ABBYY Acquires TimelinePI for Better Business Intelligence

ABBYY has announced the acquisition of TimelinePI, a Philadelphia-based developer of an innovative business process intelligence platform. This is significant because most large organizations today have at least one process automation initiative in the works, and the potential of using process intelligence to drive innovation and organizational improvement has come to the forefront in C-suite planning and strategic design.

The trouble is that the majority of process intelligence solutions on the market have been built to work with highly structured and predetermined workflows. But what if you need to analyze less structured,  ad hoc processes? That’s where the synergy of TimelinePI and ABBYY comes in to play. The combined resources put the company in position to fulfill an enormous unmet need in the market.

I spoke with Scott Opitz, CEO of TimelinePI, and Bruce Orcutt, senior vice president of product marketing at ABBYY, about the acquisition. I started by asking Orcutt why integrating the TimelinePI process intelligence tools into ABBYY’s digital IQ portfolio was so important.

“When it comes to process analysis, most people have assumptions as to what’s really going on, but they don’t really know the reality,” he said. “That’s the power of what Timeline does; it visualizes and represents the truth in the process. So what happens from an ABBYY perspective is that customers can now understand the true impact of the end to end process — whether it’s an accounts payable process, invoice processing, or onboarding — and gain a full understanding of how that influences the performance of the overall business. In the data capture world and intelligent document world, we’re dealing with a small piece of the process. Now Timeline helps us to understand the entirety of an organization’s business processes.”

Opitz describes the value to customers this way: “There has been a huge amount of activity and focus on process automation recently, and that has really woken people up to the fact that the lifeblood of their business is their business processes. And it’s a great vulnerability if you don’t understand what’s going on in those processes. The relationship with ABBYY provides the ability to understand what’s exactly going on inside captured documents, using natural language processing and other advanced techniques to understand what they represent to the business.”

According to Opitz and Orcutt, there are huge benefits to many verticals such as financial services, insurance, and transport and logistics to achieve better business outcomes, improving ROI, revenue, customer satisfaction.

Our take

The acquisition of TimelinePI represents a significant milestone in establishing ABBYY’s leadership role in the digital transformation market as well as a global player in the emerging process mining market, which Gartner estimates will triple by 2023. The combination of ABBYY’s deep understanding of enterprise with the critical process context provided by the TimelinePI technology should allow customers to achieve a much higher level of digital intelligence than was previously available. With the addition of the TimelinePI technology, ABBYY customers can now more deeply analyze core processes to identify opportunities for improvements, compliance issues, and assess the performance of human and digital workers within processes.

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is president and senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. As a market analyst and industry consultant, Ames has worked for prominent consulting firms including KPMG and has more than 15 years experience in the imaging industry covering technology and business sectors. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community.