By Vinod Sreeharsha 

International Business Machines Corp. said Wednesday it is acquiring Brazilian robotic process automation software developer WDG Soluções Em Sistemas E Automação De Processos Ltda., a move that would give IBM its own RPA technology.

IBM had partnered with other firms to supply RPA technology to its customers and will continue to do so, said Michael Gilfix, the company's vice president of cloud integration.

WDG Automation's software, which features artificial-intelligence capabilities, enables businesses to automate workplace tasks. The company, based in São José do Rio Preto, Brazil, has more than 600 prebuilt robotic process automation functions.

Initially, IBM will integrate WDG Automation's technology into its Cloud Pak for Automation business software, both companies said, and eventually into Watson AIOps, an AI solution for automating information-technology operations. IBM will use the technology to deliver automation for its clients across areas that include customer service, human resources and supply chain, the company said.

Financial terms of the deal, expected to close in the third quarter of this year, weren't disclosed.

The benefit of this new deal is that IBM now has one technology that serves multiple business needs, said Mr. Gilfix.

"IBM now offers clients a completely integrated solution," Mr. Gilfix added.

The transaction also helps the technology giant push forward its vision of expanding hybrid cloud use and applications of its AI technologies such as Watson, a key objective of Arvind Krishna, who became the company's chief executive earlier this year.

"The deal is very much in line with a main focus of IBM," said Chirag Dekate, a vice president and analyst at Gartner Inc. That includes helping chief information officers automate core functions they manage and enabling them to become more productive.

WDG Automation's technology has natural language processing capabilities for understanding and categorizing text and voice requests. It also features clickstream mining and machine learning, which enables it to analyze how employees spend their time on business tasks and suggests how to automate them. The AI technology finds patterns in what a person does on the computer and will suggest a robot that can replicate the most redundant tasks, said Robson Felix, founder and chief executive of WDG Automation.

WDG Automation clients have included Deloitte, which is both a customer and implements the technology for clients, said Mr. Felix. Others, which are mostly in Latin America, include telecommunications company Claro and meat-processing company Minerva Foods.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 08, 2020 20:25 ET (00:25 GMT)

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