How Camunda is Reinventing Process Automation for the Digital Enterprise

I opened CamundaCon Live by providing a company update and an overview of our mission for the future.

First of all, I acknowledged the “elephant in the room.” COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. This conference was scheduled to take place in New York City, and ended up being a virtual event instead.

The incredible worldwide response to this challenge has been truly inspiring and we want to help any way we can. That’s why Camunda created our COVID-19 response project to help the nonprofits and NGOs tackling this global issue. Organizations like Remedy Match are now using Camunda as the backend of their logistics solution. Remedy Match uses our automation solutions to make sure they can quickly and accurately match thousands of protective items with the people who need them each day.

From a business perspective, Camunda is fortunate enough to be in a good situation at this time. As a company, we’ve been determined from the very beginning to be debt-free. Camunda has been profitable from day one, and we remain the same today.

In the last year, we’ve expanded our business and doubled staff, adding in particular to our team of customer success professionals. We’ve also partnered with companies like Amdocs and Wipro to expand our offerings to more enterprises around the world. Camunda adoption is spreading across all industries, and we’re now used by companies like ING, Swiss Life, T Mobile, Warner Music Group, Autodesk and Zalando.

But what’s next?

Our focus is on reinventing process automation as we know it today.

This begins by transforming the business process into an algorithm.

In his book Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari posited that the algorithm is the most important concept in the 21st century. At Camunda, we’ve worked to make the business process an algorithm, which companies can then automate.

Our vision is to automate any process, anywhere. I believe Camunda holds the key to “Universal Process Automation” because we can help companies to:

  • Orchestrate anything
  • In any technical setup
  • At any scale

To understand how we do this, it’s worth looking back at the old system. Traditional BPMS was (and still is) a proprietary application development method, with a one-stop shop, out-of-the box, monolithic solution in a “walled garden” setting, using 100% low code and tech from the 2000s.

Camunda has reinvented process automation by providing an open source, cloud-native, highly flexible solution that isn’t limited to low code and can be used by professional software developers in addition to business users and citizen developers. We offer plug-in orchestration. This means our products can be used to orchestrate ANYTHING, whether it be orchestration of human task workers, API endpoints, business rules that are automated, RPA robots, microservices, IoT devices or machine learning or AI.

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Our offerings are focused on end-to-end process automation. We allow companies to automate a business process from beginning to end, across an entire organization. This provides the ability and flexibility to quickly change a process if and when needed.

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Others can claim this as well, you might say. So what’s different about us? Here is just one example: In the past, the orchestrator pushed tasks to the worker. This system had problems. For example, the worker had to be available as soon as the request was made and it was difficult to scale if you had peaks in workloads. With Camunda, the worker pulls from the orchestrator, and lets the orchestrator know when the work is done. This approach makes it easy to scale horizontally — this is what we mean when we say “plug-in orchestration.”

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Camunda allows companies to use any tech stack, any endpoint, any platform — so business IT collaboration is baked into our products.

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But what if your processes are not automated from end-to-end?

For companies looking to monitor a business process, Camunda’s Optimize can tap into any system – including a microservice or a legacy application – and capture events from those systems, translating those events into BPMN and helping to monitor a business process from end-to-end.

Example of End-to-End Process Monitoring: RPA

Enterprise use of RPA has exploded in the last few years but according to Gartner, “…40% of enterprises will have ‘RPA buyer’s remorse’ due to misaligned, siloed usage and inability to scale.” We surveyed our own Camunda users on this topic and found that most see RPA as a bridge technology.

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We also hear from companies that bots become isolated, which leads to a lack of visibility in an end-to-end process. And worse, bots can of course fail when an interface changes. These issues are why about 50% of our users say they will eventually replace their RPA solutions with API endpoints or microservices.

Camunda Optimize helps provide visibility into the business process from end-to-end and eventually allows companies to sunset old bots, and replace them with proper API endpoints or microservices through a three-step system.

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The approach Camunda takes to RPA was driven by our customers. For example, Nokia uses Optimize for events monitoring and Deutsche Telekom is currently using Camunda solutions to move their RPA front-end automation to the back-end.

What’s Next? Process Automation as a Service

Our cloud-native offering Camunda Cloud is based on years of experience. Camunda Cloud, as far as we are aware, is the only solution to combine BPMN with true horizontal scalability and fault tolerance for process automation. These are two of the biggest challenges enterprises are faced with as they automate mission critical business processes.

For more information on Camunda Cloud, please check out our CTO Daniel’s blog post about our early access program.

To conclude, I’d like to end where I began: with the elephant in the room. We’re seeing COVID-19 increase process automation. For example, the European Commission is a Camunda user. They, like everyone, had to move to a remote workforce setting. But they see this as an opportunity to use Camunda to push their automation endeavors even further.

I truly believe that the time for process automation has never been better.

If you’re interested in seeing my full presentation, it is available to watch on-demand on the CamundaCon Live hub. And please do contact us if you have any questions about process automation, or if we can help you to accelerate your digital transformation.

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