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E-3: Celonis is one of Germany’s most successful young companies. What is this success based on?
Bastian Nominacher: These days companies amass large quantities of data. Yet increasingly they are asking themselves how they can use this data to their benefit. This is precisely what Process Mining taps into, delivering an added value directly to our customers.
Our innovative technology transforms Big Data into Smart Data. Internal process flows can be visualized and thus ultimately organized even more efficiently. Celonis offers its customers a real-time view into their own IT-supported business processes and full transparency with regard to their process flows.
This directly generates added value. Again and again, customers confirm the high level of ROI that our solution delivers. In many instances the investment proves to be worthwhile after only six months.
It’s easy to understand why: The transparency that Process Mining creates enables previously-hidden areas of optimization potential to be exploited directly. Process Mining also lends itself to being rolled out very quickly across a whole range of corporate areas.
The software’s fast implementation and simplicity of use by the specialist departments contribute to fast amortization of the investment.
So people might wonder why the product has not been around very long …
Nominacher: Right at the start, in 2011, when my co-founders Alexander Rinke, Martin Klenk and I examined the available analysis methods, such as Data Mining or Business Intelligence, with regard to their ’process capability’, we were a little surprised ourselves.
We believe the time was simply ripe for Process Mining – by founding Celonis, we filled this gap. Set against the background of digitalization, companies increasingly depend on IT-supported processes.
Yet these processes are usually highly complex. Users need an automated end-to-end analysis to be able to uncover concealed costs and weak points in these processes.
Like with many successful solutions, as soon as people see its potential in daily use, they find it hard to imagine how certain activities even functioned at all before that solution was introduced.
What role does SAP play in this?
Nominacher: Many of our customers use SAP systems that contain valuable data for the important corporate processes. It was thus obvious for us to think of SAP first of all. Our process-mining technology visualizes and evaluates in real time – in doing so we hugely benefit from Hana’s performance capability.
Hana’s top performance data-integration procedures are also highly significant for us, especially for building up process-mining platforms. This strategic significance is why Celonis was taken up into the SAP Startups Focus Program at an early stage.
Through this, we have gained access to all tools and valuable resources for building up and expanding our successful SAP business. The collaboration was continuously intensified at technical and sales level.
Then in 2015 we concluded a very successful global reseller partnership with SAP. Since then, SAP has been selling our process-mining technology worldwide under the product name SAP Process Mining by Celonis.
So where is this journey headed to?
Nominacher: In further developing Process Mining, we gain from the close and constructive exchange of knowledge and insights with our customers. Users and managers at Siemens, ABB, Bayer, RWE, Edeka, KPMG or Vodafone know very precisely what they need to attain greater efficiency in their processes.
Many of the new features in Celonis Pi – from machine learning through to the automatic recommendations for action – are based on the feedback and practical experience of our software users.
Our customers and Celonis’s highly qualified development team deserve the credit for our technology’s high degree of innovation. And Process Mining’s market potential is huge – we have only tapped into a small part of it. What this means for Celonis is growth.
Apart from research and development, we are investing in the expansion of our infrastructure for sales and service, as well as in the further development of our technology. And we’re thinking big. Our number of employees is continuously rising and is expected to cross the one-thousand threshold by 2020.
We’re also expanding geographically. Apart from a facility in the Netherlands, we also have two offices in the USA and are now considering our options for Asia.