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Celonis announces next-generation MRI process mining technology with Process Sphere™

For over a decade, Celonis X-rays have given companies a data-driven perspective on their business processes. And like a medical X-ray that reveals hidden problems inside the body (a fractured bone for example), a Celonis X-ray reveals broken processes inside your organization. Knowing where your processes break down enables you to fix the problem(s), which Celonis EMS also does through its automation technology.

Today, the execution management company is giving its customers a new, three-dimensional perspective on their business with Process Sphere™, a new Celonis Execution Management System (EMS) capability announced at Celosphere. And just as MRI technology gave doctors a new tool to diagnose and cure disease, Celonis believes Process Sphere will give business leaders and decision makers new perspectives on their end-to-end processes, which in turn will deliver more value.

“Celonis Process Sphere represents the biggest step-change in the field for 10 years and establishes new table stakes for process mining and how companies operate,” said Professor Wil van der Aalst, known widely as the “Godfather of Process Mining” and Chief Scientist at Celonis. “We can now reliably capture all the complex relationships and interdependencies that exist in modern business and provide a full picture of how processes are connected,” he added in a company press release.

Process Sphere was one of several product and acquisition announcements Celonis made during the event. The company also debuted Business Miner™, the new Emporix Commerce Execution Platform, Accounts Receivables Apps and the acquisition of Sailfin Technologies, a leader in end-to-end accounts receivable (AR) solutions.

“Process Sphere is the beginning of a new journey for Celonis,” said Celonis Co-founder and CTO Martin Klenk in a company press release. “We are moving to a universe where process data is not interpreted as lines in a table, but as the real-world objects that people work with, and how they relate. This opens up massive opportunities for our customers to interact and build with their data in their own language, in a way they are already intimately familiar with,” he said.

Process Sphere will be available as a beta to select Celonis customers beginning in 2022.

From process X-rays to end-to-end business process MRIs

The current Celonis EMS Process Explorer enables customers to see how individual activities are connected within a process. It’s like looking at the most common stops people make and the roads they take along a cross-country trip. Process Explorer is a powerful tool for process intelligence, but the results it delivers can be constrained in three ways:

  1. Process representation: A disconnect between the data engineers (who set up Celonis) and the process analysts (who use Celonis on a regular basis) can result in an inaccurate process representation. When data is ingested into Celonis, a data engineer must define an event log and scope for the process analysis. This “selective view'' is a single perspective of the process, and creating it requires the engineer to assume the perspective that the analyst wants to take. Likewise, the analyst needs to know how the engineer configured the event log when using Process Explorer. If they aren’t aligned, the visualizations they generate may not accurately reflect the process.

  2. End-to-end visibility: In a perfect world, all the events in a process would occur in the most efficient order, in the shortest amount of time and with the least amount of friction. In the real world, processes are complicated and messy. A single event can touch multiple parts of the business at the same time. Complicated end-to-end processes, like supply chain, are made up of multiple sub-processes. Process Explorer can visualize these complex processes, but often requires a significant time to  set up a multi-event log technology to gain more perspective.

  3. Queries may be required: To answer questions about complicated, end-to-end processes using Process Explorer, analysts must sometimes write complex PQL queries. For analysts who aren’t Process Query Language (PQL) experts, writing the necessary code can be a challenge.

Process Sphere is designed to enable new perspectives through which to analyze business process execution, giving the process analyst the freedom to define the process as they see it through the everyday objects and events involved.

Celonis Process Sphere: Bringing your business into focus

Process Sphere is a new capability for Celonis EMS built with a novel approached to process mining called object-centric process mining (OCPM). It is designed to visualize and analyze the complex relationships between objects and events across interconnected processes. Process Sphere will provide a deeper, more accurate and 3-dimensional view of end-to-end business processes.

For example, the new visual layout embed analytics into the analysis and reveal  both exclusive and parallel paths a process takes. Process Sphere can visualize an organization’s end-to-end supply chain in a single view, incorporating all objects involved, such as sales orders, sales order items, shipments, billing documents, deliveries and invoices.

"Functional silos are a big cause of inefficiencies that disrupt operations and lead to suboptimal customer experiences”, said Adeel Fudda, VP of Intelligence, Automation & Emerging Tech at Mars in a Celonis press release. “Process mining has proven itself as a scalable, data-driven method to derive actionable insights to improve profitability and customer experience. Process Sphere gives us an intuitive and powerful way to easily analyze cross-functional processes to unlock significant efficiencies and value across the organization," he said.

According to Celonis, Process Sphere benefits include:

  1. A real-world view based on objects and events to give full clarity across processes with new object-centric process mining technology

  2. A simplified ‘subway’ map view offers a richer and simpler expression of the business based on innovative semantic language

  3. Embedded process analytics delivers a shorter time-to-insight with new analytical components embedded into the view

“Celonis Process Sphere has proven valuable to our organization as it shows an entire process at a glance, while also presenting the handshakes that go between different processes,” said András Katkó, Head of Group IT Back Office at MOL Group.

Katkó added that Process Sphere will allow MOL Group to better manage complex systems and the company looks forward to people at all levels and in any department leveraging the tool for “improved process-driven decision-making.”

Download the free Object-Centric Process Mining white paper

More from Celosphere 2022:

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Bill Detwiler
Senior Communications Strategist and Editor Celonis Blog

Bill Detwiler is Senior Communications Strategist and Editor of the Celonis blog. He is the former Editor in Chief of TechRepublic, where he hosted the Dynamic Developer podcast and Cracking Open, CNET’s popular online show. Bill is an award-winning journalist, who’s covered the tech industry for more than two decades. Prior his career in the software industry and tech media, he was an IT professional in the social research and energy industries.

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