Highlight Report

BP3 doubles down on acquisitions, building RPA services scale to reassure enterprises

August 30, 2021

Business process-rooted BP3 is the newest member of an exclusive club of robotic process automation (RPA) services specialists that can offer enterprise customers the reassurance of scale and multi-geo reach in what remains a largely fragmented market.

This month’s acquisition of RPA services pure-play Agilify rounds out BP3 RPA capabilities—adding Blue Prism depth and furthering its UiPath and Pega engagements. BP3 initially entered the RPA services fray in 2017 with its Automation Anywhere partnership, which at the time complemented its IBM-Lombardi business process management (BPM) focus. It also raises Austin-based BP3’s headcount overnight to 129 and adds more than 20 active customer engagements.

HFS has observed that an automation service business reaching a triple-figure headcount signifies a certain level of scale and capability that assuages unspoken client concerns about continuity, an ability to meet upticks in demand, and sustainable business relationships.

The 100+ club offers customers multi-region boots on the ground

With the addition of Agilify on top of its acquisition of Automation Anywhere services specialist (and former HFS Hot Vendor) transformAI earlier this year, BP3 becomes a credible rival to the likes of Germany-based Roboyo. BP3 has a footprint in Europe, with 22 of its team on the ground there, led from the UK. Roboyo became the world’s largest intelligent automation services company when it acquired Stockholm-based AKOA in June. Its headcount is in the region of 230. New York-based Reveal Group, with a footprint in North America and Australia, and Florida-based Accelirate are also members of the 100+ employees club. We previously listed both Accelirate and Reveal Group as HFS Hot Vendors.

In June of last year, we featured Indianapolis-based Agilify in an HFS Market Analysis covering RPA pure-play service providers. We included Agilify among the largest and most successful, distinguished by its partnerships with the major RPA software vendors, most notably Blue Prism.

It stood out as a pure-play delivering strong post-implementation services (in operation and optimization) powered by its RADILO “reimagining a day in the life of” framework — an area HFS identifies for growth when and where the value RPA can offer begins to scale in the enterprise.

The acquisition brings together born-BPM and born-RPA skillsets

BP3, founded in 2007, was born a business process outfit. It initially specialized in Lombardi BPM (acquired by IBM in 2010), and it is still deep in IBM BPM. Its focus on process optimization and reinvention eventually led it to RPA.

Agilify is a born-RPA outfit. It was initially established in the internal shared services center of a large healthcare provider (Ascension) and spun out in 2017, five years after launching its first RPA project. Its parent company was Blue Prism’s first US customer in 2014.

Bringing together both sets of BPM and RPA expertise, skills, and mindsets makes the acquisition an interesting one to watch.

The deal follows just months after BP3 acquired San Francisco Bay Area-based transformAI, which added deep expertise in Automation Anywhere’s intelligent document processing (IDP) offering, IQBot.

Standout capabilities in Pega RPA and Automation Anywhere IQBot

Agilify brings a great depth of experience with Blue Prism to the party. UiPath and Automation Anywhere skills continue to develop, and it also adds strong experience with Pega RPA. Partnerships with Cognitive Scale, Appian, and Clear offer complementary capabilities, too.

The combination of a Pega RPA specialty with IQBot expertise is enough on its own to make BP3 stand out for some enterprises, particularly those with heavy commitments to the Pega platform or those wanting to take advantage of the inclusion of IQBot in Automation Anywhere’s bundled pricing. We expect BP3 to go down the IDP path with Blue Prism’s Decipher, which is similarly bundled.

The Bottom Line: The race to meet enterprise demand for scale is on. To win, BP3 must crack the culture question.

When HFS analyzed Agilify last June, we identified an urgent need to do more with integrated automation. Customers are increasingly focusing on outcomes at the expense of point solutions. BP3’s focus on outcomes through business process means this acquisition may be everything Agilify needed.

The hardest work may be integrating a second company into BP3 within months of doing the same with transformAI. BP3, which is privately owned and venture-backed, would be wise not to underestimate the cultural challenges ahead as it shifts from starting the year as very much a BPM provider toward pursuing a future of integrated automation.

It’s a problem BP3 must crack; the rate of consolidation is only going to accelerate in what is fast becoming a race for scale in the RPA services sector.

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