Tag: Metaverse

Growth of Metaverse Increases Trust and Safety (T&S) Risks to Enterprises, Users | Press Release

Mitigating threats to user security, increased abuse, proliferation of objectionable content and financial fraud represents big opportunity for third-party T&S services market in the coming years.

 

DALLAS, September 08, 2022 — As enterprises apply their best creative and strategic thinking to how to take advantage of the metaverse, they should also address the heightened risks the metaverse will pose to employees, customers and corporate assets, according to Everest Group.

“The metaverse is attracting large investments from technology giants such as Google, Meta, Microsoft and Nvidia to make the virtual world a reality, and the applications hold unlimited economic and social potential for both good and bad,” said Rajesh Ranjan, partner at Everest Group. “As organizations develop their business strategies for the metaverse, trust and safety issues need to be among their foremost considerations. Enterprises may be able to adapt some best practices of today, but they will also need to address scenarios and use cases that are unique to the metaverse. Solving for those novel challenges will require a collaborative approach among enterprises, policymakers, academia, and T&S service providers to realize the full potential of metaverse as an immersive yet safe place for users.”

While the metaverse—an interconnection of virtual worlds providing immersive social experiences—is still at a nascent stage, it is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, opening new possibilities for enterprises, including trade in digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), immersive marketing, enhanced customer experience, improved employee training, and live virtual events. However, as the metaverse expands, enterprises will have to deal with new trust and safety (T&S) challenges, such as the abuse of virtual avatars and the safety of virtual assets. Organizations will need to come up with risk mitigation policies to make the metaverse a safe space for users.

Everest Group has shared its research and recommendations in “Taming the Hydra: Trust & Safety in the Metaverse.” In this study, Everest Group explores the potential trust and safety challenges that enterprises face in the metaverse and recommend metaverse risk mitigation strategies to help tackle them. The report also explores the impact of the metaverse on the third-party T&S market.

 

Everest Group offers metaverse risk mitigation strategies for T&S risks, including:

  • Abuse of virtual avatars, including invasion of personal space, impersonation, harassment, assault, bullying, stalking and spying.
  • Concerns around data privacy and user safety, including personal and sensitive information such as user habits and physiological characteristics.
  • Safety of virtual assets from financial crimes and identity theft.
  • Well-being of content moderators who may face physical and mental health hazards from prolonged exposure to VR headsets and content.
  • Regulatory ambiguity, especially policy gaps with respect to the definition of ownership, data privacy and user interactions.

 

Implications for the Third-Party T&S Services Market

Enterprises are increasingly outsourcing T&S services to match exponential growth in user content, and as the metaverse expands, the T&S services market will surge as well. Currently, T&S services is among the fastest-growing segment of the Business Process Services market, expected to reach US$15-20 billion by 2024. The market is expected to grow 35-38% through 2024 and accelerate to 60-68% growth beyond 2024 as technology and infrastructure advances beyond the nascent stage.

In this dynamic market, T&S service providers have the opportunity to leverage their expertise to proactively help enterprises develop risk mitigation strategies. The growth potential of the metaverse T&S market will attract new service providers, spur specialization, and give rise to ecosystem partnerships to address the complexity of policy advisory, technological expertise, process acumen, and localization of services that the evolving metaverse will demand.

 

About Everest Group
Everest Group is a research firm focused on strategic IT, business services, engineering services, and sourcing. Our research also covers the technologies that power those processes and functions and the related talent trends and strategies. Our clients include leading global companies, service and technology providers, and investors. Clients use our services to guide their journeys to maximize operational and financial performance, transform experiences, and realize high-impact business outcomes. Details and in-depth content are available at www.everestgrp.com.

Process Mining Market in the Multiverse of Acquisitions: Celonis Buying PAFnow and Microsoft Enters with Minit Deal

Process Mining Market in the Multiverse of Acquisitions: Celonis Buying PAFnow and Microsoft Enters with Minit Deal

Over the past week, two major acquisitions in the process mining market are drawing attention to this fast-growing space. What does it mean, and will other giants follow? Read on for our expert analysis of the latest deals and implications for this market.

