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The Business Execution Hat-Trick: three announcements at Celonis World Tour

When Martin, Basti and I started Celonis 10 years ago - we were students. Working out of Basti’s basement apartment in Munich. It was a dark damp place. There was very little light, we were crammed into one room, and all we really had was a big dream. 

As we prepare to kick off the biggest, most ambitious World Tour we’ve ever put on; with an unbelievable line up of business titans, olympic athletes, customer innovations and three pretty big announcements - it truly feels like a significant moment in time. 

The world has just experienced a decade of digital transformation in the last 18 months. Business models have changed forever. And so have expectations. There’s an innovation explosion underway as enterprises evolve, and new digital native companies take off. It’s a critical turning point for every business - a “do-or-die” moment. 

Less than a year ago, we launched the Celonis Execution Management System (EMS), to provide a 360-degree view of all business processes, identify inefficiencies and push actions back out into relevant systems. Since its launch, client adoption has exceeded even our most optimistic predictions. A sign of the times for sure. But now we’re raising the bar - big time.

At the Celonis World Tour we will be making three huge announcements. Not fancy new product features or incremental updates (although we have loads to show you here too). But disruptive, strategic, game-changing announcements. That will give every organisation the power to thrive in the new era of business execution. 

We have anchored our key innovations around three strategic imperatives, the business execution trifecta - data, intelligence and action. Because organisations will succeed or fail tomorrow, based on their ability to bring all three together. 

Say big data one more time.

For a long while now, data has been hailed as the modern elixir for business in a digital world. But many leaders have grown tired of this narrative. Because to date, only a few specific companies have been able to make it a reality (you probably use them to shop, search, ride and share). Despite the trillions spent on digital investments in the last 3 years, only 1 in 10 business leaders say their teams use data regularly to make decisions. 

When we started Celonis 10 years ago, the world generated 2 zettabytes of data. (To put that in perspective, 1 zetta is equivalent to the number of stars in our observable universe). Fast forward to 2020, humans and computers generated more than 64 zettabytes of data. (64 universes worth!). And it’s conservatively estimated that the world will generate 680 zettabytes a year by 2031. 

This should be exciting. A generational opportunity. But if you can still only execute on a tiny fraction of your own data - what’s more data going to do for you? The answer is relatively little, if you continue to use it the way you do today.

The primary application of data in business today is data analytics. It’s about getting insights. Smart people analyse data, build graphs and generate intelligence. This is super useful no doubt. But - converting data and intelligence into action takes time. And the volume and complexity of data available is way beyond a human's ability to act on.  

That’s why we need to move from data analytics to data execution. We need to make data run our business. We need to make data take action. And to keep up with the world - modern data execution must happen in real-time. But this has always been incredibly difficult, because it requires an entirely different data architecture and infrastructure. Not easily compatible with the core systems used by enterprises today.

We needed to change this. To accelerate the value our EMS can deliver for you, we looked for the best technology, company and team in real-time streaming data, and invited them to join us. So here’s our first announcement...

1. Data execution in real-time, now a reality.

I’m so excited to announce that Celonis has just completed the acquisition of - a pioneer in the fast growing streaming data industry and the leader in Streaming Data Ops. I’ve known Antonios, founder and CEO of lenses for several years. I’ve watched as Antonios and his team have revolutionized how organizations can build services and applications with real-time data. Without the need for complex engineering - making it accessible to all. 

Real-time streaming data enables organizations to execute with the dynamic control that consumers have come to expect. For example, people expect to receive a notification when a taxi is 1 minute away, or be able to track a take-away every step of the journey to the door. It should be the same with your supply chain; you should be able to know the exact arrival time of critical components. This, and so much more is now a reality for all organisations using the Celonis EMS. 

Several years ago, I remember talking to a good friend and mentor of mine; an incredibly successful entrepreneur, technologist and visionary (we call him Nostradamus) - about the power of real-time data. I’ll never forget him turning to me, with a look of intense unshakable belief in his eyes, and saying “The day you show me a demo of real-time streaming in action within the Celonis platform - is the day you can redefine business execution”. Well, today is that day. 

Seeing is believing. So join us throughout the next few days at the Celonis World Tour for a demo, to see the power of real-time data execution, in action. With 7 stops, just choose the one that’s best for you.

