take a look at what Power Automate is and how it works.
Power Automate, previously known as Microsoft Flow is a cloud-based automation platform by Microsoft that helps in creating automated workflows between applications and unlocks analogue data with AI, automates UI with the robotic process automation as well as automates cloud applications and databases with built-in connectors.
Microsoft Power Automate is used to improve the potency with various advanced features such as AI-based data understanding through the AI Builder, UI-based application automation through the UI flows as well as integrating with applications and databases via 315 built-in API connectors.
Last year at Microsoft Ignite event, the tech giant launched the preview of UI flows, which is the robotic process automation (RPA) capability in Microsoft Power Automate. With the addition of the RPA, Power Automate not only helps the organisations to automate millions of processes every day but also automate their legacy apps and manual processes through UI-based automation.
The UI flows enable organisations to perform the mentioned tasks: –
- UI flows has the capability to automate in a single platform across many apps and services that don’t have APIs
- UI flows scripts can be customised, built, and managed in a secure cloud environment
- With the help of UI flows you can leverage a low-code experience with some specific step-by-step record and playback experience
- UI automation can be seamlessly integrated with API-based automation by combining UI flows with regular flows
Charles stated the possibilities that this acquisition opened up for the customers as mentioned below-
- Delivering a comprehensive low-code desktop automation solution with WinAutomation: With WinAutomation, you can now build RPA bots with the existing browser-based authoring app or through a new desktop app.
- Expanding the out-of-the-box UI automation drivers for commonly used apps and services: With the addition of Softomotive’s set of connectors and applications such as SAP, legacy terminal screens, Java, Citrix, among others, the tech giant is expanding the existing desktop automation experience for the users.
- Enabling parallel execution and multitasking: Customers can now execute multiple workflows and automation parallelly on the same machine to reduce latency while improving the efficiency of their bots.
- Offering additional features: With Softomotive, the tech giant will now provide the customer with the support of low-code bot development.
Power Automate is part of a powerful and adaptable business application platform that includes Power Apps, Common Data Service, Dynamics 365, and Office 365. According to Charles, Power Automate together with WinAutomation will provide customers with additional options for RPA desktop authoring so that anyone can build a bot and automate Windows-based tasks. It will also enable RPA connectivity to various new apps and services, including SAP and traditional green-screen terminal applications.