2020 has been a year like no other. We’ve seen the pandemic disrupt family life, racial unrest has gripped the world, and countless businesses have shut down forever. But 2020 is, despite all, a year that also brought new innovation and new hope. In the medical world, researchers and pharmaceutical companies have developed new vaccines at a previously unimagined pace. In the business world, companies have adapted new business models and new technologies faster than ever before.
Looking at it from the perspective of information technology, there has never been a year where IT made such a significant impact on people’s lives. It was a year in which digital reforms and digital transformations — stalled for years or even decades — accelerated in response to the challenging situation. And it was a year where we at Celonis rolled up our sleeves to support companies in new ways, too. But let’s take a step back for a second.
New office, new country, new challenges
Nearly two years ago, Celonis opened an office in Tokyo. Since then, we have rapidly grown. As of this December, we have a large team and more than 50 local companies that have become Celonis customers. In July, we held our first virtual conference — Celosphere Japan. In November, the World Tour Japan followed (virtual again) with over 500 attendees. Celonis customers including SmartHR, Inc. MISUMI Group Inc. KDDI Corporation and partners like SAP Japan also presented at the World Tour (replays available here). We are very grateful that more and more people reach out to us on a daily basis .
Looking back on the past year's work with our customers and Celonis, the response to Process Mining has been much greater and more enthusiastic than I expected. There is huge interest in visualizing business operations using data. Many companies are trying new things to navigate through the crisis, even though their technical means are different. When we introduced Celonis to them, they said, “I didn't know this was even possible!”
We are really pleased with the progress we made and the results we achieved. And we are confident that Celonis is the best solution to meet the requirements of those companies that are working hard to rethink their kaizen practices amidst the Corona crisis.
Rapidly growing awareness for Process Mining in Japan
In addition, the recognition of the process mining methodology itself is steadily increasing in Japan. In June this year, the Association of Process Mining Japan (APMJ), the first such association in Japan, was established with the purpose of promoting and educating the public about process mining methods. In October this year, "The Impact of Process Mining," which features case studies of process mining applications, was published by Impress. The book features case studies of customers in the U.S. and Europe who are achieving great business outcomes with Celonis.
And I’m sure there’s more to come.
What can we expect from 2021?
The massive uptake in Digital Transformation in 2020 has been a turning point for DX. Companies in Japan have realized that, although they already have a long tradition in Kaizen, process optimization is not the end game. It’s the beginning of a much bigger opportunity. It’s the opportunity to maximize our execution capacity — our capacity to get things done with limited time and resources — across the entire company. In the past, development was built on the hard work of the people, with a generous allocation of abundant labor power, but now we must transform into an era in which we can leverage the wisdom and ingenuity of the people by utilizing large amounts of digital data to accelerate development.
Celonis’ market-leading process mining technology and its evolution to the Execution Management System will accelerate the "Industrial Revolution” of our time. We are confident that the Celonis EMS will support and pave the way for DX. The scope of application is not limited to the efficient management of accounts receivable and accounts payable, but also addresses important needs of our time, such as CO2 emissions management.
In the digital age, where everything is connected, we must work hard and compete with our contemporaries around the world, and for the sake of the youth of Japan, we will work together with you to create the foundation for the DX era in Japan.
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