Appian’s recent announcement of its acquisition of leading process mining company Lana Labs strongly demonstrates the huge potential and growing acquisition trend in this market. Read on to learn why you should pay attention to this promising intelligent automation space.
As a reader of this blog, you are likely cognizant of the growing need among enterprises to scale digital transformation and automation initiatives as they face unprecedented pressure to reduce costs, optimize operations, and increase business resilience. Enterprises have been continuously increasing their focus on automating more complex, end-to-end processes, which, in turn, is driving increased demand for holistic intelligent automation solutions that combine various digital levers such as robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent document processing (IDP), conversational artificial intelligence (AI), process mining, and process orchestration.
Process mining is becoming integral to the intelligent automation solution ecosystem, given the critical role it plays in accelerating digital transformation and enabling continuous process optimization. Process mining has been one of the fastest-growing markets in the intelligent automation space over the past few years, making it an interesting space for potential acquisitions for a while now.
We discussed several acquisitions in the RPA market in one of our previously published blogs, “Is It Open Season for RPA Acquisitions?” where we also predicted this trend’s expansion to other areas, which is now being seen in process mining.
2021 certainly seems to have opened the flood gates for process mining, with three major acquisitions taking place in quick succession over the past few months. Following the acquisition of Signavio by SAP, and myInvenio by IBM, Appian has announced the acquisition of Lana Labs for an undisclosed amount.
What’s in it for Appian?
In the ongoing quest to achieve digital transformation, enterprises are increasingly using process mining to discover, monitor, and optimize processes in a data-driven, faster, cost-efficient, and scalable way. Process mining solutions have a wide range of applications that go far beyond just process discovery to generate fact-based insights and enable enterprises to act on these insights for transforming processes.
The proposition that process mining offers seems to plug in the key missing capability piece in Appian’s offering. Appian has a vision to provide an integrated low-code intelligent automation platform that combines various digital levers, including RPA, process orchestration, IDP, case management, application programming interface (API) integration, and AI, to transform enterprise operations. In 2020, Appian acquired Novayre Solutions SL, maker of the Jidoka RPA product, to augment its platform capabilities. It also recently added IDP capability to its platform.
Lana Labs’ acquisition is a key step by Appian to become the one-stop-shop by providing process mining capabilities that are firmly integrated into its automation platform. It will help Appian reduce its reliance on third-party process mining vendors for gaining process insights that can be used to deploy critical applications with the Appian platform. It also aligns very well with Appian’s mission to drive continuous and actionable process optimization with humans, systems, and data unified in the same workflow.
Why Lana Labs?
Founded in 2016, Lana Labs is a Berlin-based process mining software provider focused on enabling organizations to become smart and more efficient by automatically analyzing and optimizing complex business and production processes. Its process mining software leverages a proprietary ML algorithm to determine root causes of unwanted process deviations to automatically detect optimization opportunities in business processes. The platform is developed on microservices architecture and supports containerized deployments, which enhances scalability and aligns well with Appian’s platform architecture.
Lana Labs was identified as a major contender in Everest Group’s 2021 Process Mining PEAK Matrix® and brings a host of capability modules to enhance the value proposition of Appian’s automation platform, including:
- Process discovery – To automatically generate process maps, detect process loops along with rework rate, discover organization-level relationships, create BPMN 2.0 compliant process models, and perform multi-level process mining
- Conformance checking – To compare discovered as-is process model with a target reference model, perform gap analysis and ML-based automated root-cause analysis, and check compliance rules such as segregation of duties
- Process monitoring and reporting – To create customizable dashboards, define custom KPIs/metrics, and monitor processes against pre-defined KPIs
- Process enhancement – To predict any expected KPI breaches by leveraging deep learning and neural networks, proactively trigger alerts/notifications to users regarding those breaches, and identify/prioritize automation opportunities
The market outlook
Process mining technology will reach a much broader audience after its integration into the platforms offered by providers such as Appian, resulting in improved awareness and adoption.
Appian has strategic go-to-market partnerships and technology alliances with other process mining vendors, and these partnerships are expected to continue, giving clients the flexibility to choose as co-opetition is becoming quite common in the enterprise software space.
With this move, Appian has no doubt strengthened its position in the automation vendor landscape. While it could take some time to embed Lana Labs’ offerings at a technical level within Appian’s suite, it will be interesting to see how well Appian can leverage this investment.
The acquisition will also nudge other technology vendors to demonstrate their ability to think ahead and make more investments to strengthen their automation suite. This latest deal may push other process orchestration and RPA players to acquire companies that provide process mining or other complementary technologies such as API-based automation, conversational AI, and IDP to provide a more comprehensive solution to their clients. The deal also could trigger other big enterprise tech vendors like Microsoft, Oracle, ServiceNow, and Salesforce to make similar moves to enter the process mining market.
Process mining offers great potential for enterprises, and this is just the beginning of this market entering a disruptive phase, garnering attention from all parts of the world. And we have no doubt there is more to come.