Process excellence has never been more relevant to business success. From the shop floor to the top floor, process experts are coming together to share insights and real-world advice for using process mining and execution management to overcome inflation, supply chain disruptions and global uncertainty.
During Celopsphere 2022, Malhar Kamdar, Chief Customer Officer at Celonis, sat down with Tom Smith, Acceleration Economy and Cloud Wars analyst, to discuss how the process mining and execution management company is working with customers and partners to find and fix the process inefficiencies that kill business productivity.
The following is a transcript of the interview, edited for readability.
Tom Smith: Malhar, let's start out with your role at Celonis. You're the Chief Customer Officer, so maybe you could just define for the viewers what your role is focused on or what some of your key responsibilities are?
Malhar Kamdar: Sure. So I oversee our customer delivery operations. So that's customer success, professional services, customer support, and Celonis Academy. And my team's mission is very simple. It is to help each and every Celonis customer with realizing, growing and sustaining top line, bottom line, and green line value using, of course, Celonis. And we want, of course, to empower them ultimately to do this through their own Center of Excellence and be able to find and fix inefficiencies in every part of their organization. And, of course, accelerate their digital transformation. And we deliver on this mission simply by bringing in every engagement, every day, deep product, deep domain expertise, best practices, methods, assets, everything that we have gathered and learned over the past years in having done hundreds of similar implementations before. So our job is to bring this to every customer every day in our engagements.
Tom Smith: As a non-Celonis employee, I would say I'm very impressed by the household name, the multinational customers who are here presenting, sharing their stories with one another. Pretty unique in my experience. And I'd like to ask you, why do you think that is? Why do you think Celonis has that level of customer relationship or that level of success in getting customers to come out and talk about their work with you as well as share this with others?
Malhar Kamdar: You're right. And I think it's a very impressive lineup of names, market leading companies in their own respective categories. I think there's three key reasons why we see them here. And obviously you've seen an amazing crowd here over the last two days. I think the first reason is, of course, it's the first time we are meeting in person after three and a half years. Last Celosphere was 2019. So I think they're very keen on sharing with their peers, with the rest of the community, all the great stuff they have been doing, the value they've been creating Celonis in the different parts of their organization.
So I think that's number one reason. They're very keen on sharing. And they've gone very public about the substantial millions and hundreds of millions of value these companies have created with Celonis.
I think the second reason is, it's no surprise we are all living in very unprecedented times. Most of these companies, like everyone else, is having significant headwinds. So I think they want to also learn from their peers and from the rest of the ecosystem how they're dealing with some of the current challenges around supply chain crisis and other challenges.
Tom Smith: Share stories, right?
Malhar Kamdar: Exactly. And share stories. And that's why you've seen over the last two days on stage so many great stories about how they have dealt with and how they're dealing with the current challenges. I think the third reason is they know that every time they come to a Celonis event, they will see significant innovation. And innovation that they can use immediately into the environment to address their challenges. And obviously these last two days have shown the significant amount of new product announcements we have made to obviously help our customers take process mining and execution management to a completely new level.
Tom Smith: And another thing I've noticed, and I think it comes through very clearly at this event, customers are contributing to that innovation. We learned about that with the new Sustainability Apps. There were three customers named for their involvement in that. There was an announcement today with ERGO Group around integrating some insurance industry functionality into Celonis, also fairly unique I think. But can you talk a little bit about how important it is or how central that is to the mindset and the development processes that Celonis uses?
Malhar Kamdar: Absolutely, Tom. And the feedback we receive from our customers is the very heart of how we are building our product and how we are driving innovation. And of course, my organization is at the forefront of capturing and sensing this feedback. And if I can refer to two of the very key product announcements we have made and how our customers have contributed to those, the first is Process Sphere™. So we have been innovating over the last few years, and we've seen customers wanting to not just apply process mining to a single process, but also to be able to connect two or three processes. And that's why they have started to work with multi-event log.
But what we wanted to do was to take this at a completely different level. I think we've heard our customers say we have been improving and optimizing individual processes, but it's very hard to get at the intersection of processes. And that's why we have launched a groundbreaking new 3D platform called Process Sphere so that the customers can really deal with process interdependencies, which they couldn't do and no other technology offers to do that. So that's a very concrete example of how we've heard our customers and the customers need and immediately impacted our product.
Another example is Business Miner™, right? We've constantly heard our customers say we want to be able to share, communicate with other colleagues who may not be very technically savvy, be able to share and communicate and collaborate around process problems, around process opportunities. And hence we have launched Business Miner, which I think is a real catalyst to democratize process mining and democratize execution management into every part of the organization.
Tom Smith: Great summary of some of the new products coming there. And I did want to follow up on a point you made before we went on camera here, which was what you're seeing and I think hearing from customers around Process Sphere is not just suddenly we have better visibility, the fact that we can see things in 3D, but we can identify more opportunities than we ever thought possible before because it not only gives it visibility, but it goes a level deeper.
Malhar Kamdar: Absolutely. And I think the very early customers we have worked with on Process Sphere, but also over the last two days, the many customer conversations I've had and the impact Process Sphere has for them is not only Process Sphere gives them an additional dimension, it adds an incremental view or perspective to their end-to-end business process. But certainly gives them a view that they may have until now by addressing individual processes only scratched the surface. If I can take an analogy, with this end-to-end 3D view of process mining and execution management, they realize they may have only scratched the surface, that 1% surface of the sphere. And there's so much more to explore by going deeper. And I think Process Sphere will provide a new level of depth in terms of understanding and in terms of insight into how end-to-end process execution happens in a company. So I think it opens everyone's eyes around, wow, there's so much more and so much deeper we can go by having this 3D view of process execution.
Tom Smith: So probably a great transition or segue into thinking about 2023. So Celonis with Process Sphere creates these great opportunities for customers as we look into the new year. Obviously we're living in pretty stressful times, you mentioned that earlier. From your customer conversations that you're having here and prior to Celosphere, how do you think customers are feeling in general and how are they feeling about their use of technology like process mining?
Malhar Kamdar: Absolutely. Well, I think it's clear that we are living in a new reality and our customers are facing some new headwinds and some new challenges, and they have to deal with some uncertainties they've never been faced with before. And at the same time, there's never been a greater need for them to have complete transparency and visibility onto how their processes are running.
And so we see in our conversations that Celonis is even more relevant now, is even more relevant than it's ever been before to help them with dealing with those crises and dealing with cost savings, both bottom line, with sustainability, with supply chain crisis.
So I think we are having great conversation where customers are telling us, listen, I'm faced with unprecedented crises and headwinds like all of us. At the same time, I know that Celonis has never been more relevant to help us fix that. This is by the way, also, I think why we see the lineups of the names that we were mentioning earlier.
But also, the number of CEOs and executives attending this event, this is a user conference but you've noticed that we've had an executive and CEO presence because of the impact Celonis can have on their business today.
Editor’s note: This video was originally published on Acceleration Economy, Why and How Customers Took Center Stage at the Recent Celosphere Conference.