ServiceNow announces partnership with Germany's Celonis

Bill McDermott returns to the afternoon session of the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S. July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Losness

BERLIN, Oct 6 (Reuters) - U.S. technology platform ServiceNow (NOW.N) is entering into a strategic partnership with German software company Celonis to help customers identify workflow processes that can be automated, the two companies said on Wednesday.

The partnership includes ServiceNow making an unspecified investment in Celonis and will combine ServiceNow's workflow platform with the execution management system of Celonis that crunches data to tackle problems and automate decision making.

Celonis, a competitor to German business software company SAP (SAPG.DE), has grown to become the country's most valuable startup. It raised $1 billion from investors in June to give the company a post-fundraising valuation of more than $11 billion. read more

Co-Chief Executive Alexander Rinke, who co-founded Celonis with fellow students from the Technical University of Munich in 2011, told Reuters the partners would be launching joint products as early as the first half of 2022.

ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott, who led SAP for a decade until 2019, said he was looking forward to working with Rinke: "We have known each other for ages and have been good friends for a long time."

McDermott compared the work of Celonis to an x-ray that shows what is broken and what needs to be changed: "ServiceNow will build on this with new processes."

Celonis initially developed and marketed process-mining software that enabled clients to analyse swathes of data thrown off by modern company operations and find ways to improve their business processes.

It rebranded as an Execution Management platform after acquiring Czech peer Integromat last year, and will invest proceeds of the recent fundraising in enabling its software to give better recommendations and take smarter decisions.

McDermott sees the collaboration as an opportunity for ServiceNow to gain a stronger foothold in Germany. "Germany is my second home," he said.

Reporting by Nadine Schimroszik, writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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