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IBM to Acquire WDG Automation to Advance AI-Infused Automation Capabilities for Enterprises

- New AI-Powered RPA helps companies speed the completion of more types of work so employees can focus on higher value work
Jul 8, 2020

ARMONK, N.Y., July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Brazilian software provider of robotic process automation (RPA) WDG Soluções Em Sistemas E Automação De Processos LTDA (referred to as "WDG Automation" throughout). The acquisition further advances IBM's comprehensive AI-infused automation capabilities, spanning business processes to IT operations. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In today's digital era, companies are looking for new ways to create new business models, deliver new services and lower costs. The need to drive this transformation is even greater now given the uncertainties of COVID-19. IDC predicts that by 2025, AI-powered enterprises will see a 100% increase in knowledge worker productivity, resulting in shorter reaction times, greater product innovation success and improved customer satisfactioni.

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

By embedding 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. The acquisition also will extend IBM Services' ability to transform clients' operations as RPA, analytics and AI bring more intelligence to the enterprise workflows that fuel adaptive and resilient businesses and helps to expand IBM's capabilities for delivering automation pervasively across client organizations.

With today's news, businesses will be able to efficiently re-engineer, optimize and standardize operations, while eliminating business processes and IT operations that are redundant or unnecessary. They can also 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.

"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, Cloud Integration, IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software. "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."

"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," said 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," said Kleber Rodrigues Junior, co-founder, WDG Automation.

WDG Automation's RPA Capabilities Automate Basic and Complex Tasks

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

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

IBM Offers Complete AI-Infused Automation Capabilities – Spanning Business Process to IT Operations

Today's news will further extend the capabilities of the IBM Cloud Pak offerings on Red Hat OpenShift, starting with Cloud Pak for Automation. 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.

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. 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, during invoice processing, 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.

Organizations including Banco Galicia, ENN Group in China, PNC Bank throughout the U.S., several Qatar government entities, and UK NHS Blood and Transplant, already are using IBM Cloud Pak for Automation capabilities to digitize and automate work.

In addition to business operations, IBM plans to integrate WDG Automation RPA into its capabilities for automating IT operations, specifically Watson AIOps and Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management. IBM Watson AIOps, for example, automates how CIOs self-detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in real time. RPA can 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 investment in AI-infused automation will help improve and redefine the workflows that drive the operations across an organization. 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. 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.    

The WDG Automation technology will join the IBM Cloud Integration organization and be available through IBM Cloud Pak for Automation on-premises, and in public or private cloud environments.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. It is expected to close in Q3 2020.

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i  IDC White Paper, sponsored by IBM. "Architect Business Transformation with AI and Hybrid Multicloud." Copyright 2020

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