CamundaCon Berlin 2024 Day 1 Live Blog

Get all the latest updates and recaps of what's happening in this live blog of CamundaCon Berlin 2024.
By
  • Blog
  • >
  • CamundaCon Berlin 2024 Day 1 Live Blog
TOPICS

30 Day Free Trial

Bring together legacy systems, RPA bots, microservices and more with Camunda

Sign Up for Camunda Content

Get the latest on Camunda features, events, top trends, and more.

TRENDING CONTENT

Welcome to CamundaCon Berlin 2024!

We hope you’re as excited as we are for CamundaCon Berlin 2024, which starts today! Just like at the previous CamundaCon in NYC, We’ll be bringing you the latest updates from the event live as they’re happening. Be sure to check back often as we’ll be updating this post throughout the day.

We’ve officially sold out the venue, but if you couldn’t join in person in Berlin, you can still catch all the sessions online for free (that’s what I’m doing!) Just register at the link below, check out the agenda and make sure you don’t miss a thing. We’ll see you there, whether online or in person!

Update: Did you miss CamundaCon Berlin 2024, or just want to check out the sessions you couldn’t catch live? All replays are now available at the link below!

Here with us before the opening keynote? Our own Senior Development Advocate Niall Deehan and Director of Development Relations Mary Thengvall kicked us off with a “wee wander” behind the scenes to preview the event and recap yesterday’s Unconference.

The keynote itself starts in just a few minutes, at 6:30am ET, and people are taking their seats. We’re about to get started!

Welcome!

Mary returned to formally open the conference from the main stage. After a brief explanation of yesterday’s Unconference, the Selfie Screen (tag your selfies with #camundacon and #selfie to join!), and the 4 tracks (and 46 sessions!) that will be taking place over the next two days. The conference is the biggest that Camunda has ever had, to the point where Camunda had to go out and get a streaming boat to provide some overflow viewing 🚢! Mary also introduced our AMA and sponsor booths, as well as the aftershow networking opportunities (there will of course be a party in person, but also a cool CamundaCon Universe experience in Kumospace for those of us online).

She then welcomed Camunda co-founder and CEO Jakob Freund to the stage.

Opening Keynote by Jakob Freund

Jakob started off by setting the scene for the growth of process orchestration, starting by quoting former Forrester VP and analyst Rob Koplowitz who noticed companies start to “get serious” about broad automation about eight years ago, with Camunda as central to that trend. He spoke about the pressures fueling its rise lately, including growing expectations, disruptions faced and technical debt.

One common issue arises from the “value trap” of point solutions that delivered local automation quickly, but did not allow for full-scale end-to-end automation. Process orchestration is needed to tame the complexity and make sure that these many siloed automations become efficiencies and not enduring technical debt.

Jakob welcomed Paul Vincent, former Gartner Research Director and analyst to the stage. Paul spoke about the industry-agnostic importance of being able to not only get a handle on your complex processes with a powerful central orchestrator, but also of bringing business and IT together with BPMN and intelligent decision making with DMN, along with scaling securely in the cloud—together it is a powerful combination across a wide range of markets and use cases.

Jakob spoke about how thrilled we were to be described as a Strong Performer by Forrester in the DPA market last fall. He noted that we don’t have every feature out of the box, such as RPA, but that is by design. Camunda has prioritized a composable hyperautomation tech stack that gives you flexibility by not trying to be everything at once. Of course, we make it easy to do everything you need to from the combination of our out-of-the-box features and integrations with partners.

Now, we can’t have a keynote in 2024 without talking about AI 🤖, and Jakob specifically talked about the value we can all get from AI. He described AI as a brain that by itself it lacks any ability to execute and get value out of it—which is what true process orchestration can bring you.

“If AI is the brain, then process orchestration is our arms and hands. With the brain alone, you can’t actually execute. You need to put arms and hands to the brain.”

Florian Rang, Director at GLS, then joined Jakob on stage to talk about how they wanted to transform the business—which delivers millions of parcels daily—and now uses Camunda to break free from much slower legacy processes. For example, instead of taking weeks or months to make changes or additions, they can now make updates to rules and processes (like, say, adding a pickup locker to the available options) in just days. All on Camunda’s SaaS infrastructure. The changes Florian made were impressive and he had big plans for expanding Camunda in the future.

