|Power Score: 48.85||Momentum Score: 25.0 (7)||HQ: Ra'anana, Israel||CEO: Barak Eilam|
Valuation: $13.3 billion (+15% YoY)
Amt. Raised: n/a
Lobbying Spend: No
Industry Orgs: No
Headcount: 5,686 (+4% YoY)
Engineering Headcount: 1,439 (+8% YoY)
Big Tech Experience: 1%
Open Roles: 101
R&D Spending: $11.9 million (+47% YoY)
Patents Applied For: 60
Patents Owned: 87
Acquisitions: MindTouch (April 2021)
Exec Team Exits: No
Diversity Data?: No
ESG/CSR Data?: Yes
RPA is among the new tricks learned by industry mainstay NICE Systems over the last decade. Founded in 1986, NICE built its market presence by embedding technology into contact centers, allowing companies to record interactions and analyze data. This foundation allowed NICE to gradually expand into process automation and eventually RPA, which was kickstarted with the
acquisition of eGlue in 2010. Since then, NICE has turned existing contact center relationships into RPA clients. Its RPA practice particularly focuses on customer experience automation and compliance work in the financial services sector.
Where NICE carves an edge in the industry is through its corporate social responsibility moves. It's one of the only companies in the space to release in-depth environmental data related to its operations, and more recently, the company has aimed to set the tone for the increasingly-thorny discussions around responsible AI that client executives are likely engaged in. This past year, NICE released what it calls a " Robo-Ethical Framework" to help companies ensure that its technology is responsibly implemented within their own environments, a boon for leadership teams as corporate governance is put further under the microscope.
Since CEO Barak Eilam took the helm in 2014, NICE has put a premium on R&D spending, with the company recording an all-time high in 2020. Since Eilam's first full calendar year as CEO, NICE's R&D budget has nearly doubled, though its overall spend in the category is still dwarfed by Pegasystems and Appian. In December 2020, Eilam was named "CEO of the Year" by Israeli business daily Calcalist, which cited NICE's 70% revenue growth during his tenure. Accolades aside though, at a time when Israel's tech scene at large is boiling over, NICE is the pot that's being watched, growing at just a 15% clip while competitors' growth rates have made triple-digit jumps.
In the latest earnings call, Eilam called international growth a top priority, citing a seven-figure RPA deal with a U.K. government agency as a centerpiece, even though the company's ultimate focus is on the telecom, health care and hospitality sectors. CFO Beth Gaspich said NICE expects overall cloud revenue growth to exceed 25% in each of the next three years.
They Said It
"It's never enough just to automate micro tasks, as I call it. And if you really want to gain the full benefit in the ROI of robotics, they need to take it more strategically in the sense that they need to augment it with the manpower that [works] in different back offices … I still believe that we are in the early innings, and this market is still [in] its infancy, and I call this kind of RPA 2.0, I think we'll have a few more generations." — CEO Barak Eilam in an August 2020 interview