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Enabling digital transformation in today’s business requires not only a solid digitization strategy and roadmap, but the right tools to liberate your organization from the lack of visibility and risk within existing business processes. The pace of change today is too fast and traditional standard processes lack relevant operational insight and need to evolve and be agile enough to meet new opportunities found in emerging business moments. Optimizing and mining big processes is critical to de-risking the digital transformation effort.

The SAP Intelligent Business Operations bundle and SAP Process Mining by Celonis are two of SAP’s most innovative and successful solutions in the Process Management space, designed to address today’s biggest challenges. It is not surprising that one of the most frequent questions we hear from our customers revolves around how the joint capabilities of IBO and Process Mining can drive significant value to digital business outcomes.

The short answer is in a radically new approach to solving an old problem: that is, leveraging real-time analytics, in-memory technology and intelligent algorithms to support the end-to-end lifecycle of the Process Improvement methodology, even for your existing legacy processes, on your current technology stacks, quickly and with no risk.

SAP Intelligent Business Operations enables Insight-to-Action for business end-users and process stakeholders:

  • IBO provides complete, real-time visibility and intelligence on current ongoing process instances, so that business operations owners can act as issues arise, such as violating an existing SLA, (e.g. take action on an outstanding invoice before it expires).

SAP Process Mining by Celonis enables Insight-to-Design for business analyst and process owners:

  • Process Mining enables business stakeholders to continuously analyze and mine the recent history of the processes (e.g. the last year or two of raw transactional data), and "reverse-engineer" the process flows which have occurred, to discover all the process variants, and in particular reveal exception paths - the unexpected flows which are out of compliance, such as, bottlenecks, process inefficiencies etc. In this way, a business analyst can change the process design to fix or improve it: (e.g., in a Procure to Pay scenario, easily finding procurements which bypassed SRM policies, and fixing the process so that those flows are prevented.)

These two best-of-breed products are a perfect match when used in a combined way, as depicted in the following diagram:

In this way, the same live process data will serve both the Monitoring-Adjustment loops of Business Operations users, performed on the current process instances leveraging the Process Intelligence and BPM capabilities of IBO, and the diagnosis and transparency analysis performed by Business Analysts in SAP Process Mining.

The HANA platform is the fundamental enabling technology of this radically new approach, which unleashes unprecedented opportunities to boost effectiveness and agility of Process Improvement efforts. In fact, the traditional approaches, where process metrics were gathered in data warehouses, had two main limitations:

  • The process metrics and KPIs were available only on aggregate data, and not in real-time, hence preventing any proper and timely “adjustment” action on the ongoing process instances
  • KPIs and metrics were available only for aggregate which were built upfront, hence preventing the possibility to discover unexpected variants and mine them

Now with HANA-based process solutions from SAP, users can merge real-time analytics into transactional processes, perform the intelligence and mining directly on the raw transactional data in real-time, and ask questions based on what they see rather than what they expected to see. In this way, processes can adapt and improve much more quickly, to capitalize on critical business moments, and become a key asset for your digital transformation program, rather than a key hurdle.

Additional resources for further information: