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Don’t make this automation mistake: Learn how to automate workflows with Celonis Action Flows

Process mining and task mining can identify hidden value, new opportunities, and inefficiencies in your business. Automation lets you turn those data-driven insights into action. It’s therefore no surprise that rushing into process automation without understanding your business processes can be a recipe for failure.

According to Ernst & Young, between 30-50% of initial robotic process automation (RPA) projects fail. And according to Gartner, thinking that automation can “cover gaps in a poorly designed process” is one of the mistakes business leaders make with automation. To avoid this pitfall, organizations need a system that integrates both mining and automation.

The Celonis Platform combines process and task mining together with automation through Action Flows. And, Celonis Academy’s free, online courses that can teach you how to build automated workflows using Action Flows.

Updated 10/7/2022: Added information about new courses within the Action Flows Training Track.

What are Celonis Action Flows?

Action Flows in the Celonis Studio are a way to define an automated process flow. They can consist of multiple events, decision points and alternative routes. Action Flows can also involve an arbitrary number of different applications.


The Celonis platform contains many pre-built Action Flows, which contain out-of-the-box integrations and intelligent automations that can trigger actions directly within operational systems like SAP, Oracle, and ServiceNow. Business users can also use our drag & drop builder to add any application to an automated workflow and to automate any process. The Celonis only real-time automation engine is used to perform 15 million automations every day.

Learn how to build Celonis Action Flows

Celonis Academy offers both individual courses and Training Tracks (guided learning paths that consist of multiple courses). Learners can complete a course or track in a single session or break up the learnings over time. The Build Action Flows track consists of 6 parts and includes 8 required courses and 1 elective. The entire training track is designed to take 6 hours to complete.

1. Introduction to Action Flows and Action Flow Templates (required)

In the Introduction to Action Flows course, learners will get to know Action Flows, understand when and how to use them and be introduced to Action Flow terminology. Real-world use cases in purchase-to-pay (P2P), accounts payable (AP) and order-to-cash (O2C) are used to illustrate how Action Flows can be used to automate core business processes. The course also explains how Action Flows can be used to automate multi-system workflows across on-premise and cloud-based systems. To get the most from the course, learners are also encouraged to download and use the free Automation Sketchbook companion document. There are no prerequisites for this course, however it is recommended that learners understand the basics of Celonis Studio, which they can get from the course, Navigate the Celonis Studio. The course is designed to take 1.5 hours to complete.

The Action Flow Templates course is designed to teach learners how to quickly build Action Flows with frequently used templates. The course will introduce concepts such as “Snippets” and “Use Cases” and show learners how to find and access Action Flow templates from the Marketplace in their Celonis environment. The course should take around 30 minutes to complete.

2. Configure, Schedule and use RPAs with Action Flows (required)

In Configure Action Flows, learners explore the theory behind Action Flows and then use that knowledge to build a weather notification service using Celonis. The course was recently updated and will show you how to select and apply filters, conditions, and advanced modules. It also walks you through setting up an advanced Action Flow utilizing routers and filters. You’ll learn how to identify when to connect any application utilizing HTTP and Webhook modules and how to utilize the entire platform through Celonis action modules.

It is recommended that learners take Introduction to Action Flows or have a good idea of the power of business process automation prior to taking this course. Learners should also have finished Navigate the Celonis Studio and be familiar with some basic navigation in Celonis Studio. The course should take about 1.5 hours to complete (60 minutes for the course + 30 minutes for a case study).

Schedule an Action Flow is a brand new course and recent addition to the Build Action Flows Training Track. This course walks learners through scheduling Action Flows based on different business use cases, explains the different scheduling options and shows them how to schedule Actions Flows to run at multiple times throughout the day. The course is designed to be completed in as few as 15 minutes.

RPAs and Action Flows, a new 10-minute video that's been added to the track, explains what robotic process automation (RPA) is and how it works within Celonis. During the course, learners will see how RPA can emulate the click path on a user interface (UI) and automate repetitive, rule-based tasks. The video demonstrates how RPA and Actions Flows can be used to automatically remove payment blocks from invoices, a process that normally requires multiple manual steps.

3. Automate in SAP with Action Flows (elective)

The only elective in the training track, Automate in SAP with Action Flows shows learners how to use the Action Flow editor for 100+ out-of-the-box SAP actions. You’ll learn how to configure advanced SAP actions by using RFCs and executing generic RFCs. The course is designed to be finished within 30 minutes.

4. Send HTTP requests in Action Flows (required)

In Send HTTP requests in Action Flows, you’ll learn how to identify situations when to make use of HTTP modules in your Action Flows. Learners will be shown how to leverage Action Flows to send GET and POST requests, configure GET and POST requests in Action Flows and how to apply various Authentication methods in Action Flows.

Learners should have a solid understanding of Action Flows and have taken Configure Action Flows before starting this course. It’s also recommended that learners have been in the Celonis training team and can create packages and Action Flows in Celonis Studio. Lastly, learners are encouraged to have a high-level understanding of both HTTP and APIs. You’ll need about 1 hour to complete this course.

5. Receive and Respond to Webhooks in Action Flows (required)

The Receive and Respond to Webhooks in Action Flows course will show learners how to receive and respond to webhooks in Action Flows, use webhook modules to trigger Action Flows based on incoming data, set up a webhook to receive data, review and validate received data and respond to webhooks with custom messages.

Prior to taking this course, learners should have completed Configure Action Flows and have a good understanding of Action Flows. It’s also recommended that learners have been in the Celonis training team and can create packages and Action Flows in Celonis Studio as well as completed the Send HTTP requests in Action Flows course. You'll need about 38 minutes of your time to complete this course.

6. Handle errors in Action Flows (required)

The Handle errors in Action Flows course shows learners how to describe and apply Directives, identify situations which require error handling, and implement custom error handling routes in Action Flows. Before taking this course, learners should be familiar with Action Flows and have completed Configure Action Flows. The course should take about 45 minutes to finish.

Grow your career with process mining and Process Intelligence skills

Process mining and Process Intelligence skills are gaining popularity with employers, and Celonis Academy has over 300 courses to help you learn them…all online and all for free. For more information about the on-demand training courses and learning material available from Celonis, check out the following resources:

If you want to build the process mining and Process Intelligence systems that will be part of every enterprise IT toolkit, come work for Celonis!

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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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