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How to leverage Celonis for Process Mining as an integral part of your SAP S/4HANA journey

How to leverage Celonis for Process Mining as an integral part of your SAP S/4HANA journey

By Melody Briggs, Practice Manager, Process Mining and Value Realization

For many organizations, SAP S/4HANA is the next step in the SAP journey. However, migrating to SAP S/4HANA is a daunting task. Enowa’s team of certified Celonis Process Mining experts can help accelerate your SAP S/4HANA journey with Process Mining.


Process mining is a somewhat new approach businesses are taking to improve results through the optimization of essential processes and workflows. Often, we design a process to look like this:

However, after a closer look, we find the process, as executed, looks more like this:

As shown in Figure 1, process mining is comprised of four phases: collection of event data from the transactional system; discovery of the actual business process as executed in the source system; enhancement of the process for optimal outcome; and monitoring the change for effectiveness and future enhancement. Businesses change over time, and every change impacts the business process. Process mining provides visibility into not only what the process is, but how well the process is being executed. As such, process mining helps reduce project risk, optimize internal and external effort, and realize the business value of your SAP investment.

Figure 1: Process Mining Stages (Source: Celonis)

Process Mining with Celonis supports all phases of the SAP S/4HANA journey, from pre-transition all the way through go-live, as well as during hypercare, and post-transition.

PRE-TRANSITION (SAP ACTIVATE PHASES: DISCOVER, PREPARE AND EXPLORE) 

Prior to the transition to SAP S/4HANA, Enowa’s Process Mining experts connect your current SAP ERP and relevant other integrated SAP and non-SAP systems to Celonis. Celonis is then utilized to discover and document the current AS-IS processes, reducing the time and effort dedicated to subject matter expert interviews and increasing the quality and accuracy of how the process is actually executed. The Celonis conformance checker capability performs a quick comparison between your current state and SAP S/4HANA Best Practice processes to identify process gaps and to highlight process issues that will need to be addressed for standardization in the new SAP S/4HANA platform. (This type of analysis is particularly helpful when there are multiple existing ERPs that are to converge into SAP S/4HANA.)

Figure 2: Comparison of SAP Best Practice with Celonis Conformance Check


ERP systems (SAP and non-SAP) that have been in use for many years typically contain a large number of customizations. In Figure 2, comparing the current process to the target process will accelerate identification of potentials to harmonize and/or standardize key processes across business units and point to the business-critical customizations that you might want to keep as key differentiators.  Enowa’s Process Mining experts can identify the frequency of use of a customization and assess its business criticality. Then, we can make recommendations for configuration and key decisions during the SAP S/4HANA deployment. 

Ultimately, using Celonis during the pre-transition phase will allow you to thoroughly assess and even improve your processes before your migration to SAP S/4HANA, enabling a faster, more coherent rollout.

IN-TRANSITION (SAP ACTIVATE PHASES: REALIZE AND DEPLOY)

During the SAP S/4HANA deployment, Enowa’s Process Mining experts can help ensure a successful SAP S/4HANA transition. During the transition to SAP S/4HANA, testing of business scenarios is critical. By connecting the SAP S/4HANA test environment to Celonis, test cases can be executed and then monitored in the Celonis Process Explorer. From the testing scenarios, conformance models are developed for each process analyzed and stored. These can be leveraged for business process monitoring after go-live during hyper-care. Using Celonis in this manner ensures organizational testing is executed comprehensively and reflective of the solution design and processes agreed upon for the future/target state.

At go-live, transactions that are processed in the new SAP S/4HANA system are monitored closely to pinpoint change management needs. Celonis provides data at the user, department, facility, or company level to direct training, communication and reporting requirements. Feedback from Celonis is available on demand, as frequently as requested, which keeps the organization on track during hyper-care.

Figure 3: Celonis Process Explorer is the visual representation of the actual process being executed


POST-TRANSITION (SAP ACTIVATE PHASE: RUN)

After hyper-care is completed and the project team has handed over all support tasks to the application management team, all connected processes are visualized with an end-to-end process flow within your Celonis portal as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Celonis Conformance measures adherence to standard and best practices


Figure 5: Celonis Automation KPI dynamically calculates the automation rate being executed by a human or system user in SAP

Conformance to best practice is monitored and violations are quickly documented to prompt corrective actions. Process Mining supports process governance post go-live and can help sustain and govern global business process template approaches. 

Suggestions for process improvements are developed from Celonis process intelligence. KPIs, such as Rework-Rate, Change-Rate, Process Variations, Best Practice Violations, etc. are used to measure the success of the SAP S/4HANA deployment.  

Figure 6: Celonis Rework KPI calculates rework process activities for benchmarking and process improvement purposes

The results of process mining can also be used to help measure the ROI of the SAP S/4HANA initiative. Furthermore, additional process improvement opportunities that may not have been included in the scope of the original SAP S/4HANA deployment, such as Robotics Process Automation (RPA), can be identified.

To extend continuous improvement within the organization, we train your user communities, such as SAP Center of Excellence Teams, Internal Audit, Six Sigma or other process improvement teams, to monitor your business processes leveraging Celonis’ vast capabilities. Users at all levels of the organization can see the standardization and efficiency of the system in near real time, enabling true continuous improvement.

Enowa, a Celonis Platinum Services and Gold Sales Partner, has a dedicated Process Mining Practice comprised of Celonis Certified Data Engineers and Analysts that also have deep SAP functional experience. Our experts approach process mining from a business process standpoint, coupled with technical Celonis competence. This combination results in a smaller team that can understand the end-to-end process with minimal handoff. Clients appreciate this approach because smaller teams drive faster value and quicker results. Enowa also employs this model in all our engagements supporting SAP products.  We look forward to working with you to support your SAP S/4HANA journey.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melody Briggs is the Practice Manager for Enowa’s Process Mining and Value Realization Team, including Celonis certified data analysts and data scientists.  She has 25 years industry experience focused on business process automation and continuous improvement.  Melody has extensive experience in IT project delivery including ERP deployments, data and analytics strategy and development, IT financial management, and infrastructure management.

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