In the next part of this highly interactive keynote, Nikki Todd, Senior VP from First American, a global financial services firm, then came to the stage. She spoke to how First American uses Camunda to build feature-rich workflows that really enabled strong collaboration between business and IT—Nikki spoke to how business leaders can now make changes to processes without IT, not just in weeks or days, but sometimes in hours or nearly real-time. Nikki will be presenting on the main stage tomorrow, don’t miss it!

Souhaila Jeddi, Solution Manager at Desjardins, then joined to speak to how they use an IT Center of Excellence (CoE) with centralized governance to really accelerate and enable the decentralized scaled adoption of automation across the organization. Souhaila emphasized the importance of communication and collaboration with technical and business leaders so that everybody understands the real needs and the right goals can be achieved. Souhaila will also be presenting tomorrow, be sure to check it out!

Jakob then wrapped up his talk by speaking about the window of opportunity we have to make a substantial impact on our organizations with process orchestration. It’s important not to stay on the single solution level, as the most significant value will come as adoption grows across more projects and is distributed widely across an organization.

Co-existence of process engines and legacy systems in a distributed environment

Matthias Dabisch, Solution Architect at Commerzbank, then took the stage for the next talk on the main stage. Commerzbank is a large German bank and spoke to the need to improve their processes, which were sometimes automated but sometimes slow and human-centric across hundreds of often insular process solutions.

When they set out to update their processes, Matthias and his team had a number of goals. Transparency, modularity, technological freedom and an easy migration path from existing processes were among the critical needs. His team decided to use the “Lego Model” to create a standardized structure of process modules with uniform behavior and a standardized API—even as they have different business functionalities. To apply this across all company processes, legacy applications would need to generate a logical process model that could fit into the system.

For an ambitious pilot project, Matthias chose Enterprise Customer Onboarding—he knew if his team could tackle this critical process, they could also handle all the simpler processes across the company that they needed to. He designed a number of “Lego” modules that would integrate together to greatly enhance the process—it’s been running successfully for six months! There are lots of improvements to come and a CoE under construction as well. Check out this talk to get a great breakdown of how Commerzbank was able to add the power of process orchestration to a large organization with a lot of legacy systems and gain some huge efficiencies.

Process development at 1&1: From JBPM to Camunda 8

Software architect Georg Röver has been at 1&1 for 10 years and took a few minutes this morning to explain how and why 1&1 moved from JBPM to Camunda 8. First, Röver took us back to 2009, when 1&1’s process development used a proprietary framework: JBPM. There was no operating UI for JBPM, Röver explains, “so we had our own UI. We had to draw our own BPMN models ourselves.” Eventually, 1&1 moved from JBPM due to problems with the framework.

They opted to migrate from JBPM to Camunda 7, however there were early database incompatibilities. In 2021, 1&1 became an enterprise customer of Camunda so they could make specific feature requests of Camunda in order to ditch their own framework entirely. “Becoming enterprise saved us a lot of headache,” Röver says.

Since 2023, their process development is in Camunda 8. Now having the opportunity to scale with Camunda 8, 1&1 has made several feature requests, many of which have been completed, such as official support for Spring Zeebe and Zeebe upgrades without downtime.

Overall, “Camunda is cool,” Röver says. “It’s cloud ready, and you have a central engine, so you don’t have to worry about the database anymore, that’s very nice.” Check out this full talk to learn more about how they moved to Camunda 8, including their challenges and the key improvements they saw.

Other sessions not to miss

  • Building upon DMN to automate business decisions: This lightning talk by John Christiansen and Arkadiusz Pszczolkowski of SDC covered how SDC was able to help a number of small and medium-sized banks upgrade their automated decision-making systems using DMN. Catch this lightning talk for a great technical explanation of how the team organized and implemented their project.
  • Unveiling the Enigma: Elevating Process Agility with Case Management in Camunda Platform: Confused or just unhappy with CMMN, but looking for a case management solution? Thomas Heinrichs of Miragon and Victor Franca of WKS Power cover how you can handle case management using Camunda 8, don’t miss it.
  • Using Camunda event data in a data engineering pipeline: Jim Collins and Andrewy Kozichev from MetaOps, along with Shiril Lukose from HMPO, talk about using data from your own internal process microservices to transform your operational oversight. Integrating Camunda event data with a customer data platform (CDP), the General Register Office (GRO) improved their data collection with an innovative new process created by A&A Digital and MetaOps. Collins, Kozichev, and Lukose showcased how data transformation packages for Camunda and data integration Connectors can simplify a data engineering pipeline.

