06 Dec 15 Years of Servicetrace: From “Basement Start-Up” to Top RPA Provider
5 Questions for Servicetrace Founder and CEO Markus Duus
Not exactly a garage start-up, CEO Markus Duus founded Servicetrace in 2004 in his own unheated basement. A pioneer in software robotics at the time, the company is one of the world’s leading RPA providers today, according to Gartner and Forrester. On our 15th birthday, Markus Duus talks about the rapid development of digital process automation – and why this technology is very relevant for every sector of industry.
- More and more people are talking about RPA today. What was the conversation back in 2004 and what has changed since then?
In 2004, the term Robotic Process Automation didn’t even exist. We started our business with software robotic solutions for end-to-end application monitoring, i.e. software robots that work through digital business processes, measuring availability and performance data. We quickly secured an exclusive position with a growing customer base in this special segment. Our focus on the end user experience is a key part of the Servicetrace DNA – and that’s what we’ve maintained while expanding our portfolio: in 2011, we added a solution for automated software testing to our product range.
From around 2015, the term ‘robotic automation’ entered common IT language and has since developed into a real hype, especially over the last two years. In reality though, high expectations frequently led to disappointment for early adopters, as many companies simply underestimated the complexity of RPA. So naturally, we again chose a special and, of course, user-centric approach when developing our own enterprise RPA offering, the X1® platform.
It’s worth noting that while application monitoring and automated software testing typically service IT needs, RPA primarily addresses processes specific to the business – and that means all business areas, sizes, and industries. For example, one of our customers is the head of surgery at a large hospital. His goal is to free doctors and nursing staff from administrative tasks so that they can devote their time to core functions and their most important duty: patient care. In addition, the hospital was able to accelerate recurring processes and procedures as well as improve overall quality by using RPA. This example illustrates just how versatile and comprehensive good RPA can be.
- Market analysts such as Gartner and Forrester see Servicetrace as a global, highly relevant RPA player. What has them convinced?
The two most important IT analyst firms, Gartner and Forrester, place Servicetrace among the top global RPA providers in their latest reports. X1® is the leading automation technology in security, scalability, and governance. Overall X1® is on the podium of the top 3 platforms worldwide but these areas really stood out for the analysts.
- When you look back, what were the major milestones of the last few years?
In 2004 we started with an idea. Our office wasn’t in a garage, but in a basement. But then the innovations followed – one after another – and with them our success: the world’s first schematic image recognition software for GUI-based automation, patents for our GUI-based measurement method, and our unique security technology. By 2010, we already had a complete ‘no code’ solution for building automation.
We then entered the RPA market in 2016. The following year, our team doubled in size. Today we’re recognized as a player in the global market. I am particularly proud of the fact that we have financed this journey entirely from our own resources. This gives us real independence in the way we go to market and complete autonomy to maintain our customer-oriented roadmap.
As well as high analyst ratings, we measure our own milestones based on customer satisfaction and feedback, which has always been excellent. Customers have rated our X1® platform on Gartner’s Peer Insights with an astonishing 5 out of 5 stars! In fact, a growing number of large enterprise customers are choosing not to go with the biggest RPA providers and this tells me we’re definitely on the right track.
- What innovations are planned for 2020 for RPA, APM, and TA?
All of these solution areas will benefit from the continuous development of our software robotic technology. Within Test Automation, our customers can also look forward to a Jira integration that lets them efficiently combine Servicetrace test automation with Jira projects. This will catalyze development and shrink time-to-market of digital innovation so that DevOps can truly deliver what it’s supposed to. For Application Performance Monitoring, proactive error management is increasingly being automated so that common problems can be solved by the software robots themselves.
In keeping with our ‘customer first’ approach, both APM and TA will focus particularly on customer requirements in 2020 and we invite all our customers to send us their requests for new features. Simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our RPA platform X1® will focus on three major topics in 2020:
- AI, Machine Learning, and Desktop Mining on a per-Recording basis: integration of new features for even better and more convenient automation
- Bot Management: to maximize the efficient use of the existing bot landscape
- RPA Lifecycle: extension of our RPA lifecycle, including new features to increase automation quality.
Our vision for RPA is to be able to cover an even broader range of business cases with the connection of AI technologies.
- Servicetrace is currently expanding, what are the strategic steps for 2020?
Our partner network is the most important enabler for our growth, which has also accounted for our expansion so far. For example, just in 2019, we added new partners in the UK, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region. In 2020, we are taking our expansion to the next level with our own Servicetrace offices abroad. Our first locations will be in Dubai, Singapore, Kenya, and South Africa. So, the exciting story continues.
Experience in our webinars how RPA and software robotic solutions can make your everyday life easier: https://www.servicetrace.de/en/events/#webinare.