Now that we can offer you all this data, in real time, across all your processes and systems, we have to make it useful. That’s where we need intelligence. We are also bringing a game changing innovation here.

2. Intelligence - we have an Execution Graph for that.

Historically, process mining has been done one process at a time. But we all know that to get a full picture of what’s going on in your business execution, you need to look at all processes across all your systems - to understand how they impact each other. 

Say a customer ordered a coffee machine from your store, and she received it a week late. Unhappy, she writes a bad review of your company. You need to get to the root cause. But was the problem in order management? Was it in shipping? Was it in inventory? In procurement? Was it in production? Or was it a combination of the above?

As Maureen Fleming, VP of IDC’s intelligent process automation research, puts it: "As organizations successfully use process mining to identify inefficiencies in one process, they often have to investigate upstream processes to find the source of the inefficiency. The effort and time value of visualizing and analyzing the impact of interactions in one process to another through automation rather than manual efforts means the time spent in analysis shrinks and more targeted improvement efforts commence more rapidly.”

She adds, "Meanwhile, adding event stream processing - especially to correlate data events at high speeds across multiple streams – adds greater precision and speed to problem and opportunity detection, making the response more actionable and the process and outcomes much more controllable."

This is one of the toughest problems to solve in execution management. For years, everyone told us it’s ‘unsolvable’. It’s too complex. It’s too fragmented. It’s impossible. 

Well - it required both a mathematical and a technological breakthrough and about 10 years of process mining to get there, but I’m over the moon to announce the first major step towards solving this problem is here today. 

Introducing the Celonis Execution Graph, a breakthrough technology that provides intelligence across business processes. It connects process events, dependencies, and maps process relationships across multiple systems and departments. The Execution Graph is the foundation for Execution Management - and the next evolution of power for the Celonis EMS. Again, you’ll see a demo of this during our Celonis World Tour if you join us during the next few days.

And this brings us on to the third pillar of the business execution trifecta - action. And by action, we mean execution. And by execution, we mean generating business results.

There are so many actions that the Celonis EMS can enable, across so many different systems, industries, and functions. The universe of potential has so many dimensions, that we simply can’t do it alone. And nor would we want to. Execution Management is a team sport. So, we are building an entire Execution Management Ecosystem - and bringing its value to you.

3. Actions are a team sport. 

Real-world processes coexist, interact with and influence each other. So does our ever growing ecosystem. We are partnering with the creme de la creme, the best of the best - an entire ecosystem of strategically selected ecosystem partners to build innovative services, applications, and tools on top of our Celonis platform. 

Using the Celonis EMS as its engine, this ecosystem is supercharging the power of data execution. And I’m delighted to announce that we have just formed a unique partnership with Conexiom, the global leader in sales order automation - and are soon to launch ‘Touchless Order Capture’, a new joint product offering in the Celonis EMS. 

With this product, Conexiom and Celonis are bringing together best-of-breed technologies to enable customers to optimize their order management processes. To see just how transformational this partnership will be, I invite you to watch a conversation between myself and Ray Grady CEO of Conexiom, at Celonis World Tour.

This is a sign of things to come. Both domain experts like Comexium, as well as huge horizontal players – are starting to embed themselves within, and harness the power of, execution management. 

There’s so much more to come. And as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary this year, we have never been so certain that we are just getting started.

The shift from data analytics to data execution will deliver transformational value over the next 10 years and beyond. Thousands of companies, millions of people, and one very precious planet - will all feel the benefits of. The future of business execution starts today. 

P.S. There is actually one more thing. Stay tuned...

Alexander Rinke --author image
Alexander Rinke
Co-Founder and Co-CEO

Alex Rinke is co-founder & co-CEO of Celonis, the undisputed leader in process mining and execution management technology. Born out of a university project in Munich, Alex and his co-founders turned the theoretical concept of process mining into a working product, and landed their first client within weeks. Alex and his team successfully grew the company for five years without external funding, scaling rapidly across the globe before raising money. Five years and several rounds later, Celonis has now earned decacorn status, and recently completed the first ever $1bn Series D Round.

Today, Alex steers the global vision and executive team for Celonis, and is an active ambassador for sustainability and equal access to education. Alex firmly believes that by unlocking the world’s processes, we can create a better future for businesses and the planet.

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