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Resolve Systems adds Ayehu to progress end-to-end IT automation offering toward self-healing

June 28, 2021

IT automation and orchestration provider Resolve Systems has acquired its peer Ayehu to expand its offerings from customizable support for complex environments, to include low-code out-of-the-box automation.

Ayehu – based in San Jose, California and bootstrapped in 2007, secured external funding in 2015, and has grown at 75% per year since.

Resolve supports IT Operations teams by AI-driven infrastructure mapping, operational data correlation, and predictive analytics to intelligently automate cross-domain actions based on those findings.

By focusing on end-to-end IT automation and service orchestration Resolve is trying to establish is clear demarcation from the badly defined AIOps and Observability segments. Backed by venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners, Resolve aims to establish a new category in IT Operations. In simplistic terms that are around blending AI-infused insights from activities around logs, metrics, traces, and dependency maps with the self-remediation on incident management and then building automation on top of it.

Ability to blend insights with automation is the next frontier in IT Operations

The intent to create end-to-end IT Automation and to create a disruptive digital workforce goes back to the early discussions of Intelligent Automation with proponents like IPsoft, arago, and ignio. More recently that intent is being revisited by M&A in the AIOps space, in particular IBM’s acquisitions of Instana and Turbonomic. IBM’s ambition is to expand the insights gleaned from AIOps and Observability to actions and ultimately end-to-end automation.

As already noted, the market segments of AIOps and Observability are badly defined and the marketing overladen with engineering jargon that doesn’t travel easily outside specific domains. And, both segments are immensely fragmented and clients have to integrate a plethora of point solutions predominantly focused on extracting insights on very specific operations activities. This provides the background for the go-to-market challenges that Resolve is facing. While it is using the AIOps moniker to be part of the IT Operations discussions, it has to weigh up introducing a new segment and nomenclature. Suffice it to say the marketing investments for this approach would be significant.

Thus, Resolve is expecting that the existing IT automation category will evolve toward the broader notion of Intelligent IT Automation with the ultimate goal of self-healing. On this journey, the company is pragmatically seeking to partner with both AIOps and Observability vendors as these are lacking automation capabilities. Yet, they are clear in that they have no intention of targeting either of these segments. As we keep saying it is about the power of “and”.

Resolve combines services mindset with out-of-box automation capabilities

The strategic rationale behind the Ayehu acquisition is to add low code automation and decision tree builder capabilities as well as additional prebuilt automation tasks and process templates to Resolve’s more complex automation capabilities.

Resolve started its journey as a next-generation consulting organization focused on incident management and building, often bespoke, runbooks to address known problems. Over time Resolve gravitated toward a more product-centric approach focused on Discover and Dependency Mapping – building a nuanced understanding of the interdependencies between applications and infrastructure. Based on this knowledge the company then built out runbooks to resolve and automate known incidents and events.

The philosophy behind this work is to integrate with tools that ingest data or provide information on events like AIOps. At the same time, the open APIs with the leading ITSM tools as well as the leading enterprise applications led to broad orchestration capabilities. Yet, executives at Resolve are clear about their focus: “We’re not trying to be the masters of data. And we’re not trying to be the central repository for anything, we are the central repository for automation.” The second strategic pillar is to drive automation in an application and process agnostic way. This means that their automation is not pre-optimized or pre-configured for specific applications. Rather the emphasis is on leveraging reusable assets and on building on the existing operational knowledge. Exhibit 1 details the automation performed by Resolve’s platform:

Exhibit 1: Automations performed by the Resolve platform

Source: Resolve Systems, 2021

Insights Venture Partners backing opens strategic options in IT Operations

For the trajectory toward end-to-end automation, the backing by Insight Venture Partners offers some intriguing possibilities. Because the IT Operations portfolio of the venture capital firm ranges from the ITSM stalwarts BMC and Cherwell over workflow disruptor Workato to Observability providers New Relic and Solarwinds as well as AIOps provider Big Panda. Thus, a cross-fertilization including further M&A across this portfolio is a distinct possibility. Furthermore, the connections with Insight Venture Partners are further strengthened by the fact that Resolve’s CEO Vijay Kurkal is a former partner at the venture capital firm.

Ayehu is Resolve’s second acquisition after buying AIOps vendor FixStream in 2020 for $24m – providing a unified platform, multi-layer visibility, and predictive analytics capabilities.

The Bottom line: Adding Ayehu extends capabilities, broadening market appeal and continuing the journey to end-to-end IT automation

Adding Ayehu’s SaaS approach and out-of-the-box capabilities to the Resolve stable certainly expands both capabilities and market reach for the Californian company. How much further in total the combination edges towards self-remediating IT is less certain. But – in combination with Resolve’s Insights Venture Partner stablemates – the acquisition indicates increasing promise for its intent to deliver end-to-end automation and orchestration for IT.

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