Celonis World Tour 2022 is a wrap and after 12 stops around the world, it's time for a recap, reflection and a few takeaways.
Here's my take on the big themes from World Tour 2022 and what to ponder as inflation, supply chain and sustainability accelerate process mining and execution management until we meet up again at Celosphere 2022. For a deeper dive on any of these takeaways you can check out the news coverage as well as the video replay of World Tour 2022 broken out by location.
Inflation, supply chain, sustainability creating a generational opportunity for execution management and process improvement. Multiple Celonis executives, partners and customers outlined the need to become more efficient. For some companies, this process excellence push will be accelerated due to inflation and the threat to profit margins. Other industries need to manage through continual supply chain disruptions and transform to become more resilient. And sustainability is another driver for process excellence and being increasingly intertwined with the supply chain. "There are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. If you look at the macro picture we are in those kinds of weeks," said Alex Rinke, Celonis co-Founder and co-CEO.
During a World Tour 2022 New York interview, Rinke added that during challenging times there's often innovation. "These periods have always been periods of incredible innovation," he said. "I think we all have to step up."
Process inefficiency is hidden in plain sight and killing the top, bottom and green lines. Every business is made up of thousands of processes and they're inefficient. Why? There are hundreds of systems, data silos and workarounds to how processes were originally drawn up. "Nobody ever designed a process to be inefficient," said Dave Peterson, Celonis Chief Marketing Officer. Nevertheless, processes that should look like a straight line end up looking like a plate of spaghetti when under an X-ray. "It's not the process' fault. They live in this complex environment that never stops changing with enterprise system migrations, application updates, new data sources, market forces and business priority updates. Throw in a few bots and you have yourself a good old-fashioned system mosh-pit," said Peterson.
Enterprise software is shifting toward a new digital layer that includes Celonis Execution Management System (EMS). Rinke acknowledged that older systems will remain in play, but noted enterprises and developers are building a new layer of applications that are augmenting legacy systems. "There's a layer on top of these existing systems without changing what's underneath. It's a tectonic shift," said Rinke, who added that Celonis EMS aims to provide "an integrated intelligence platform to drive business performance." "When you improve processes you improve business performance," said Rinke.
Celonis EMS uses real-time data from systems, devices, data sources and anything that touches a process. With a 360-degree of a process you see how your business is actually running. From there, Celonis EMS provides intelligence and insights on how to fix processes. Automation and actions are the third component to apply that intelligence. Celonis EMS is designed so enterprises can start small with one process and be running in 4 weeks and scale from there. The World Tour 2022 product keynotes covered:
A new visually guided data integration module.
Deep dive into Process Data Engine and its differentiators.
Action Flows and number of prebuilt integrations and actions and the kind of use cases it supports.
Celonis Experiences launch and specifically Celonis Experiences for Microsoft.
Speaking at World Tour 2022 New York, Ariel Bardin, Chief Product Officer of Celonis, said the "product and engineering teams have their ears to the ground, listening to your feedback to build out these products." Bardin teased that more features and product announcements would emerge at Celosphere 2022.
Celonis use cases expand. Celonis EMS has historically been used for back-office processes including Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Inventory Management, Order Management and Procurement, but customers during World Tour highlighted other use cases for Celonis EMS. For instance, Deutsche Post DHL highlighted how it used Celonis EMS for its hire-to-retire processes and human resources. Uniper used Celonis to optimize the maintenance of its power generation fleet and energy trading. Nationale-Nederlanden Bank, the fifth largest Dutch bank, is using process mining for mortgage and loan origination. Huntsman said it started using Celonis for order-to-cash, but now plans to use Celonis EMS to create a group of citizen developers to collaborate on process improvement. New use cases, including company-to-company connections (something highlighted by Celonis Labs), commerce and customer service, will continue to emerge, said Rinke in New York.
Sustainability moves to the forefront. Sustainability is being driven by the need for supply chain efficiency. What improves the supply chain also improves your carbon footprint. Sustainability was an ongoing topic at World Tour 2022 and the subject was more focused on returns on investment, which incidentally have improved due to the macroeconomic backdrop. Companies are beginning to look at indirect partner and supply networks to track processes as well as advance sustainability goals. Celonis also announced partnerships with EcoVadis and IntegrityNext to integrate sustainability data in Celonis EMS.
ServiceNow, Celonis flesh out partnership. During the World Tour 2022 stops, Celonis and ServiceNow executives outlined the partnership and how the two software stacks come together. Find, Frame and Fix is a handy way to understand how Celonis and ServiceNow fit together. Find and Frame refers to Celonis' ability to use process mining to X-ray processes to find what's broken and then quantify the performance impact from inefficiencies. Celonis brings more than 100 process connectors and more than 500 pre-built analyses to the table.
ServiceNow's portfolio is the Fix portion of the equation with its Now Platform being used to build workflows, standardize, simplify and automate work. ServiceNow has more than 1,000 pre-built workflows. Enterprises will be able to initiate ServiceNow workflows from Celonis and surface Celonis process insights in ServiceNow.
Process efficiency and digital transformation efforts are blending together to improve working capital as well as customer experience. "There has been value financially obviously, but there's value in being able to redesign processes," said one customer, who was most interested in changing customer experiences with process efficiency. "The opportunity is with process redesign. It's a blank canvas at this point in time."
Customers outlined their tips on creating Celonis Centers of Excellence (CoEs). Multiple panels at Celonis World Tour 2022 stops focused on scaling Celonis EMS via centralized services. For the most part, CoEs started with smaller teams, but leveraged subject matter experts and business units to build scale. Celonis customers with a CoE and dedicated teams are 8.8x more likely to achieve positive returns on investments than customers without one, according to a survey, a joint collaboration between Celonis and the Fraunhofer FIT Institute.
Best practices and customer playbooks emerge for multiple industries. Celonis World Tour 2022 featured numerous customers sharing best practices, real-world approaches to process excellence and hits and misses along the way. Here's a sample of what Celonis customers had to say. There are more lessons learned in the video replays.