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Celonis is moving from process mining, which helps companies understand process problems, to automated actions, which can help resolve them, with the release of its Execution Management System.
Celonis is a pioneer in process mining software, which is used by companies to better understand how processes work, such as order-to-cash. The Execution Management System now takes this a step further by turning this process understanding into automated actions, according to Alexander Rinke, Celonis co-CEO.
The company also announced that it has acquired Integromat, a Prague-based firm that provides process automation technology, which will be integrated into the Celonis Execution Management System.
The value of an execution management system is that it can help companies take advantage of underused capacity, Rinke said.
"Every business operates at a certain capacity, but today most people don't even know what their capacity is," he said. "With Celonis, we have the ability to measure and find out what the capacity is today, but also to unlock it and unleash it with the Execution Management System."
The problem with capacity is that every business -- large or small -- runs on core processes and operations, but these core processes are executed through rigid and fragmented systems, such as ERP, Rinke explained. The design is overly complex, leading to inefficiencies and lots of variation in the process execution.
"Take order-to-cash processes, for example. Some organizations can have 15,000 or 20,000 variations in that process," he said. "This is not created by people; it's created because you have multiple systems involved in every process. The Execution Management System is designed to sit on top of a company's IT landscape, identify what's going on and then optimize the execution across these processes."
The Execution Management System has real-time connectors to core enterprise applications, including SAP, Oracle and Salesforce, as well as task mining technology that picks up user interaction data from desktop processes in applications like Outlook. All of that process data is then fed into the Celonis process mining engine, which identifies process performance; the Execution Management System engine then takes the insights and can execute actions across the systems, Rinke said.
Integromat acquisition adds automation engine
Celonis acquired Integromat to enhance its Execution Management System.
"Integromat has a very easy-to-use automation tool that's able to automate processes across hundreds of different apps," Rinke said. "They have 500 apps in their portfolio, and they have a development workbench where you can build your own app connectors."
Integromat's technology will be fully integrated into the Execution Management System's engine, but will also remain available as a standalone product, he said.
Celonis also recently launched Celonis Studio, a development environment for customers and third-party partners to create apps on the Execution Management System. Three apps developed by partners are currently available in the Celonis Execution Management System Store, Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (MRP) Value Mining by Camelot Management Consultants Inc., Controls Excellence by Protiviti Inc., and Value Added Tax (VAT) Control by Zailution.
Automation needs to be measurable
The time is right for the Execution Management System to come to market, said Maureen Fleming, vice president of intelligent process automation at IDC.
Celonis is one of the one of the fastest-growing vendors in the intelligent process automation market, which includes companies that develop technologies used to automate business operations, Fleming said.
Maureen FlemingVice president of intelligent process automation, IDC
"[Celonis] customers typically begin with process mining and monitoring, but at some point, they realize they can leverage the information they're getting from the monitoring to take action," she said. "Celonis built EMS to provide both a platform to build custom solutions and packaged solutions to make it easier for customers to use instead of custom building their own, so all of this is well-timed."
In the past few years, companies have wanted to prove that implementing automation technology has a positive ROI and that performance improvements are measurable, Fleming explained. However, this is challenging, and automation technology vendors often don't have the capability to measure the improvements.
"Improving operations in a measurable way is exactly what EMS is designed to do," she said. "Given that their customers are already building these solutions on their own, it makes sense that they will be interested in EMS. It's a pretty huge market opportunity at its earliest stage."
Celonis will still need to explain what execution management is and how companies can benefit from it.
"It's a new way of running a business or a process domain, depending on how broadly EMS is adopted," Fleming said. "That means it's disruptive in both the positive and negative sense of what disruption represents, but it is definitely innovative and well-thought-out."