The spotlight is back on the process mining market after we saw two big acquisition announcements last week. First, Celonis announced the acquisition of Process Analytics Factory (PAFnow), a leading process mining product built atop Microsoft Power BI and a “Major Contender” in Everest Group’s Process Mining PEAK Matrix® 2021. Within a couple of days, Microsoft signaled its entry into the space with the acquisition of Minit, a Leader and a Star Performer in our 2021 assessment.

The latest news continues the hot trend of new tech developments and strong M&A activity in this space with companies from different technology universes, such as automation (UiPath), process orchestration (Appian), and big tech (SAP, IBM), entering the process mining market through acquisitions.

With its critical role in accelerating digital transformation and enabling continuous process optimization, process mining is becoming integral to the intelligent automation solution ecosystem. Additionally, owing to increased solution awareness and technology maturity, it has been one of the fastest-growing markets in the intelligent automation space over the past few years, making it very attractive for potential acquisitions.

This year’s acquisition frenzy started in January with iGrafx, a process management provider, announcing the acquisition of the France-based process mining specialist Logpickr. And it hasn’t stopped yet.

Let’s take a look at what the two latest deals could mean.

Celonis further strengthens its market position with PAFnow

Celonis has been the leading technology provider in the process mining market with over a 60% market share. Its Execution Management System (EMS) combines process mining and automation technologies to help enterprises reveal and fix process inefficiencies. The platform offers the capability to ingest data in near real-time from information systems, applications, and user desktops. Celonis Process Data Engine supports process intelligence through capability modules such as Execution Graph to visualize interconnected processes spanning multiple systems and departments, Process Simulation to perform what-if analysis, and Knowledge Models to manage and share process insights.

The acquisition of PAF brings a host of technical capabilities and business opportunities which can help Celonis to:

  • Expand its reach to Microsoft Power BI’s large customer base and user community
  • Integrate Celonis EMS platform with the Microsoft ecosystem, including the broader Power platform and Office 365
  • Improve the ease of getting started with Celonis as an embedded capability within the Power BI platform
  • Provide users the ability to access process mining insights through Microsoft Power BI dashboards

Celonis would also benefit from a capability standpoint through PAFnow’s:

  • Strong technical team with a similar vision for continuous process improvement
  • Pre-built connectors with Microsoft Power BI
  • Content Packs that include data extractors, pre-defined data models, and pre-configured reports for specific processes, applications, and queries

Acquiring PAFnow is part of Celonis’ strategy to enable global companies across industries to leverage the Celonis EMS solution with the Microsoft solution ecosystem to optimize their business processes.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Minit shows process mining is on its way to becoming part of something bigger

Tech giant, Microsoft has been showing keen interest in the intelligent automation space over the past few years, starting in 2019 when it added various Robotic Process Automation (RPA) features to Flow, its automated workflow service, and rebranded it as Power Automate. In 2020, it acquired a leading RPA provider, Softomotive, to mark its seriousness in the RPA space and improve its market positioning. Microsoft emerged as a “Major Contender” in Everest Group’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) PEAK Matrix® 2021 for its Power Automate solution.

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched its in-house task mining solution with plans to later launch a process mining solution. Microsoft has been quite aggressive on most intelligent automation technology fronts, including RPA, Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), task mining, and now process mining.

Microsoft announced its acquisition of Minit, an Amsterdam-based leading process mining provider, last week for an undisclosed amount. Minit focuses on transforming the way enterprises analyze, monitor, and optimize their processes, helping them uncover opportunities to improve process performance and increase operational efficiency.

The tech company brings a host of capabilities to enhance the value proposition of Microsoft’s intelligent automation offering. These capabilities include automated process discovery and rework detector for process visualization, AI-powered root-cause analysis and process compare for conformance checking, custom metrics for process monitoring, and AI-powered simulation for performing what-if analysis.

This acquisition will further empower Microsoft to help its customers drive operational excellence by providing greater visibility into their business processes, allowing them to perform automated process analysis, and enabling them to drive process improvement initiatives. Microsoft’s entry is not only expected to play a key role in democratizing process mining technology, but it might also impart downward pricing pressure on other process mining providers as it did with its entry into the RPA market with its Power Automate solution.

