Bizagi’s process automation platform gets AI decisioning and Azure Cognitive Services integration

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Bizagi now offers its process automation tools and AI capabilities alongside Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, and its Bizagi Studio Collaboration Services is free to use in the Azure Marketplace, too. This follows news from just a few weeks ago about updates to the company’s platform that allow non-data scientists to use AI and machine learning to more easily analyze data and make decisions.

But these are just the latest announcements; the company has been steadily pushing out updates to its tools and services over the course of the year. As it stands, Bizagi integrates with the three bigs in RPA — UiPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism. And notably, Bizagi is not a fresh-faced startup. It’s been in business since 1989, when it built an ERP system for Apple, and it’s been evolving in the three decades since.

The company espouses a grand vision that goes beyond gaining a foothold in the robotic process automation (RPA) market. Bizagi calls what it does intelligent process automation (IPA), a layer cake of digital process automation (DPA), RPA, AI, and human workers. “You can think of Bizagi as an information conveyor belt,” said Bizagi CEO Gustavo Gomez in an interview with VentureBeat.

“Within that conveyor belt … you might have some manual activities that are performed by people. And you can have activities performed by information robots. Those information robots are the RPA vendors,” he explained. “And that’s why both the technologies [DPA and RPA] are complementary. The fact is, those robots need to be fed with the right information at the right time in order for them to work.” And then you add a layer of AI on top of that conveyor belt, he said, which is even more powerful.

Gomez isn’t looking at a short-term score in the automation market gold rush; he’s thinking more longitudinally. “In a similar way … as manufacturing processes were automated [in the late 1900s, etc.] — this is what we expect to happen within the next decade in the information space,” he said.

He said that Bizagi’s process automation platform is designed to wrap around legacy systems, reusing a company’s data and business logic but digitizing those systems and speeding up and enhancing processes.

There are three components to Bizagi’s system. You use Bizagi Modeler to design and simulate processes; Bizagi Studio to define data, rules, and integrations; and Bizagi Automation Server to actually run the applications. All three are available as cloud services.

Although Bizagi has its own machine learning and AI capabilities, the Azure Cognitive Services integration gives the company a further edge. To illustrate, Gomez offered an example of someone filling out a paper form, and the need to get that form digitized. “That was a problem that was very difficult to address in the past, because you had to describe it — the different fields of the form — in order to interpret the data from the form.”

“Now with Azure Cognitive Services, because they have been training their form analytics with millions and millions of forms, you can include a form you have never seen before, and bring all the data into the process without doing anything,” he said.

Bizagi CRO Richard Dufty chimed in during VentureBeat’s interview with Gomez to note that Bizagi currently has more than 130 connectors into key brands like Box, Dropbox, and Concur. That means Bizagi’s customers don’t have to build their own APIs for those services, and Dufty said that’s been a sort of tipping point for the company in winning over those customers. “It truly differentiates us in the market, and that’s why we’re winning nine out of every 10 deals and growing at 50% — and it’s just a really exciting time,” he said.

The company claims more than 1,000 customers globally, including companies DHL and Adidas, as well as U.S. government agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, HHS, and Homeland Security.

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