IBM announced that it has signed a deal to buy WDG Automation, a Brazilian developer of robotic process automation (RPA) software. This move comes amid a surge in enterprise spending on automation equipment.
WDG was founded in 2014, and since then it hasn’t attracted outside funding, according to reports from Crunchbase. IBM has not disclosed the financial terms of the deal.
WDG, situated in the city of São José do Rio Preto, has a couple of notable clients on its website, including consulting firm Deloitte and one of the country’s largest automakers. Its RPA platform, WGD Studio, helps companies to automate repetitive back-office undertakings, i.e. transferring payment records between accounting systems.
WDG Studio doesn’t need any coding knowledge to use. The software, which deploys its commands on the user’s desktop, intercepts actions such as clicks that an employee makes while executing a task in an app and then duplicates their workflow. The interface also offers access to more than 600 pre-built workflows that encompass typical use cases.
Why IBM’s acquisition of WDG is a good move
In a statement, IBM said it would integrate the WDG Studio’s pre-built automation into its Cloud Park for Automation product. CPA is software that organizations utilize to automate different back-office processes such as extracting client names from forms.
“IBM already automates how companies apply AI to business processes and IT operations so they can detect opportunities and problems and recommend next steps and solutions,” said Denis Kennelly, general manager of cloud Integration with IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software business.
Surging demand for automation software
Acquisition of WDG’s tech comes amid increasing demand for automation software. The demand is expected to continue growing in the coming years. According to the research released in May by Wikibon, market demand for the RPA segment could surpass $30 billion this year.
However, the other tech giants have not been left behind in grabbing their share in RPA opportunities. In May, Microsoft acquired a U.K-based RPA software developer, Softomotive, which has over 9.000 customers.