SAP finally joins the process mining fray

Business process improvement has been a top enterprise concern of late, and German software company SAP has heeded the call with Process Insights, a new process mining tool announced during last week’s Sapphire event.

With Process Insights, SAP aims to help customers streamline their operations by reporting on the speed and efficiency of existing business processes before benchmarking them against 300 key performance indicators (KPIs) generated from aggregated SAP customer data. The tool, which will use SAP’s Intelligent Robotic Process Automation to recommend improvements, leans heavily on data SAP has amassed about what makes any given process efficient for its customers, SAP CEO Christian Klein said during a media and analyst Q&A.

“This brings that knowledge into one tool to allow customers to not only measure and benchmark their business processes but use this expertise and these insights to design the business processes in a way that helps them to grow the business, automate, and drive productivity,” he said.

Process mining software examines enterprise data sources to give customers a fuller picture of how their processes are running, where there are bottlenecks, and where there are opportunities to streamline. When paired with robotic process automation (RPA) software, vendors promise customers the ability to identify inefficient business processes and opportunities to automate them.

SAP has a wealth of business process information connected to its popular enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and with its acquisition of business process management software provider Signavio in January and RPA vendor Contextor in 2018, it now has all the pieces in place to model, mine, and eventually streamline those processes for customers.

“This follows the archetypical model of SAP to react to a missed capability,” Constellation Research principal analyst Holger Mueller says. “Buy a smaller competitor; replace the partner; tout the solution as essential.” The partner Mueller refers to here is process mining pioneer Celonis, which recently raised $1 billion in funding at a valuation of $11 billion and already counts the likes of Uber, Dell, L’Oréal and AstraZeneca as customers.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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