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IBM, Red Hat partner with Celonis on process mining software

Looking to ease the implementation of digital transformation projects, IBM and Red Hat signed a deal with Celonis to jointly push Celonis process mining software.

IBM and Red Hat have struck a partnership with Celonis to push process mining software that identifies inefficiencies in business processes across an enterprise.

The Celonis Execution Management System (EMS) pulls real-time data from enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems and applies process intelligence and automation capabilities to improve execution of business processes across an organization. The product primarily targets organizations engaged in digital transformation projects.

"This software can examine every business process a company has, going across finance teams to supply chains to order management," said Malhar Kamdar, chief ecosystem officer with Celonis. "It can root out inefficiencies and present people with the truth about how their processes are working so they can make the appropriate changes to them."

While there appears to be no other top-tier software companies with straight-up process mining products, smaller companies are entering the market. Nintex Promapp offers a cloud-based process mining program that features a repository for storing core processes and procedures. ProcessGold's process mining tool connects all system data and creates a digital visualization of business processes. MPM ProcessMining has a collection of applications that combine process mining and business analytics that enables not just self-service process mining but business intelligence reporting.

The Celonis partnership is the first for IBM in the process mining market. IBM's only entry in this market is IBM Blueworks Live, a cloud-based business process modeling tool. The product allows inexperienced users to quickly learn the basics of business process mining.

IBM's Global Services unit will integrate Celonis' product into its consulting work in multiple areas including supply chain, finance, procurement HR and application modernization. The company also plans to embed Celonis' software into its Garage offering to improve workflow analysis and speed up workflows for processes such as production, customer service, manufacturing and logistics.

The Celonis deal should benefit IBM and Red Hat corporate users that have not only IBM Cloud and OpenShift, but also have platforms and applications from other top-tier vendors on which users have built business processes that travel across the enterprise.

"The Celonis product right out of the box has connectors that hook into SAP, Salesforce, Workday and ServiceNow," said Matthew Candy, global managing partner with IBM iX, a professional services organization within IBM Services. "Big organizations have mixed platforms and their [business] processes run end-to-end with data traveling across all those platforms. [The Celonis product] allows us to plug in to see the process flows and locate where the inefficiencies are across the enterprise," he said.

By deriving intelligence from the data being examined, users can take more effective actions to correct the inefficiencies and drive higher ROI levels, Candy said.

"This helps them extract more value from the investments they have already made across the estate and in the base platform," Candy said. "This is the prospect we find most interesting now -- the ability to unlock inefficiencies, allowing companies to extract the benefits from what they have already invested in such as ERP platforms," he said. 

The Celonis product uses the data to mine processes and locate where those inefficiencies exist. Adding this on top of Garage, users should realize higher value than they had before.
Alan WebberProgram vice president, IDC

One analyst believes the Celonis offering should work well with IBM's Garage methodology.

"IBM's Garage methodology examines and rebuilds workflow processes and resources for customers at a high level," said Alan Webber, IDC program vice president focused on customer experience. "But the problem is there's an immense amount of inefficiencies in any workflow you have to deal with. The Celonis product uses the data to mine processes and locate where those inefficiencies exist. Adding this on top of Garage, users should realize higher value than they had before, " he said.

The Global Business Services unit also plans to build custom applications on the Celonis EMS for selected industries and domains specifically targeting regulated industries. The purpose of these applications will be to bring more actionable data and intelligent workflows to larger enterprises.

As part of its commitment to pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy, Kamdar said Celonis will use Red Hat's OpenShift across any public or private cloud installation its users operate. This level of flexibility, he believes, gives his offering an advantage in highly regulated industries by offering greater interoperability across users' existing systems.

Celonis said it plans to re-platform their entire portfolio of products to run on OpenShift over time. This will give users more options as to where they want to run their Celonis workloads.

As Editor At Large with TechTarget's News Group, Ed Scannell is responsible for writing and reporting breaking news, news analysis and features focused on technology issues and trends affecting corporate IT professionals. He has also worked for 26 years at Infoworld and Computerworld covering enterprise class products and technologies from larger IT companies including IBM and Microsoft, as well as serving as Editor of Redmond for three years, overseeing that magazine's editorial content.

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