A Chat with Nick Mitchell, VP & CM UK&I at Process Mining and Execution Management Software: Celonis

Nick Mitchell

Celonis helps companies reveal and fix inefficiencies they can’t see, enabling them to perform at levels they never thought possible. Celonis pioneered process mining and execution management, and our Execution Management System (EMS) combines real-time data, process intelligence, and the ability to take targeted action in one cloud platform.

It orchestrates across systems, processes and people to fix inefficiencies and eliminate silent killers of performance, which hurt businesses and even the planet. It’s the only end-to-end solution that can do this – previous attempts to organise or apply intelligence to data, or to automate parts of a business, have always been siloed.

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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Celonis was founded by three students of the Technische Universität München, who developed process mining software 11 years ago as part of a student project at Bayerischer Rundfunk. The trio discovered that the traditional process optimisation methodologies – running interviews, tracking workflow samples, interpreting macro-level key performance indicators (KPIs) – were extremely inefficient and imprecise and, hence, not that useful.

They believed there had to be a more efficient approach out there and came across the work of Prof. Wil van der Aalst, also called the “godfather of process mining”. They then managed to develop the theoretical abstract into algorithms and created the process mining technology which provides an X-ray machine for processes. Based on the process mining technology, Celonis developed the Execution Management System (EMS) to reveal, reduce and prevent emissions, and eliminate inefficiencies and inequalities from business processes.

This helps companies unlock billions in corporate inefficiencies, provides better employee and customer experiences, and reduces carbon emissions.

The way in which Celonis’ technology can be used to achieve businesses’ sustainability goals is one of the aspects that makes it unique. We most commonly see our customers set goals to achieve net zero and source all material sustainably. The challenge is that it is very difficult to operationalise a sustainability strategy, due to complexity and hidden process inefficiencies.

This is where Celonis comes in. Our EMS is already used across enterprises to help improve performance across the value chain processes that also lie at the heart of sustainability strategies. This includes how you source products from responsible and reliable suppliers, how you make products with minimal waste, how you move products efficiently, and how you ship products on-time with minimal emissions.

 How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

From these beginnings Celonis has experienced annual triple digit growth for the last few years. Celonis achieved unicorn status in 2018 and announced its first $1 billion Series D round in June 2021 which increased its valuation to more than $11 billion, making it Germany’s most valuable private company and New York’s most valuable startup. Many big brands see the benefit of working with Celonis, including global companies such as BP, Reckitt, Kraft Heinz, GSK, AstraZeneca, Vodafone, Delphi Technologies, and more.

Process mining is at an inflection point and it’s a key capability for businesses to succeed in 2022. According to Gartner, the market will grow to $2.3 billion by 2025, with digital transformation and the increased need for visibility into processes being the main drivers of this increase. Fixing inefficiencies is critical today when the average company runs its processes over hundreds of systems that don’t work cohesively together. Complexity builds up over time, and incubates hidden inefficiencies across processes, people and technology.

A recent Forrester survey found that 61% of decision makers will use or evaluate process mining this year to simplify operations and Celonis is at the heart of this. The recent Everest PEAK Matrix Report shows that the demand for process mining is increasing as it delivers ROI from digital transformation investments.

It’s a similar story in the supply chain where the pandemic, the war in Europe and increasing sustainability demands are forcing companies to rethink how they move goods and services around the world. Organisations need comprehensive, objective visibility of their processes if they want to create resilient, effective supply chains. Process mining can deliver that.

What can we hope to see from Celonis in the future?

We want to continue empowering businesses to effectively utilise all of their data, become more efficient, and operate at performance levels previously unimaginable. As climate change rapidly worsens, businesses need to embed sustainability into their core processes and practices while dealing with looming recession, rising interest rates and inflation, as well as geopolitical and supply chain issues. With this increasingly urgent need for sustainability, only efficient businesses will thrive.

We are in a new normal now, where these issues are not going away. Businesses need to accept this new reality and adapt. There is no short-term solution, especially when it comes to our planet.

Our technology can help companies improve their sustainability, but we also have sustainability goals of our own. We’ve taken actions to make our office spaces greener, such as reducing waste and using greener energy, and we are in the process of evaluating our IT policies, while looking to donate and recycle more devices. We also put aside three days a year for every employee to volunteer and give back to their communities. We’ll be looking to continue expanding on our sustainability actions going forward too.


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