Celonis has made its name as a process discovery company, helping companies understand the way work flows through its systems to expose inefficiencies, but up until now the company has left it to others to solve those problems. Today it announced the first products that help companies improve those workflows automatically.
Alexander Rinke, founder and CEO at Celonis, says customers have been asking the company to go beyond process discovery to something that really helps solve the problems and bottlenecks they were finding.
"Where customers were really pushing us is to take the company from a software that's showing you all the insights around your business processes, where the friction points are, where things aren't going as they should be going…" he told TechCrunch.
To that end, the company acquired Banyas last year to give it a way to connect to internal ERP systems more easily, as they were thinking about how to create some process improvement automation apps. The Banyas acquisition gave the company some tools to start thinking about this more deeply.
"We put all of this together -- the intelligence, the action, the automation and we solve business goals for certain departments," Rinke said.
For starters, that involves supply chain and finance, but there are plans for building even more applications this year and beyond. The way it works for starters, is it connects to the company's transactions systems, whether that's SAP or Oracle or something similar. This is where the Banyas acquisition really comes into play,
"You can basically put these applications on top of your transaction systems and tell them which business goals you have -- like I want to preserve cash or I want to pay on time -- and then we analyze the enterprise's entire processes towards these business goals, and then drive everything, automate things towards these business goals intelligently," he said.
In addition to the two apps, the company is also announcing that it's making the platform that the engineering team used to build these apps more broadly available to allow third parties to build their own apps on top of Celonis, and then they will be able to share them in an app marketplace.
If you're thinking this is moving Celonis into Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Rinke disagrees As he sees it, RPA is about automating all-computer processes. He says the Celonis solutions often have human stopping points in a process, and he sees that as a big difference.
Celonis was founded in 2011 and has raised more than $367 million, according to Crunchbase data. Rinke reports the company has more than 1000 employees now.