4 min

During its World Tour event, Celonis announced expansions to further develop process mining and execution management. Prior to the conference, Alexander Rinke, one of the company’s founders, shared the focus areas that Celonis is primarily investing in: data, intelligence and actions. For this purpose, Celonis is partnering with Conexium, introducing Execution Graph and acquiring Lenses.

Celonis’ focus has been broadening for some time. The organization initially became big by analyzing business processes to find inefficiencies, also known as process mining. Its software provides a ‘360-degree views of business processes’, so to speak. That approach remains very important to Celonis. Yet, you don’t get the most out of the software when process mining is exclusively deployed to analyze. Finding inefficiencies only becomes valuable when followed up by actions. That’s why Celonis is increasingly focusing on execution management.

The goal is to enable organizations to make optimal use of company data (data execution). Or, as Rinke puts it: “we want companies to run on data and intelligence so that they can make better decisions.” Data, intelligence and actions have to be combined to achieve that goal. The co-founder and co-CEO points at the vast amount of data produced by organizations’ business processes. Process mining can apply intelligence to this data. What does the data mean, and what insight can be gained from it? Afterwards, it’s up to execution management to act upon the insights. Think of triggering a workflow or suggesting the automation of a process.

Lenses creates data possibilities

To offer more possibilities with data, Celonis is acquiring Lenses. The startup’s technology focuses on simplifying the processing of real-time data. Although Apache Kafka is widely used to process data in real-time, its framework requires skills and knowledge. That’s what Lenses aims to address. It simplifies the development of services through real-time data. During its presentation, the technology is described as a means of “helping engineers build and work with real-time apps on Kafka.”

What makes this technology particularly interesting to Celonis is its ability to make the “x-rays real-time”, Rinke says. “Lenses raises the bar in terms of bringing data into Celonis.” The co-CEO is referring to the fact that streaming data is constantly being generated, such as during transport and through the weather. Naturally, the information affects business processes. Rinke brings up fuel optimization for airlines as an example. If a plane departs with excessive fuel, more fuel is consumed due to the extra weight. Real-time data — such as the number of people and the amount of luggage — allows airlines to determine how much fuel is needed. The information enables a recommendation to be generated.

Ultimately, Lenses supports numerous use cases that can be useful for process mining and execution management. Through Lenses, Celonis integrates live information, allowing organizations to respond to millisecond changes within their environment.

Execution Graph offers more intelligence

Celonis also wants to take further steps on the intelligence side of its business. To this end, the organization is introducing Execution Graph, a solution that should help understand and respond to complex connections between processes. According to Celonis, process connections — for example, Order-to-Cash and Purchase-to-Pay — are difficult to make. Although process mining can already connect events, Execution Graph seems to be taking things further. In Celonis’ words, Execution Graph is the first to provide insight into the true nature of companies’ “interconnected process ecosystem”.

In practice, Execution Graph can be useful to, for example, track down the reason for a late product delivery. It could be due to a single error in an order management, shipping, inventory, procurement or production process. Yet, the problem is just as likely to be caused by issues in multiple processes. The Execution Graph is used to detect the source and make the connection.

To make this possible, Celonis uses two technologies that heavily rely on information extracted by process mining. Basically, process mining extracts lots of data from logs, which contain information about events and their timing. Execution Graph relies on so-called Multi Event Logs. These logs make it possible to identify whether friction in processes is caused by other processes. For this purpose, Celonis visualizes connected processes, which also provides insights for research. In addition, Execution Graph relies on Signal Link, which allows events from different processes to be connected. Signal Link simplifies the monitoring of workflows that span multiple departments within an organization.

Activate more actions

Most users will find the innovations of Lenses and Execution Graph to be the most interesting. After all, these investments are broad. However, Celonis is also seizing the opportunity of its World Tour to demonstrate that it is not sitting still on the front of actions. To turn as many insights into actions as possible, Celonis strives for a broad ecosystem that includes industry knowledge and technical expertise. After all, processes can be sector-dependent, based on different apps and systems.

With that in mind, Celonis announced a partnership with Conexium, which specializes in sales order automation. Together, the organizations developed Touchless Order Capture, which allows companies to optimize order management processes. According to Celonis, this is useful because it explicitly addresses Order-to-Cash and Procure-to-Pay. The organizations say that these are among the most essential processes that Celonis helps optimize.

Full vision

The three innovations ensure that Celonis is taking new steps within its vision. Although the organization already offered far-reaching possibilities on the data and intelligence side, the acquisition of Lenses and the introduction of Execution Graph take things to the next level. Furthermore, the conversion of insights into actions takes on an increasingly prominent role. An ecosystem is vital for the latter, which Celonis continues to work on. All in all, Celonis has the innovation necessary to realize its vision.

Tip:Wil van der Aalst joins Celonis – “Automation and object-centric process mining crucial trends”