Why IBM Is Buying WDG Automation

By Amit Chowdhry ● July 8, 2020
  • IBM (NYSE: IBM) recently announced it reached a definitive agreement to buy Brazilian software provider of robotic process automation (RPA) WDG Soluções Em Sistemas E Automação De Processos LTDA (known as WDG Automation)

IBM (NYSE: IBM) recently announced it reached a definitive agreement to buy Brazilian software provider of robotic process automation (RPA) WDG Soluções Em Sistemas E Automação De Processos LTDA (known as “WDG Automation”). This acquisition further advances IBM’s comprehensive AI-infused automation capabilities, ranging from business processes to IT operations. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Companies have been looking for new ways to create new business models, deliver new services, and lower costs. And the need to drive this transformation is even greater now given the unpredictability of COVID-19.

IDC is predicting that by 2025, AI-powered enterprises will see a 100% increase in knowledge worker productivity thus resulting in shorter reaction times, greater product innovation success, and improved customer satisfaction.

When AI-infused automation is applied to business processes and IT operations, it can help shorten the time between identifying an issue and responding. And this is critical as unforeseen IT incidents and outages can cost businesses in both revenue and reputation.

By integrating WDG Automation’s RPA capabilities into IBM’s existing AI-infused automation capabilities across business processes and IT operations, business leaders including Chief Operating Officers (COOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) will have broader access to intelligent automation through software robots. This acquisition also will extend IBM Services’ ability to transform clients’ operations as RPA, analytics, and artificial intelligence bring more intelligence to the enterprise workflows that fuel adaptive businesses and helps to expand IBM’s capabilities for delivering automation pervasively across client organizations.

Through the acquisition, organizations will be able to quickly identify more granular opportunities for automation, including tasks that have many steps as well as help ensure consistent and accurate data is being used across all tools and business functions, including customer service, IT, finance, HR, and supply chain — which is available through IBM Services.

WDG Automation is a software provider of RPA, headquartered in São José do Rio Preto, Brazil. And WDG Automation provides RPA, Intelligent Automation (IA), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and chatbots primarily aimed at customers in Latin America.

The WDG Automation technology was designed for business users to create automations using a desktop recorder without the need for information technology. And these software robots can run on-demand by the end-user or by an automated scheduler.

This acquisition will further extend the capabilities of the IBM Cloud Pak offerings on Red Hat OpenShift, starting with Cloud Pak for Automation. And as part of the acquisition, IBM will integrate over 600 pre-built RPA functions from WDG Automation into Cloud Pak for Automation to help businesses turn insights from AI into automated actions.

It will be available on any public or private cloud, or on-premises, the IBM Cloud Pak for Automation offers clients a single set of AI-infused automation software and services, including data capture, workflow orchestration, decision management, monitoring, and reporting that helps companies design, build and run intelligently automated business processes and IT operations. And with WDG Automation, clients will be able to more quickly identify more granular opportunities for automation, accelerate the deployment of bots, and streamline more end-to-end workflows.

For example, WDG Automation click-mining capabilities can help prioritize RPA deployments with WDG Automation pre-built scripts, integrated with the Cloud Pak for Automation, and can be deployed faster and smarter with infused AI during invoice processing. Plus organizations including Banco Galicia, ENN Group in China, PNC Bank, several Qatar government entities, and UK NHS Blood and Transplant are already using IBM Cloud Pak for Automation capabilities to digitize and automate work.

Along with the addition in business operations, IBM is planning to integrate WDG Automation RPA into its capabilities for automating information technology operations, specifically Watson AIOps and Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management. And IBM Watson AIOps automates how CIOs self-detect, diagnose, and respond to IT anomalies in real-time. RPA is able to help close the loop and ensure consistent data across all tools that connect to Watson AIOps. This can increase data quality and improve the accuracy of AI as well as the productivity of engineers involved.

IBM’s investments in AI-infused automation will help improve the workflows that drive the operations across an organization. And IBM Services delivers fast prototyping, rapid scaling, and management of digital operations for business process and IT.

For example — in a procure to pay process — the workflow engine determines that the best way to handle certain types of invoices is to route them to the bot. And these intelligent workflows reduce response time and save time for the invoice processor to focus on other work by automating the entire process of requisitioning, purchasing, receiving, paying for and accounting for goods and services.

This transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. And it is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.

Key Quotes:

“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. With today’s announcement, IBM is taking that a step further and helping clients accelerate automation to more parts of the organization, not just to routine, but more complex tasks so employees can focus on higher value work.”

-Denis Kennelly, General Manager, Cloud Integration at IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software

“Automation is crucial in the digital era, as businesses need to perform several repetitive or routine tasks, so that employees are able to focus on innovation. I’m incredibly proud of the role WDG Automation has played in the RPA market with a unified and integrated platform to help companies in Brazil increase their productivity.”

-Robson Felix, Founder and CEO, WDG Automation.

“Joining forces with IBM will scale our capabilities to a wider audience, helping companies around the world accelerate their growth on their business transformation journeys.”

-Kleber Rodrigues Junior, co-founder at WDG Automation