ServiceNow, a workflow management platform supplier, partners with process mining specialist Celonis to help organizations prioritize and improve process automation.

The partnership will make it easier for CIOs to integrate the capabilities of both systems when the joint becomes available, which is expected in the first half of 2022, according to Celonis representative Faiz Mandviwala.

ServiceNow introduced tools to help its customers improve their operations again in March 2021, in Quebec’s now-release of its platform. These improvements only work with the processes that are included in ServiceNow. However, linking with Celonis will expand Now’s optimization scope, giving it access to processing information across all platforms that Celonis can mine on.

Charles Betz, principal analyst covering infrastructure and operations at Forrester, speculated that ServiceNow might have added these capabilities to Quebec at least in part to pressure Celonis to partner with it.

“Celonis have been doing this for a long time, so it wouldn’t be easy or cheap for ServiceNow to take them out,” he said.

Working as a team in a cracked market

Instead of fighting over the market to improve operations, companies will co-develop and market their services together, and use each other’s products internally.

It helps the CIO organize around technology and business workflows, and the potential catalysts that drive automation within those processes. … They lay the building blocks For the enterprise. No salesman can do everything.”

Elliott said that once ServiceNow and Celonis integrate their platforms, companies will be able to build on that foundation. “ServiceNow AppEngine Studio and AppEngine Templates product can serve as a front end to help IT (and possibly business teams) build apps that have inherent automation (via templates), with data and process intelligence from Celonis.”

ServiceNow and Celonis also plan to invest in one another, although neither will say how much. Could this be a precursor to the acquisition? It’s possible, though not likely at this point, said Forrester’s Betz.

Celonis raised a new investment of $1 billion in June 2021, valuing the 10-year-old company at $11 billion. ServiceNow’s market capitalization is about 10 times that.

As long as Celonis remains free to mine operations on any platform, Betz sees only the positive aspects for CIOs in the partnership. Close communication between companies can help CIOs provide the same kind of insight into business processes as they do in industrial processes.

improve knowledge management

“It really brings ERP-class management into knowledge work. That’s the end of the game here,” Betz said.

Business leaders have access to powerful analytics tools to tell them where everything is in the supply chain, “but when it comes to knowledge work, they don’t have any evidence because knowledge work is essentially embedded in isolated systems,” he said. “For a long time it was very fragmented.”

Now, though, software vendors are approaching these reclusive systems from different directions, seeking to link them to their own platforms.

“You have the Enterprise Services Management space; it’s got some responsive play, companies like Salesforce are trying to get in on the action. I’m still waiting for SAP or Oracle to move in a meaningful way here. I think they’ll do that sooner or later, because knowledge workers’ time and attention is the bread and butter for a lot of companies nowadays,” Betz said.

Many companies will encounter the paradox that something that requires only three days of effort routinely takes six months. “Process mining is a promising tool for helping organizations overcome these types of issues and get a better view of cognitive work problems,” Betz said.

One of the IT leaders really keen to learn more is Kulasekhar Subramaniam, Director of IT at ServiceNow at Medtronic.

In early 2021, he considered using Celonis for mining in Medtronic’s IT Service Management (ITSM) operations but was put on hold due to the challenge of having to pump all ServiceNow data into a data warehouse where Celonis could access it. “It seemed like a complete repetition,” he said.

Organizations like Medtronic want to know how they can extract the data produced by their IT operations to identify gaps and bottlenecks and streamline operations.

“I think the association with Celonis will go a long way in extracting value from the ITSM process,” Subramaniam said. “We are now revisiting Celonis and looking for more information on what these two companies have come up with.”

IBM Connection

Celonis is forming left and right partnerships, and in April 2021 it struck a service deal with IBM. ServiceNow also has a partnership with IBM, and IDC’s Elliot said the two companies partnering with this partner will bring CIOs the benefit of professional services and executive experience.

That’s something that will continue even after IBM runs its Managed Infrastructure Services operations as a new company, Kyndryl, according to a person familiar with the matter. IBM and Kyndryl will each have separate ongoing partnerships with ServiceNow, Kyndryl for Infrastructure Services, and IBM for Consulting Services, while IBM will support the Celonis partnership.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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