Microsoft Boosts Process Mining in Power Automate with Minit Acquisition

Process mining gathers telemetry from application log files to discover opportunities for business process automation.

Looking to boost the business process automation (BPA) capabilities of its Power Automate tool, Microsoft has acquired process mining provider Minit. Microsoft announced the completed deal on Thursday, though terms were not disclosed.

Minit is a startup founded in 2015 by Rasto Hlavac after spending two years researching process mining at Slovak University. Hlavac last year turned over the CEO reigns to James Dening, a former VP at leading RPA provider Automation Anywhere.

Minit’s James Dening

“We have been on a mission to help businesses uncover opportunities for continuous process improvement and better operational efficiency,” Dening noted in his announcement that Microsoft bought Minit.

Justin Graham, Microsoft’s GM for process insights noted Minit helps organizations monitor and optimize their business processes.

“Minit’s solutions have helped businesses gain deep insights into how processes run, uncover root causes of operational challenges and help mitigate undesired process outcomes,” Graham noted in Microsoft’s announcement of the acquisition.

The acquisition of Minit signifies that Microsoft believes its Power Automation tool needs rich process mining capability. Power Automate has become a popular low-code BPA tool that those with limited technical skills can use. Besides serving as a BPA tool, Microsoft has also moved to add robotic processing automation (RPA) capability to Power Automate.

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Process Mining Analytics

Microsoft extended Power Automate’s RPA capabilities in 2020 with the acquisition of Softmotive, provider of workflow automation tool WinAutomation. Last fall, Microsoft added process advisor to Power Automate. It aims to help understand an organization’s business processes to optimize them using automation.

Role of Process Mining in Power Automate

The introduction of process advisor in Power Automate added task mining and process mining. Task mining, which is based on the WinAutomation technology, learns how an organization performs by recording users’ tasks. Process mining analyzes event log files gathered from systems of record and produces business process maps to discover performance issues. It helps determine what business processes could be improved by automating them.

“Process mining produces a fact-based understanding of how processes work,” said industry analyst Maureen Fleming, program VP for IDC’s intelligent process automation research group. “The statistical analysis shows where process inefficiencies exist that, when fixed, can drive down operating costs while also becoming more customer-centric.”

Minit is among a handful of leading providers of process mining technology. According to market researcher Everest Group’s 2021 process mining PEAK Matrix, Minit, Celonis, Software AG and UiPath are the leading provider, among 18 assessed.

“Microsoft is in a unique position to use this technology to help customers improve worker productivity by using process mining to identify how workflows across teams using Outlook and Teams, coupled with the Power Platform [which includes Power Automate and Power BI] to supplement with structure and automation,” Fleming said.

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