Key Implications and the process mining market outlook

We expect these deals will result in the following benefits:

  • Improved awareness and greater adoption of process mining: Process mining technology will reach a much broader audience because of these acquisitions. The focus of these providers in integrating process mining platforms with Business Intelligence (BI) tools will help establish a clear distinction between process mining and BI and improve market understanding of how these technologies complement each other. This also will help educate the market on the potential of process mining technology and boost familiarity among enterprises
  • Increased evolution of the mining provider landscape: While Celonis continues to command a large process mining market share, Microsoft’s entry will put pressure on the existing players and also on future deals. Several process mining providers, including Celonis, have technology partnerships with Microsoft. These partnerships will likely continue, and clients will be given the flexibility to choose, as co-opetition is becoming increasingly common in the enterprise software space. The acquisitions would nudge other process mining providers to develop partnerships/integrations with BI providers to extend their ecosystem and fuel growth.

These acquisitions demonstrate an increasing trend of process mining becoming an integral part of bigger enterprise platforms and could also fuel more future M&A activities. Other process mining providers that are embedded in BI platforms might become good acquisition targets. The recent series of acquisitions is a testimony to process mining technology’s potential and reaffirms investors’ confidence in this market

With process mining becoming a crucial component of the intelligent automation ecosystem, the market is rapidly growing, garnering attention from all parts of the world. These acquisitions could trigger other big enterprise tech giants like Oracle, ServiceNow, and Salesforce to make similar moves, making this an exciting time.

It also will be interesting to see whether the tech leaders can drive their large client bases to use their process mining offerings and challenge the dominance of pure-play process mining providers. On the other hand, if these tech giants plan to leverage the acquired process mining capabilities solely for in-house platforms, enterprises may continue to prefer pure-play providers for cross-platform use cases.

To discuss the outlook and opportunities in the process mining market, contact us.

Also, if you’re interested in learning about our in-depth coverage of the digital workplace, check out our webinar, Top Strategies for Creating an Employee-focused Digital Workplace.

Metaverse: Opportunities and Key Success Factors for Technology Services Providers | Blog

While the metaverse may seem way out there, the opportunities for technology service providers in this next evolution are very real. While sci-fi movies such as Ready Player One introduced this concept of an interactive virtual reality (VR) world, leading technology giants including Facebook, Nvidia, and Microsoft are investing in this future. What will it take for tech service companies to seize a stake in this alternative universe that could be coming very soon? To learn more about the five factors providers will need to succeed in the metaverse, read on.

With digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the cloud, buildings and other physical locations have become “smart spaces,” as we recently wrote about in this Viewpoint. The metaverse – a confluence where people live a seamless life across the real and virtual universe – can be thought of as the “mega smart space.” Google trends analysis of the word “metaverse” below suggests a growing interest in it.

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As the underlying powerhouse running the metaverse, the internet is expected to evolve to this next-generation model. Driven by the growing acceptance of virtual models as a standard way of living during the pandemic, many evangelists believe the metaverse may become a reality sooner than expected.

News such as a Gucci virtual bag selling for more than its physical value is grabbing attention. Virtual avatars are already attending corporate meetings and large audience forums with real people. The physical motion of body parts is being replicated in the digital world and vice versa, as witnessed at the recent SIGGRAPH 2021 conference. Even if we discount the hyperbole of vendors, there is merit in evaluating what this means for the technology services industry.

Opportunities to build a new world

Interestingly, the metaverse has no standard building blocks. Since it’s a parallel universe, things that exist in the real world are imitated. Therefore, blockchain-driven non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and payments, computing power to run the universe, connectivity through 5G and edge, cyber security, interactive applications, Augmented Reality (AR) and VR, digital twins, and 3D/4D models of the real world all become important. Of course, integrating these seamlessly with enterprise technology will be a demand to cater to.

