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Celonis buys PAF to extend Power Platform process mining reach

Celonis is pivoting away from SAP towards other platforms and Big Four clients.

Process mining and execution management software firm Celonis is aiming to capture the business of Power BI users with its acquisition of competitor Process Analytics Factory (PAF) for a reported $100m.

The acquisition comes almost a year on from SAP’s announcement it would enter the process mining space with its Process Insights product. Celonis has long been tightly integrated with SAP, but expanded its reach through the launch of its Execution Management System (EMS) in 2020, and deals with Microsoft and ServiceNow in 2021.

PAFnow, PAF’s process mining platform, is integrated into Microsoft’s Power Platform, and this will extend Celonis’ reach into the Power BI user base even further, according to co-CEO and co-founder Bastian Nominacher.

“There are hundreds of users in our customers who are working with Celonis EMS directly, but there's thousands of additional users working on the Power Platform front ends and with the specialisation of PAF in that area it really gives us this extended reach,” Nominacher told The Stack.

See also: Celonis goes from dull, to worth-$11-billion-dull

Process mining has become increasingly critical to large organisations, helping them sniff out inefficient processes and other issues in complex organisational systems. Celonis has enjoyed name-checks from companies including Deutsche Bank, Siemens and BP in earnings calls, where they credit the company with helping to save tens of millions of dollars.

BP’s CFO Murray Auchincloss said in its August 2021 earnings call: “We have been on about a ten-year journey to digitise the totality of the upstream.

“We are a long way down that, and we are now able to watch procurement flows across the globe with a tool called Celonis that sits on top of our SAP system and find out where inefficiencies exist in the system – both bidding inefficiencies and process inefficiencies – and that is dragging cost out materially. It is quite an amazing thing to be able to do.”

"The purpose of process mining is to gain a fact-based understanding of business process variance and inefficiency to systematically improve processes to maximise performance while aligning with the overall goals of a business,” said Maureen Fleming, programme VP for IDC’s Intelligent Process Automation Market Research and Advisory Service, in Celonis’ press release.

“Embedding process mining into common analytics platforms makes it easier for teams to work together using familiar tools.”

Celonis also works with the Big Four consulting firms, and earlier this year announced a strategic alliance with Accenture to embed Celonis’ software into the consultant’s platforms including MyConcerto and SynOps.

Nominacher said Celonis was also able to track down sustainability issues: “Last week we had our global impact day, and a bunch of customers came in who use Celonis to provide to build a complete CO2 footprint, even tracking down to the suppliers.

“So I think this is really encouraging, that we can make such a massive contribution in this area, because there's so much, for example, food being wasted in supply chains. And this is causing a lot of unnecessary burden for our environment.”

Founded in 2011 in Munich, Celonis bought integration-as-a-platform firm for more than $100m in 2020, and in 2021 acquired

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