At Pegaworld Inspire, Pegasystems announced the acquisition of Everflow, a Brazilian process mining software company. Business Processing Mining software has become important in an era when enterprises have to consider digital transformation. Its importance was recently highlighted by SAP when it showcased Signavio during the recent Sapphire keynote. Neither party disclosed the terms of the deal.
Before the event, Enterprise Times spoke to Don Schuerman, CTO of Pega about the deal and the growing importance of business process mining. Schuerman explained the thinking behind the deal and commented:
“Last year at Pegaworld we announced process AI. It uses our proven decisioning models, the same things that our clients use to support billions of customer interactions a day to optimise our processes and find opportunities to improve the processes. Well now we’ve taken that process optimization and we’ve combined it now with that process mining.
“We can see the process data of what’s happening outside of Pega, and also use the AI power decisioning to fix these problems on the fly.
“We can self optimise the process to recommend in real-time, things that will make the process execute better. This is exactly what Gartner has been talking about as they talk about hyper-automation, this convergence of AI capabilities and traditional orchestration and automation capabilities. We think that gives us the most complete hyper-automation platform that’s on the market.”
Pega, however, has gone beyond the SAP thinking and is looking at leveraging Everflow to deliver continuous business process mining. Schuerman added: “We want process mining, not to be a one-time thing that organisations do for process discovery. We want it to be ongoing. So that the dashboards that allow people to see these processes continually find the bottlenecks and continually improve.”
Everflow provides depth
Where Everflow stands out is its ability to understand the different steps within business processes and the delays between those steps. It can identify the different processes whether they are within a mobile application, SAP or Salesforce.
It will deliver an understanding of where the delays or bottlenecks are. Integrated with Pega, the Pega solutions can then take actions to reduce or eliminate the bottleneck. Schuerman cited an example where an RPA bot could retrieve data, in a process where Everflow flagged that this was the cause of the delay.
Everflow was only founded in 2018, however, it was spun out of Icaro Tech’s Everflow product. It will be interesting to see whether Icaro Tech, an SI specialising in Digital Transformation and Automation becomes a Pegasystems partner. Icaro Tech lists Everflow as an existing partner.
Everflow, in its current state, is available to Pega customers. Once the integrations are complete it will be available as an add-on capability to Pega Process AI. The add-on should be initially later this year and generally available either at the end of the year or early 2023. Pega is also looking to integrate the Everflow team into the wider Pega family.
Kleber Stroeh, former CEO of Everflow and now current vice president, product mining, Pega said: “We built Everflow solutions to make the power of process mining accessible and actionable for anyone to use.
“This philosophy fits perfectly with Pega’s mission to crush business complexity by democratizing the tools that help organizations operate at their full potential. We look forward to joining with Pega and using our solution to help solve problems for some of the most important businesses in the world.”
What about the existing Everflow customers?
Schuerman commented: “We’ve gone through acquisitions like this before and we take good care to make sure that we’re supporting the existing customers. I think the thing that was exciting for the Everflow team was this now allows their customers to plug into a much deeper and richer ecosystem of automation capabilities.
“Most of what process mining identifies is opportunities for automation and opportunities for optimization. Now those clients and Pega clients, in general, have a direct line to connect the process mining discoveries they make right into the decisioning and workflow tools that can actually make those processes better.”
Has the age of continuous process mining arrived?
Everflow is another piece in the puzzle that will enable organisations to continuously understand and improve business processes. It will provide a simple to use tool that will allow business users to identify issues and take actions to resolve them quickly without having to resort to major time and motion studies of yesteryear.
One challenge is that processes do not live in isolation, processes trigger other, sometimes invisible processes. A process is often embedded within multiple other processes and one of the dangers of changing a process is you don’t know where it sits in that 3D world. Enterprise Times asked Schuerman where is are we the ability to create that 3D visualisation model of how our processes sit?
Schuerman replied: “One of the things that we’re particularly excited about is the intersection of process mining with the process fabric. What we’ve put together in process fabric is this ability to visualise across processes and workflows that live in different systems and understand the impact and the relationship between those processes.
“As we think about where we want to take this technology, that intersection of the fabric that sees the different workflow that’s going on in the system, and the process mining that gives you detailed information about what’s actually happening inside of those processes, is going to be really important because it’s the connectivity across all this, that becomes particularly interesting.
“That’s also why we think it’s really important to look at process mining, not as a standalone tool, but it’s something that fits together with the other investments and innovations that Pega has been putting into the market.
Another challenge is the software created by users to automate processes using code, low-code and no code. It can mean that people lose sight of the process within a black box of sorts. How does Pega extract the business processes and visualise them for the business?
Schuerman answered: “We were one of the first solutions to have a local tool that puts the process front and centre. That’s one piece of it. The other point is we’ve got, in addition to process mining, we’ve already had some rich task mining capability that came in as part of our robotics.
“That allows you to get in front of the code and actually see what users are clicking and what they’re doing on their desktops. We see a huge opportunity to begin to merge some of this data together to create a much richer picture of how work is actually getting done inside an organisation.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean?
This is an acquisition where it not only makes sense, it also enhances the already impressive Pegasystems offering. Pega is not just buying a business process mining solution, it is buying an engine that it can leverage through the lifecycle of customer organisations, not just in the digital transformation stage.
Alan Trefler, founder and CEO, Pega stated: “Our acquisition of Everflow puts Pega in a position to fulfil the promise of hyperautomation like no other company in the industry. When combined with our intelligent low-code platform, Everflow will help Pega root out business process inefficiencies from end to end in even the largest and most complex enterprises.
“We know that digital transformation never stops, and this unique and powerful software combination will allow for continuous improvement in a time of continuous change.”
What must follow is the execution of this integration. Will the Everflow business process mining engine delivers on the promise? How easy will it be to integrate the solution into the wider Pega platform? Also as the business process changes become automated will Pega also build the tools to evidence what changes are made and how it reached those decisions?