ServiceNow and Celonis team up to power process automation

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Workflow management platform vendor ServiceNow is partnering with process mining specialist Celonis to help enterprises prioritise and optimise process automation.

The partnership will make it easier for CIOs to combine the capabilities of both platforms when the joint is available, which is expected for the first half of 2022, according to Celonis representative Faiz Mandviwalla.

ServiceNow introduced tools to help its customers optimise their processes back in March 2021, in the Quebec release of its Now platform. Those enhancements work only with processes built in ServiceNow. The tie-up with Celonis, however, will broaden Now’s optimisation reach, giving it access to process information across all platforms Celonis can mine.

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

“Celonis has been doing this for a long time, so it wouldn’t be simple or cheap for ServiceNow to displace them,” he said.

Teaming up in a fractured market

Instead of fighting over the market for process optimisation, the companies will co-develop and co-market their services, and use one another’s products internally.

Stephen Elliot, group vice president for infrastructure and operations at IDC, said, “This is a complement to what each firm offers. It helps a CIO organise around technology and business workflows, and potential triggers that drive automation within those processes. … They are putting together building blocks for a foundation. No one vendor can do it all.”

Once ServiceNow and Celonis have integrated their respective platforms, enterprises will be able to build on that foundation, said Elliot. “The ServiceNow AppEngine Studio and AppEngine Templates product can serve as a front end to help IT (and potentially business teams) create applications that have inherent automation (via the templates), with data and process intelligence from Celonis.”

ServiceNow and Celonis also plan to invest in one other, although neither will say how much. Could this be the prelude to an acquisition? It’s possible, although not likely at this stage, said Forrester’s Betz.

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

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