Process mining is emerging as one of the most dynamic areas of the software market in 2021.
It is a market that has been around since the first algorithms became available for process discovery in the early 2000s. But it has shot to prominence in the last few years as organizations look to transform their processes – and eliminate underperforming ones – as they rebuild for the post-pandemic environment.
Minit is one of the leading players in this space, and its rise to prominence significantly overcome the performance of the wider sector. In the last nine months, the company claims to have grown its subscription revenue between three- or four-fold, with its North America operation the fastest growing division.
Founded in Bratislava in 2013, Minit has in 2019 shifted its head office to the Netherlands, and completed a funding round with backing from Salesforce Ventures, Earlybird VC (the first investor in RPA giant UiPath), Target Global and OTB Ventures. PAC recently caught up with Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Rasto Hlavac, who talked us through how the company is competing in a market that is attracting the attention of several industry giants.
UiPath acquired Dutch process mining specialist ProcessGold in 2019, while SAP (Signavio), IBM (myInvenio) and just this week Appian (Lana Labs) have all purchased a foothold in this space. The sector’s largest specialist player, Celonis, secured $1bn in funding in June, which took its market valuation past the $11bn mark.
Minit remains very much in the mix in this company, with several recent wins among Fortune 500 organizations. Hlavac highlights two critical elements of Minit’s proposition that are key to it differentiating from the rest of the pack: making its product accessible and easy-to-use for business users, and driving increased automation in the analysis, to give users faster insight on process performance. The majority of Minit’s customers consume its software as an on-premise solution, and Hlavac states that this has given it the edge over its cloud-native competitors, with many businesses unable or unwilling to mine processes using sensitive client or regulated data in the cloud.
One of the interesting aspects of the growth of the process mining sector, is that it has ridden the coat-tails of the RPA explosion. While many companies have reaped quick wins from the tactical use of RPA solutions, many are now looking at process mining as a natural starting point for the next phase of their automation strategies in order to drive deeper, more meaningful transformation.
Hlavac gives the example of one customer that worked with Minit to map out and automate its purchase order creation process. The engagement has delivered $7.4m in cost savings, but when you break it down, you see the value that process mining can bring to the table. By analysing the processes and pinpointing the areas where there was a high level of reworking going on, Minit was able to deliver $3.4m savings in a matter of weeks, with an additional $1.8m coming from the automation of specific tasks within the process.
A lot of Minit’s R&D effort has gone into the usability of the product. Users can compare the performance of different processes in a single graph, while the company benefits from an OEM relationship with Qlik to bake enhanced analytics and data visualization dashboarding into its proposition. Key to the company’s future prospects will be its ability to make its solution more “intelligent,” building on existing aspects such as AI-powered root cause analysis to mine existing data and automatically investigate where and why problems occur in the process.
One of the company’s current focus areas is the development of its partner ecosystem. It has already built up an impressive roster of large consulting and systems integrator partners, with up to 50 consultants trained up at major partners such as Tech Mahindra, Infosys and Accenture. In the next phase, it is looking to add further industry and domain specialists to its ranks.
PAC is seeing a lot of interest in process mining in 2021 as businesses take a fresh look at their business processes as they re-engineer their organization to meet the new requirements of both customers and employees.
Minit has received several approaches from suitors and PAC expects that further offers will come, although Hlavac is open-minded about the company’s future path. The company is gearing to scale up to the next level, having recruited former James Dening, the former VP Europe at RPA vendor Automation Anywhere as CEO.
Minit’s growth is another part of the wider European success story that is playing out across the process automation sector, with many of the current front-runners coming from this side of the Atlantic. The company’s focus on R&D and ensuring its customers make the most of its systems post roll-out is paying off and there remains a lot of headroom for growth.