The evolution of our workflow CoE

Business Consultant Michael Rehfisch and Florian Spata of Norddeutsche Landesbank, along with Senior Customer Success Manager Leon Strauch of Camunda then took the stage to talk about Centers of Excellence. Leon introduced the value a CoE can bring, but some common objections, including a conflict between the concepts of “autonomy” and “centralization.” However, he explained that it doesn’t need to be a choice—done right, you can have both.

After a quick selfie for social, Florian talked about the digital tranformation path for Norddeutsche Landesbank, a German bank. There are a number of challenges they needed to overcome, including complex regulatory requirements and the need to adapt to changing internal and external customer expectations.

Michael took us back to CamundaCon 2022, when Camunda co-founder and Chief Technologist Bernd Reucker and Camunda CTO Daniel Meyer talked about the journey to scaling process orchestration quickly. Michael and his team took that message, and after talking to folks like Leon and others, set out to build a CoE to achieve their scaling goals. Check out this talk to see how the CoE was designed, how they demonstrate their value through “value workshops,” their plans to move increasingly to the “right” for a more enablement-focused model over time, and goals for achieving a higher level of process orchestration maturity.

myProcess automation platform – E2E automation ordering portal

Hosting virtual machines is complicated, says Lukas Fröhlich, a senior process automation specialist at T-Systems Austria. How do you deal with compliance issues and IT processes, for example? “For a long time, most of these things were done really manually. We were doing a lot of unstructured work, and a lot of it was communicated via email.” The repetitive and tedious tasks needed to happen several times a week, which led to human error. “It just took ages,” Frölich says. “Around two weeks or longer to set up a new virtual machine, which is unbearable.” A lack of standardization also led to huge operational costs, “which is not something you want for a company of this size.”

But how do you automate things that have been done manually for years? The answer is myProcess, powered by Camunda. Lukas walked the audience through a short video of the platform. From the users perspective, the myProcess portal looks like an ordering platform.

But just having the portal in place is not enough to overcome the challenges. They invested in an enabling team, who drive standardization and operation of the platform. They also needed company support, some critical pieces of which they already had, such as access to master data from their configuration management database. Cultivating a workflow mindset was also essential—”a task someone is performing is part of an overall process,” Frölich says.

Taking over for the last half of the presentation, Benedikt Kaiser emphasizes that “we wanted to create a fully automated datacenter.” As a result, T-Systems has decreased their provisioning time for standard VMs to under two hours.

Up next is migrating from Camunda 7 to Camunda 8, but Kaiser doesn’t think much will change after the migration. “A key takeaway,” he adds, “is that Rome was not built in a day. Iteratively improving workflows is the key for success.”

Other sessions not to miss

  • The challenges of automation and empowerment in the telecoms industry: Charles Praud, Telecom Business Development Director at Sopra Steria, and Stéphane Guillot of TDF, talk to the twin goals of providing a great customer experience while also reducing manual work. Learn how an automation strategy was specifically applied the telecom industry and how critical operational standardization was implemented.
  • Speeding up & simplifying Camunda 8 Self-Managed installation for beginners: Lars Lange, Senior DevOps Engineer and Nathan Loding, Developer Advocate from the Camunda Infrastructure Experience team demonstrate a self-managed setup for a Camunda 8 environment. From installation to configuration, Lange and Loding demoed the process live while discussing future plans for simplification in Camunda 8.
  • Journey into the implementation of process orchestration at Belastingdienst: Robert-Jan Peek from Belastingdiesnt (the Dutch Tax & Customs Agency) discusses how they transformed a complex, document-triggered registration process into a working proof of concept in just one sprint. His new ambition is to create microservices for orchestrating generic business functionality.

Coffee Break

Next up is a coffee break! For those of you in person, enjoy your coffee ☕! Those of us online were treated to a virtual tour of Berlin.