The entire metaverse is based on technology. And with more technology spend comes more technology services spend. Although some of these enabling technologies, such as AR/VR, are still in their infancy, but technology vendors are accelerating their development, which will only help technology service providers.

Five factors needed for tech service providers to succeed in the metaverse

  1. Innovative client engagement: Gaming companies may end up taking a lead in this area given their inherent capabilities to build engaging life-like content. Unfortunately, few technology services work meaningfully with gaming companies. Vendors who can build product development competence for this set of clients will benefit from the metaverse. Service providers also will need to scale their existing engagements with BigTech and other technology vendors. The current work focused on maintaining their products or providing end-of-life support must change. Service providers will need to engage technology vendors upstream in ideating and designing products and not only developing and supporting them. The traditional client base in segments such as Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI), retail, manufacturing, and travel will continue to be important. These industries will build their version of the metaverse for consumers for specific business use cases or participate in/rent out others. Technology service providers will need access to business owner spend in these organizations. Other industries such as education, which do not currently provide large technology service opportunities, may also take the lead in the metaverse adoption. The takeaway is service providers will need to expand their client coverage and rely less on their traditional client base
  2. Capabilities to work with “unknown” partners: Most service providers have a very long list of 200-300 technology partners they work with. However, they usually prioritize five or six as strategic partners who influence 70-80% of their channel revenue. This will need to change for the metaverse. With its complexity, the metaverse will require service providers to not only work with other peers but also innumerable smaller companies. Niche partners could be manufacturing smart glasses, tracking technologies, or virtual interfaces, etc. Building viable Go-to-Market (GTM) and technical capabilities will be critical
  3. Product envisioning and user experience capabilities: While many service providers now have interactive businesses, their predominant revenue comes from building mobile apps, next-gen websites, or commerce platforms. Most have very limited true interactive or product envisioning capabilities. The metaverse will reduce the inherent need for “screens,” and the experience will be seamless. Most enterprises rely on specialist providers to brainstorm with and push their thinking to envision newer products. Other service providers are still catching up and are bucketed as “technical partners.”  Envisioning capabilities will become critical. Therefore, service providers who are yet to get to even product design opportunities have a big road to traverse. Although these technology service providers can continue to focus on the downstream work of core technology, they will soon be sidelined and become irrelevant
  4. Infinite platform competence: The metaverse will need service providers to closely work with cloud, edge, 5G, carriers, and other vendors. However, the boundless infrastructure and platform capabilities needed will change. Service providers have already tasted success in cloud. However, the metaverse infrastructure will stress their capabilities to envision, design, and operate limitless infrastructure platforms. Their tools, operating processes, partners, and talent model will completely transform
  5. Monetization model: Service providers will need to bring and build innovative commercial models for their clients to monetize the metaverse. Much like the internet, no one will own the metaverse. However, every company will try to be its guardian to maximize their business. Service providers will need to understand the deep working of the metaverse and advise clients on potential monetization. To do this, they will not only need traditional capabilities such as consulting and industry knowledge but also breakthrough thinking around potential revenue streams. For example, a bank or telecom company will want its metaverse to influence growth and not just become one more channel of customer experience

Who will take the lead?

Without adding to the ongoing debate on the metaverse and its social impact, it is safe to assume that it can create significant opportunities for technology service providers that will continue to grow as this nascent concept evolves further. These service providers already have many technical building blocks that will be needed to succeed.

However, given the metaverse conversations are not even at infancy in their client landscape, service providers are not proactively thinking along this dimension. Since the metaverse will initially be dominated by technology vendors, who outsource a lot less than their enterprise counterparts, service providers will struggle unless they proactively strategize, and their traditional client base will need a significant push to think along these lines to create opportunities.

Currently, this all may appear too farfetched or futuristic. Indeed, there are too many “unknown unknowns.” Unlike technology vendors, technology service providers do not proactively invest until they size up the market opportunity. However, as enterprise-class technology vendors such as Microsoft launch offerings like Mesh, it is quite apparent that the metaverse, in some shape or form, will become enterprise-ready sooner than we expect.

What has your experience been with metaverse-related opportunities? Please share your thoughts with me at [email protected].

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