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Celonis and Software AG target IoT and streaming process mining as firms grapple with data overload

Newcomer specialist and elderly data integration generalist make their pitches

Two software vendors with very different backgrounds are launching technology aimed at understanding operational processes based on IoT and streaming data this week.

Hotly tipped data mining specialist Celonis, which raised $1bn in a funding round earlier this year, has bought data streaming outfit and launched technology for mapping and comparing business processes with a graph database. Meanwhile, Software AG, a data integration firm dating back to the late 1960s, has launched new tech aimed at understanding operational processes through IoT data.

One analyst speaking to The Register said that while the overlapping announcements showed vendors' interest in process mining, most companies were a long way from making use of IoT data across functional silos.

Germany's Celonis, founded in 2011, said it expected the integration of streaming data in its process mining platform to help firms adapt quickly to meet changes in market and customer conditions.

Martin Klenk, Celonis co-founder and CTO, said: "There are more and more streaming data sources leveraged in the market so that may be news data, weather data: any kind of real-time data. So, for us as a platform it's extremely important, to bring this type of data with the right velocity into our platform and use that to fuel process execution."

Last year Celonis, which counts Bosch and Siemens among its customers, launched an Execution Management System to sit on top of its process mining tools, in the hope that organisations could use it to fix processes, not just find out where they are broken.

New features this autumn include Celonis Execution Graph, which is designed to offer insight into the interconnected nature of business processes using graph analytics.

Fellow German vendor Software AG is also hitting on the idea of understanding processes through real-time data. New functions in its ARIS product promise to give customers a more in-depth understanding of how processes are working and what causes them to slow down, principally through IoT data.

Stefan Sigg, chief product officer, said: "Process mining is very well understood in the back office with order-to-cash or procure-to-pay. That's important, but what is really even more interesting is applying the notion of process mining to the world of production processes and supply chain processes, where the processes are fuelled by this new type of IoT data."

But Bernhard Schaffrik, Forrester principal analyst, said many users' companies were years away from taking advantage of what Celonis and Software AG were offering because of a lack of data integration across business functions.

"Only maybe 2 per cent of the companies I talk to are in that position. Celonis and Software AG offerings actually would make sense, unless they have already figured out manually," he said.

While Celonis's announcement might be more ambitious, Software AG's overall product" is "still way broader than Celonis," he said. ®

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