Online attendees were also treated to an exclusive behind the scenes sneak peek conversation with Sarah Hsu, Course Chair at Green Software Foundation, where she spoke about her mission as well as her process in recently writing a book. She’ll be giving a keynote address tomorrow on building green, sustainable software—bookmark that time slot now!

Digital Banking Transformation: A Comparative Analysis of Hyperautomation with Camunda in North America and Latin America

Marcelo Leopoldino, Specialist BPM Consultant at NTConsult and Raimundo Júnior, also from NTConsult and a , a Camunda Champion, then introduced the value of hyperautomation for the banking industry. Regulartory compliance, error reduction, and improved customer experiences are high on the list. They highlighted some of the key differences between North America and Latin America and the differing contexts for hyperautomation in the regions. This included the need to be more competitive for smaller Latin American banks (where the top 4 banks have 54% of the region’s market share) and the rapid expansion of AI and new payment technologies in North American banks.

They gave many compelling examples to illustrate the challenges faced:

  • At a large Canadian bank, a big part of the solution there was achieved with a CoE.
  • At a large Brazilian bank, standardization and implementing best practices helped resolve errors in customer experience and regulatory issues.
  • For a large US bank, updating a legacy system enabled digital evolution through much improved automation.
  • A retail/SMB bank in Paraguay used a monolithic architecture.
  • A Brazilian digital retail/SMB bank needed to greatly improve the digital customer experience to compete for market share.
  • A large bank in Argentina was losing customers due to slow processing times.

No matter where they were based, all saw huge benefits from embracing modern hyperautomation through process orchestration.

Marcelo and Raimundo covered a wide range of examples, and if you’re in digital banking I’m sure one or more resonate with you. Check out the full talk for details on all these examples, including the types of challenges faced and solutions that worked.

Streamlined automation journeys – Embracing solution accelerators via private & public marketplaces

“We introduced Connectors with Camunda 8,” says Bastian Körber, a Principal Product Manager at Camunda. It helps you easily connect to any kind of system; we have out of the box Connectors as well as Connectors in the Marketplace, which pulls from GitHub repos.

The Connector SDK enables you to build whatever Connector you need in Java. Körber walks us through creating a generic system connector from which you can generate a template. Since Camunda 8.3, you’ve been able to share Connector and call activity templates within your team. You can then involve and empower “less technical” people, Körber says, to use Connectors for their own needs. Team members are leveraging what already exists, rather than having separate teams build multiple similar Connectors.

Together, Pavel Kotelevskii, a Senior Backend Software Engineer, and Körber role play an engineer and a customer-facing staff member respectively who are trying to collaborate the automation of a manual process. If a Connector faces an outdated API, how can they avoid getting an engineer up at night to fix it? Can it self-heal? Does it need manual intervention? Can this subprocess be updated in the template? Finally, they demonstrate how to invoke ChatGPT to generate Markdown-formatted documentation to pop into the GitHub repo.

“Always double-check what the AI’s saying,” Kotelevskii says with a laugh.

Other sessions not to miss

  • Measuring process and business KPIs: Unleashing the power of Optimize: Wondering how you can apply Optimize to improve your business? Tim Stawowski, Web Developer from WERTGARANTIE, explains how to go beyond simply adopting a solution and really use Optimize to bring business and IT together to understand and master your workflows.
  • Welcome to the Formularfabrik aka the Form Factory: Joe Pappas, senior sales engineer at Camunda, explains how to use Camunda Forms to quickly create interfaces for user tasks, including adding your own form components. Pappas makes the case for decreasing time to value and increasing productivity in the Form Factory.
  • From zero to hero: Live-coding a process using Camunda & RPA: Developer advocate Nathan Loding is back with a quick 20 minute demo for getting a Camunda project up and running. From a blank Web Modeler window, Loding takes the audience along on an end-to-end process that integrates with an RPA bot, deploys it, and runs it. Finally, he wraps up with tips for troubleshooting errors that could (of course) pop up.

