In this News Desk interview, Tom Smith speaks with Alex Rinke, co-founder and co-CEO of Celonis, during the company’s Celosphere 2022 conference in Munich. The two discuss getting back together with customers for the first time in years, new products introduced at the event, sustainability, and the importance of factoring customers into the product development process.
01:15 — Rinke says it’s “amazing” to be back together with a large group of customers for the first time, citing the energy and the shared mission to change their companies to put them on a better path. “This is like Disneyland for me,” he says.
02:10 — Recapping key points from his keynote address one day earlier, Rinke says the company set out to bring process mining to a new level, giving customers a new perspective on their business. The company is moving process mining from being, effectively, a 2D technology like an X-ray to a 3D technology like an MRI with the new Process Sphere product. The event’s theme was Process Mining Reinvented.
02:42 — The new Business Miner product reduces the barrier to entry (to process mining) for users, making it easy to consume for everybody in the company.
03:07 — Rinke emphasizes the shared sense of mission among attendees: “We have to make a difference to our processes and save the world one process at a time because there’s a tremendous amount of carbon that’s trapped in all of our business processes in every industry, whether it’s consumer products, retail, energy. And everybody is getting on board with this idea.”
04:56 — Celonis’ biggest strength is its customers — it includes them in its development processes. “When we think about developing new products or new ideas, we don’t go in the lab and invent something for six months or nine months. And then we see if people like it, no, we start with customers from day one.”
05:30 — The company identified sustainability as a big part of its mission going forward. Company leadership decided to do three “impact” days where everyone focuses on things that drive an impact, with different executive sponsors. Rinke went all in on sustainability and has hosted multiple hackathons (the next one is coming up) where Celonis invites customers along with its top engineers and data scientists to determine how to leverage Celonis software for sustainability. That work shaped the company’s sustainability roadmap as well as new products introduced at Celosphere.
07:15 — Celonis has always been about changing things for the better. “There are so many people in every company who don’t want to change a little bit. They just want to keep things running as they’re running,” he said, “but none of them are here” at Celosphere.
08:12 — Discussing customers, Rinke says they’re facing an unprecedented situation: recessionary fears and a likely recession, financial pressures, huge supply chain disruptions, and the constant drive to create a more sustainable future. “They put all these things together and say now’s the time.”
08:52 — Customers are asking: How can we get on board to change and improve? How can we make a difference faster? How can we prove the tangible outcomes of what we’re doing? Some people resisted change when economic factors were healthier but now everyone recognizes the need to change. “This is the moment for everyone in this community to take it up a notch and put the pedal to the metal.”
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