It all began in 2011 in the library of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). I was working with Alex and Martin on a student consulting project when we pulled a copy of Workflow Management by Professor Wil van der Aalst off the shelf.
Immediately, something clicked. We flipped through the pages, learning about how to simplify complex processes by modeling them with petri nets and applying mining techniques to detect the actual process flow. It was a chance discovery that led us to building the process mining tool for our student project and, later, Celonis itself.
Taking inspiration from the Greek God Celos, whose name means aspiration and striving, we have built a global leader in process mining and execution management that helps organizations across the world execute on their data. And a decade later, we are honored to receive the TUM Entrepreneurs of Excellence award. It not only recognizes the success of our entire Celonis team, but it inspires us to expand our commitment to education and research.
That commitment is why we established the Celonis Academic Alliance, a partnership program for universities, colleges, and schools to empower and encourage the Process Miners of tomorrow to share in learning and teaching the power of process-oriented data science across the globe.
The Academic Alliance today reaches around 43 countries, 100,000 students, 900 faculty members, and 1,300 classrooms. Recent Academic Alliance highlights include: collaboration with the largest datathon in the United States; educating more than 20,000 students in India in a single learn-a-thon; and collaborating with top global universities, like the London School of Economics, IE Business School, Central Michigan University, Symbiosis Center of Information Technology and our alma mater, TUM, on masterclasses and other professional education initiatives.
Alex, Martin and I are more committed than ever to ensuring education remains at the heart of Celonis’ future endeavors. The Alliance is a global team that is led by Jerome Geyer-Klingeberg, who we met in 2016 as a graduate student. The team continues to expand our free of charge offerings to universities, schools and education foundations around the world.
It is a real delight to see Celonis used in classrooms, across disciplines and skill levels. There’s a huge amount of free learning and teaching resources available, including online courses, industry certifications, and workshops for students from all backgrounds and experiences. Beyond classroom instruction, students can now embark on an end-to-end journey, from learning process mining at an entry level to gaining employment in the industry.
Here's a bit more detail on how it works: a student can enroll in one of 300 free professional courses through Celonis or enroll in an Applied Process Mining Bootcamp to get certified in Process Mining, Automation or Audit. After being certified, students can apply their knowledge in one of Celonis’ global hackathons and student challenges, write their thesis or embark on a capstone project with Celonis, or even become a certified Campus Ambassador through our Academic Alliance global program.
These opportunities allow students to come out with vital skill sets that distinguish them in the process job market. Many find employment within the vast Celonis community network, meaning education in Process Mining creates jobs, leads to more innovation from universities like TUM, and builds community and teamwork. Process Mining, as a result, also becomes very fertile ground for ideas that can be applied to universal issues, such as reducing food waste and carbon emissions.
Our 2021 Celonis Sustainability Ideathon showed how this works in practice. The event – held in November – gave students, our ecosystem partners and other Process Mining enthusiasts - the chance to come together and learn about the potential of the Celonis Execution Management System for sustainability. Keep a lookout for when we announce plans for our 2022 event.
The TUM Entrepreneurs of Excellence award from our alma mater and its president Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann is a great honor for the three of us and it only makes us more excited about expanding our academic commitments going forwards so that more students can have their ‘something clicked’ moment and thrive in the fields of Process Mining and Execution Management.
Images: Andreas Heddergott / TUM