How Camunda helps us to resolve our new business clients contracts

EDF (Electricity de France) first opted to use Camunda almost five years ago with goals that included simplifying their processes, automating use cases, connecting teams and making improvements faster. Alexis Madelin of EDF explained how Camunda helped enable a new customer-friendly process that helped save EDF a lot of time and effort. Previously, when a customer didn’t pay their electricity bill, power was cut off, requiring the customer to call in and pay their bill, followed by a technician coming out to manually turn the power back on. Today, power is simply reduced if payment is behind, improving the life of the customer and making it easier for EDF to turn it back on once the payment is complete, a win-win.

It might sound simple, but “this changed everything” from a process perspective for the IT team, Alexis noted. It took some work to get started, but he and his team knew that once they implemented it would make life easier for everyone, including their millions of customers. Alexis added that Optimize was a very important tool to enable supervision and analytics that make it easier for business and IT to collaborate using the same information. It also provided crucial benchmarks to help EDF understand where they can make improvements (such as the time to turn power back on, which they know is now reduced from four days to 15 minutes!).

EDF has both residential and commercial clients, and use cases are now being considered for the commercial side of the business. Alexis mentioned that sometimes there is resistance to Camunda when he first mentions it—oh, another tool, we have enough of those—but when he explains the benefits people are usually interested. There is a lot of room for Camunda to grow and improve processes throughout the company, and Alexis is excited to continue adding more use cases.

Catch this full talk to learn more about how Alexis implemented this solution and tries to “think Camunda” for new use cases in the future.

Process orchestration, test automation and community inspiration

Tales Mello Paiva, a Process Analyst at Kip4You, styles himself as a process aficionado. “I was fascinated by “collective intelligence,” such as with schools of fish and ants and swarms. “In an ant colony or a beehive, everyone knows what to do when and where.”

For his first steps in his journey toward optimizing process, Paiva studied robotics and automation in Japan, then returned to Brazil to study procedural engineering. Eventually he landed at Kip4You, where he got hands-on experience with process automation. This was also when he first was introduced to Camunda. A couple quotes on an early About page on Camunda’s site really stuck with him:

“Processes are the algorithms that determine how an organization runs…”

and

“Processes define how we work together within a team, across an organization, or with our customers, partners, and suppliers.”

Paiva found his hivemind community at Camunda Con 2020. “There was books and research and study, but here was the cherry on top, the red ribbon on top of it all.”

He noticed that when someone got stuck in the Camunda community, someone else would come along and offer some insight. A conference presentation inspired him to use the Robot Framework, an open-source keyword-driven RPA framework, along with Camunda and AgileKip to automate acceptance testing, which he “quasi-demos” for this morning’s audience.

“Happy tester, happy life,” Paiva jokes.

Other sessions not to miss

  • Re-imagining, through process & technology transformation, the UK MODs Mapping Warehouse using Camunda 8: Toby Cook and Vicky James share how Deloitte has worked with the UK MOD to bring their mapping warehouse up to date. Specifically, they used human-centered design to address pain points. Deloitte developed a custom task list pattern with Camunda 8 to combine process and business data, using Elastic for rich searching and filtering, which vastly accelerated product delivery.
  • Evolving Camunda to be a low-code SAP application platform: Volker Buzek, Development Architect at j&s-soft and Nicolas Barz, Consultant, showed how Camunda can be combined with SAP BTP to enable non-developers to participate in the development of process-driven software. This is not a simple task! Check this out for a fascinating demo that goes through developing, deploying and executing a short process.
  • Modernising workload migration for an improved client experience: David Brakoniecki from BP3 and Lee Alderman from Bell Integration take us through a real-world case study of how a company can take a complex feature, modernize and streamline the processes, and create a coherent migration path the results in improved customer interactions and enhanced functionality.

Camunda as a driver to accelerate the energy transition

Niek Crasborn is a Product owner from Vendebron, an energy company from the Netherlands that is striving to get to “100% renewable energy as soon as possible.” He asks, how does Vandebron accelerate the energy transition, and how does Camunda accelerate Vendebron?

At Vendebron, a custom BPM workflow in Salesforce is a huge bottleneck. One team owns around 40 processes, and the custom technology is slow, with processes hidden in code. Innovation is slow. Instead of the black box of Salesforce owned by one team, how can Vendebron create an open and transparent toolbox that multiple teams can use?

Niek was excited to share this power with new teams… but cautioned that “with great power comes great responsibility.” While some teams were excited to have the new power and capabilities right away, others were concerned about taking on extra work and learning a new tool.

