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Salesforce Acquires Servicetrace RPA; Challenges ServiceNow, Automation Anywhere, UiPath

Salesforce has acquired robotic process automation (RPA) software provider Servicetrace, and will tuck the business into the MuleSoft business unit. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is technology M&A deal number 479 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2021.

Salesforce RPA vs. ServiceNow, Automation Anywhere, UiPath & More

The Servicetrace acquisition, expected to close by October 31, 2021, potentially positions Salesforce vs. Automation Anywhere, UiPath, and other RPA tools in the fast-growth software bot market. Moreover, a larger Salesforce vs. ServiceNow battle is emerging in the workflow automation market.

Indeed, RPA software allows businesses to write code and bots that rapidly automate manual tasks across multiple departments — from IT service desks to HR, finance, customer support and more. Global RPA software revenue is projected to reach $1.89 billion in 2021, up 19.5% from 2020, according to Gartner.

Moreover, 95 percent of IT and engineering leaders say their organizations are prioritizing workflow automation, according to Salesforce’s Trends in Workflow Automation report.

Much of the workflow automation & RPA software market focuses on enterprise customers. But there are signs that the RPA trend could extend down into the MSP-driven SMB customer market.

For instance, RPA software developer ElectroNeek raised $20 million in Series A funding in June 2021 to service small business MSPs. Also, Ingram Micro agreed to distribute UiPath’s RPA software worldwide, the two technology companies confirmed in May 2021.

Salesforce Acquires Serviectrace: RPA and API Integration Plan

Salesforce's vision for Servicetrace extends beyond standalone RPA software.

In a blog about the deal, MuleSoft CEO Brent Hayward wrote:

"The combination of integration, API management, and automation is required for companies to scale and increase the speed of work — from streamlining sales operations to speeding up customer case resolution. And that’s why we’re thrilled to bring together Servicetrace’s leading RPA solution with our leading API and integration platform."

The result: Salesforce, MuleSoft and Servicetrace will "makes it easy to unlock and integrate data from anywhere — wherever it resides — and manage, monitor, secure, and govern that data at scale. MuleSoft will now also make it easy for line of business and knowledge workers to automate business processes and dramatically increase efficiency and speed," Hayward wrote.

Moreover, new RPA capabilities will "enhance Salesforce’s Einstein Automate solution, enabling end-to-end workflow automation across any system for Service, Sales, Industries, and more," Hayward added.

Can Salesforce RPA Compete vs. Automation Anywhere, UiPath, Microsoft?

Although Salesforce is a massive company with expansive financial and technical resources, the cloud CRM software provider faces fast-growing software businesses and pivoting giants in the RPA market.

The obvious rivals are Automation Anywhere, and UiPath -- which launched a successful IPO in 2021. Dig a little deeper and you'll see multiple competitive moves unfolding. They include: ServiceNow acquired Intellibot in March 2021, and Microsoft acquired Softomotive while IBM acquired WDG in 2020.

Servicetrace, meanwhile, appears to be a relatively small player in the market. The Germany-based company, founded around 2006, has 55 employees listed on LinkedIn.

Still, RPA is a fast-growth market that many businesses are only now discovering. We'll be watching to see if or how the Salesforce-Mulesoft-Servicetrace combination engages ISVs, MSPs and integrators.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.