How Celonis Is Bringing More Functions and Users Into the Process Mining Fold

In the lead-up to this week’s Celosphere conference in Munich, Celonis leaders have emphasized a few key objectives influencing future product directions:

  • Empowering more business users to capitalize on process mining and other core Celonis technologies
  • Expanding the reach and inclusiveness of process-mining tech
  • The need to provide greater visibility and transparency to enable faster reactions and preemptive action, particularly in light of the supply chain woes of the past two-plus years

The first developments from Celosphere today address all of these objectives, which aim to deliver on the company’s promise of “Process Mining Reinvented.” The company’s announcements include products that tie together multiple processes for more comprehensive analysis; more user-friendly functionality for those without process-mining backgrounds; and application of process intelligence to e-commerce to make those businesses operate better.

Process Sphere: Visibility Across Processes

Celonis uses the analogy that it’s expanding the sophistication of process mining to provide 3D views of business processes vs. today’s 2D views, similar to how MRIs gave deeper insight than X-rays (process mining technology is often referred to as an X-ray of a business process). One key way of doing that: Evaluate multiple processes — and the relationships between them — at the same time.

The primary deliverable against the objective of 3D visibility is Process Sphere, which, for the first time, provides a multidimensional understanding of processes and dependencies between them. Customers can understand the relationships between objects such as orders, requisitions, invoices, and shipments. These views not only enable them to identify that they have been paying suppliers late, for example, but to also see for the first time how this inefficiency impacts other parts of the business, even customers.

“Business and processes don’t happen in isolation. They happen in strong alignment with each other,” co-founder and co-CEO Alex Rinke said in advance of his Wednesday keynote. “In the same way that X-rays evolved to MRIs, we now give you a 3D picture.”

Celonis Process Sphere is built on an object-centric model that allows users to more easily navigate through processes based on objects and events in the way that a business stakeholder would describe them. Process Sphere will uncover hidden inefficiencies that live at the intersection between processes.

Co-CEO Alex Rinke unveiled new products Process Sphere and Business Miner in his Celosphere keynote today.
Co-CEO Alex Rinke unveiled new products in his Celosphere keynote today.

Process Sphere represents a significant advance in helping companies deal with the complexities and challenges of today’s supply chains. While Celonis’ core process mining technology has long been used to isolate problems in processes and take actions to fix them, that work has typically occurred one process at a time.

The more inclusive views enabled by Process Sphere are presented in a slick, subway system-like diagram that lets a user identify the process or function they want to drill into, adding and subtracting elements or objects to analyze as they go.

A demo uses the example of a product’s late deliveries by looking at multiple objectives — sales orders and deliveries — at the same time. It shows late deliveries are occurring because of insufficient materials, but the culprit isn’t the availability of the materials; rather, the cause is invoices paid late, which results in materials not arriving when they’re needed, which ultimately impacts customers. The demo clearly highlights the impact of interconnected processes and how connections between them impact a business.

A multiprocess view as part of a Celonis Process Sphere product demo.
A multiprocess view as part of a Process Sphere product demo.

“This gives customers many things they couldn’t do before, like understanding in a supply chain if we’re late, why are we late? Was it procurement, was it sales, was it our supplier or our manufacturer?” Rinke says. “These questions become super easy to answer. Then users can focus on remediations,” and they will realize faster time to remediation and value.

While the technology is applicable to any process, Rinke called the supply chain “one of the accelerators of this, for sure.”  

Business Miner: Bringing More Users Into The Fold

Also new is Business Miner, which can be considered in the context of addressing an oft-cited industry goal of democratizing complex applications so they can be leveraged by a greater number of users. Business Miner presents a simple user interface through which users pose questions tied to their personas, and then they can gather quick, consumable insights.

An accounting professional could ask: What is our payment behavior breakdown — covering early, on-time, and late-paying customers? There’s no process mining expertise required to pose such questions.

Business Miner enables any business user to investigate ERP (enterprise resource planning), supply chain, and CRM (customer relationship management) systems for process issues, and then take corrective actions. Prior to Business Miner, these types of process exploration required technical expertise.

Celonis Business Miner user interface
Business Miner user interface

Once insights and opportunities are identified, Business Miner’s collaborative workspace supports teams in working together on them in a communications platform. The company frames this in the context of making process mining a team sport — putting an entire company on the lookout for the next major process improvement opportunity.

“We saw working with customers that processes are so horizontal that you can derive many opportunities from this, but in order to capture this optimization, it’s really helpful to get everybody on board. We want to make this very easy, taking all this power, putting it under the hood, and delivering persona-centric experiences that are extremely easy for business users,” Rinke said.

E-commerce Augmented by Process Data

Celonis is also partnering with the e-commerce platform provider Emporix to embed processes and other insights from Celonis into its e-commerce engine.

A couple of practical use cases: A B2B (business-to-business) customer with a poor on-time payment record could be required to make an advance payment for a current purchase, with Celonis tech driving this dynamic approach to payments. The Celonis technology can also recommend intelligent substitutions based on product availability.  For instance, if the platform determines that a product delivery would be late, it will recommend better-performing products based on real-time data on date changes, cancellation rates, on-time rates, and more.

Intelligent substitutions are made possible by applying process intelligence from Celonis to e-commerce in this Emporix example.
Intelligent substitutions are made possible by applying process intelligence to e-commerce.

With this capability, e-commerce sites can meet customer demand and reduce order cancellations. The new platform includes commerce modules for:

  • payment assistance
  • stock optimization
  • order adjustments
  • sales guidance

“With all this data and context from other processes, if you put Celonis under the hood, you can create revolutionary applications very fast,” Rinke says.

In fact, this is another means of making the Celonis technology more available — in this case to the developer community — to embed in apps, Rinke says, calling it “another consumption model” for the company’s technology, which could add value to a wide variety of systems. “This intelligence, these insights, are relevant for many apps and domains.”

Acquisition Yields New Accounts Receivable Apps

At Celosphere, the company disclosed that it acquired Sailfin, which has resulted in new applications for collections management, credit management, and dispute management. 

Designed to optimize Accounts Receivable functions and help companies improve their working capital positions,  Celonis positions the applications as helping customers preserve cash in today’s challenging economic environment. The applications have three core benefits:

  • Unifying data across transactional and analytical systems to provide a single source of customer, contract, and process data
  • Deliver intelligent prioritizations of the most impactful actions that will improve working capital.
  • Automate, and therefore move beyond, manual recurring tasks such as credit approvals or dispute coding to free up time for more valuable tasks.

Product Updates: Task Mining, Process Data Engine

There are other product updates in the works as well. An enhanced Celonis Task Mining product adds workforce productivity functionality that gives customers full visibility into how work gets done as well as the overall employee experience across the business. The core Celonis Task Mining technology has been enhanced to capture employee experience in real time.

New performance functionality in the company’s Process Data Engine dramatically increases data processing performance and capacity.

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Read More: How Celonis Is Bringing More Functions and Users Into the Process Mining Fold

2022-11-09 01:01:00

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