A valuable collaborative series of spark sessions helped get everybody on board with the changes that would come and the benefits that would bring.

Maarten van Veelen, Solution Architect from Incentro, then took over the presentation to talk about the technical implementation. He highlighted the complexity of the Salesforce custom workflow solution, which was powerful but so customized that it was challenging to train anyone on and to make changes. It was also not highly scalable due to Salesforce limitations.

Maarten guided us through the process of managing the migration, mentioning the primary challenges (including handling human input) and demonstrating a process that solves them, using Camunda as the central process orchestrator that keeps everything transparent and on track. He then showcased a recorded demo of the process in action, and highlighted the custom Optimize dashboard they use to gain process insights and locate opportunities for improvements.

Be sure to watch this one for a deeper look at how an innovative energy company utilized Camunda to remove a bottleneck and enable change and growth. As a bonus, if you watch until the end you’ll get to see our speakers sing :).

Future-ready decision management platform with Infosys & Camunda

“We make about 35,000 decisions every day,” says Ashok Kumar, senior industry principal at Infosys. “Decisions are the heartbeat of a business.”

Challenges to smooth decision-making include outdated languages in the code, a lack of documentation, and loss of legacy knowledge. Infosys attempts to modernize decision-making using AI discovery along with the Camunda engine.

So how do you decide between business rules and AI/machine learning? Kumar posits that the future of autonomous enterprise is business rules + AI. “Leverage AI outputs as an input into your rules,” Kumar says. “And leverage your rule outputs as a feature input into your AI models.”

A citizen developer and a senior developer walk into a bar

For Wednesday’s last lightning talk, Camunda senior community manager Maria Alcantara and Camunda software engineer Pavel Kotelevskii discuss how to collaborate between a street food vendor and a Michelin-starred chef—er, actually, make that a low-code casual developer and a professional senior developer.

“What do you think of these low-code features?” Alcantara asks Kotelevskii.

“They don’t take anything away from developers,” Kotelevskii says. “We can still do what we need to do. Low-code features are a huge enabler for communication.”

Alcantara (our low-code developer in this demonstration) shows a model she built to overcome creative block in her artistic hobbies. Alcantara is able to build a ChatGPT-created haiku prompt with low-code features, then asks Kotelevskii to collaborate on the build with her to add a feature that is not already part of the low-code Connectors. Kotelevskii builds a color palette generator and adds the Connector to the model.

“Even Michelin chefs sometimes need to prepare their food in advance,” Kotelevskii says, noting that he can use this new Connector in other models if and when necessary.

And what was the result? You can see Alcantara’s newly unblocked artistry above on the left (inspired by the model-driven ChatGPT-generated haiku on the right).

Other sessions not to miss

  • Elevating digital foundations: Deutsche Telekom’s agile journey with Camunda BPMN: Oliver Webersberger from Deutsche Telekom explained their journey to agile and how it reduced time to market and enabled quicker responses to feedback. In this interactive session, Oliver goes beyond those outcomes into scaling for the future, exceeding what is expected of them and keeping their whole tech stack up to date in the process. Check it out.
  • How to democratize process automation using Connectors: Karol Kukwa with ING Lease and Adam Liberadzki from Devapo discuss a new process orchestration solution for ING Lease. With Camunda 8 and the Connector SDK, process automation at ING Lease empowers product owners, accelerating the solution delivery and leading to more mature APIs.

Afterparty and networking

And that’s a wrap for Day 1! The after party and networking with DJ NICA is about to begin for those who are live in Berlin. For those online, I’ll see you over at Kumospace! For everyone, recordings of all sessions will be available as soon as next week.

Thanks for joining us, either in person, online, or right here on this post, and look out for another liveblog post tomorrow!

Update: Did you miss CamundaCon Berlin 2024, or just want to check out the sessions you couldn’t catch live? All replays are now available at the link below!

Start the discussion at forum.camunda.io

Try All Features of Camunda

Related Content

Achieve our first certification as a Camunda Certified Professional—Developer.
Operationalize your processes with AI and machine learning to improve how your organization interacts with clients.
Useful process intelligence is important for evaluating whether your processes are putting you on track for your goals. Learn how Camunda Optimize and Process KPIs can help.