On September 1st, a fresh chapter started for me. I’m very excited to join Celonis as the lead of the newly created Celonis Labs.
My goal, and the goal of our new innovation lab, is simple. We want to increase the impact of the Execution Management System (EMS) category by the power of 10 — by cultivating the culture of innovation and experimentation that already exists within Celonis.
10 is a magic number for Celonis right now. After 10 years of business, we recently announced funding that sealed our membership in the ‘decacorn’ valuation club.
If you read the Wall Street Journal, you know that we’ve invited enterprises to challenge us to find $10 million of cost-saving opportunities buried in their processes.
We’ve also pledged to accompany 10,000 companies on their journey to net-zero emissions by using their data more effectively.
So 10 is an important number to us. But, in homage to the mathematical DNA of the company founders, let me make an important clarification. Celonis Labs is not a “10X” project with ambitions for the linear growth of a mere multiplication sum. At Celonis Labs, we’re concerned with exponential innovation. A subtle shift in the mathematical notation — X10 — gives us a dramatically different scale of potential.
The idea of exponential innovation is fundamental to our vision for Celonis Labs and for the EMS as a technology category that’s just beginning a multi-generational journey. The ideas and concepts we develop in the coming quarters have the potential to contribute to a roadmap that we envision not at the 10-year scale, but at the 100-year scale.
But vision alone won’t get us there. Celonis Labs will be a true incubation zone where ideas are developed, tested, iterated — and, if they make the cut, ultimately executed on the production line.
The engineers and researchers working in the Labs will be helping to build the new world of business execution, so they too must have an execution mindset.
My curiosity about process mining was piqued when I first met Celonis co-CEO and co-founder Alex Rinke a few years ago.
At the time, I was serving as Chief Innovation Officer for SAP Customer Experience (formerly Hybris), and Alex came in for one of our flagship events. He presented a Customer Experience (Commerce) case study and demonstrated the power of Celonis applied to that specific use case.
I had to know more. From speaking with Alex directly, it became clear to me that this company was going to change the future of business execution, and thereby unlock massive value for its customers.
Over the last few months, Alex and I have kept in touch. And after the exchange of many inspiring ideas, I decided it was finally time to jump on this rocket ship.
If you know me, you know that innovation is my passion — in particular, I love what I call ‘art of the possible’ innovation, innovation that gives people the freedom to fail fast, reduce waste, and be resourceful in all kinds of contexts, not just in technology.
For example, I recently saw a documentary about the making of sci-fi classic Back to the Future. The production was in trouble and the budget was being cut, so Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale had to make some big bets. They even changed the actor in the starring role for a relative unknown: Michael J. Fox. We all know how that turned out.
This instinctive innovation resulted in one of my all-time favorite movies, and it’s exactly the kind of lean, creative, risk-taking innovation that Celonis Labs will embrace.
More important than, “Why did I choose Celonis?” is the question: Why does a company like Celonis need a lab like this? The short answer is: It doesn’t! Let me explain.
On my first day, I told Alex I’m not coming here as ‘the innovator’. Everyone at Celonis is already on fire with ideas and ambition. I simply want to strengthen and democratize that culture of innovation, to give everyone permission — encouragement — to fail fast, fail safely, fail often. We can then identify the best new ideas and develop them with the least possible waste.
I often have to step back and remind myself that, while the EMS has had amazing feedback from the market, it’s still only reached 1% of the potential we know it can fulfil. The technology — and the network in which it will thrive — is only beginning to pick up its unstoppable momentum.
My job is to bottle the innovation that flies around Celonis everyday and turn it into rocket fuel, so the EMS gets where it’s going even faster.
Channeling the power of 10 again, I've set a goal to meet 10 customers a week for 10 weeks to capture their market perspective, learn from them and consider their feedback in my first innovation roadmap. Great innovation can only happen by considering the full equation of technology, market and business trends.
While Celonis Labs is a dedicated product and innovation unit with a growing team of engineers and researchers, I aspire to have everyone from Celonis (and our fast-growing network) contribute to Labs. As I’ve already explained, everyone here is an innovator. And the more contributions, the better — without diverse opinions, there can be no innovation.
I have started building up the team, hiring initially for hubs in Munich and Zurich. We’ll also be fostering partnerships with customers, developers, partners and academia via the Celonis Academic Alliance.
Celonis Labs will democratize innovation and give team members the chance to test ideas. If you test an idea and it doesn't work out, we will celebrate it as a critical part of our innovation journey. If your idea does show promise, you could have the chance to develop it as a funding-backed product.
The Labs will be a place where our successes and failures, and the lessons we learn along the way, are all managed in such a way that experimentation becomes a no-brainer. The risk-reward ratio becomes impossible to ignore. That’s what exponential innovation is all about.
I’m so excited to be a part of the company that’s defining a multi-generational enterprise software landscape of the 21st century. And I invite you all to contribute to that journey through Celonis Labs.
Eugenio Cassiano SVP, Celonis Labs
Eugenio Cassiano is SVP of Celonis Labs, a dedicated technology product research unit at Celonis (the process mining and execution management decacorn with headquarters in New York and Munich). In his new role as SVP of Celonis Labs, Eugenio’s focus is on overseeing and progressing advanced research on emerging technologies, and applying them to the Celonis platform to augment the new world of business execution. Eugenio will also collaborate with customers, partners and academia to co-create and get feedback on new products, and incorporate Labs advancements that solve problems in new ways into Celonis offerings.
Before Celonis, Eugenio held different leadership positions at SAP Customer Experience, such as Chief Innovation Officer and Global Head Solution Management. Eugenio also brings consulting industry expertise to Celonis Labs. Additionally, Eugenio acts as business angel and independent board member for start-ups in various TECH Hubs. He holds an MS in Computer Science from the University of Milan.