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Aris 2.0 or Signavio?

While Dietmar Hopp and Hasso Plattner were shaping SAP into the market leader for ERP software, and Gerd Oswald was inventing SolMan for operational system management, August-Wilhelm Scheer was concerned with the theory and practice of business processes. For Scheer, the importance of processes and creating methods was always obvious. Despite partnering with Celonis from Munich, he recognized...
Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine
February 14, 2022
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

While Dietmar Hopp and Hasso Plattner were shaping SAP into the market leader for ERP software, and Gerd Oswald was inventing SolMan for operational system management, August-Wilhelm Scheer was concerned with the theory and practice of business processes. For Scheer, the importance of processes and creating methods was always obvious. Despite partnership with Celonis from Munich, SAP under the management of ex-CEO Bill McDermott did not recognize this importance.

Celonis is now a company with a valuation of ten billion euros and is known far beyond SAP's borders. The loser was
now SAP. McDermott's successor, Christian Klein, recognized the deficit and bought Potsdam-based startup Signavio for a billion. "Now the process idea and the importance of processes are once again at the core of SAP's strategy", also remarked Wolfram Jost, member of the executive board of the Scheer Group, in an E-3 interview.

It has never been different in the SAP community: processes are the true value of an ERP system. Digital transformation is the application of process improvement methods. For this, the existing SAP customer needs tools. What used to be Aris, then Celonis, should now be Signavio. In the E-3 interview, Wolfram Jost emphasizes the importance of good tools, but the methods and thus the scientific concepts, on which Professor Scheer has spent almost a lifetime researching, have primacy. The tool is now to become SAP Business Process Integration, BPI.

August-Wilhelm Scheer, founder of Scheer GmbH, commented: "We are pleased
excited about the opportunity to deepen our long-standing partnership with SAP and provide SAP's powerful BPI solutions to our customers around the world. In our role as a trusted advisor and strategic implementation partner for large enterprises, we have a long track record of delivering models, metrics, processes and procedures to business and IT leaders. This enables them to execute holistic transformations and rapidly optimize investments in Process Intelligence and beyond.

Business Process Intelligence

The partnership aims to accelerate process transformation in the DACH region and Central Europe, leveraging SAP's Business Process Intelligence (BPI) solutions and Scheer's digital transformation expertise. BPI solutions can help existing SAP customers analyze, improve and innovate their business processes. The signed partnership agreement also includes joint innovations in the further development of the new BPI process content layer and methodology. These include process models, performance metrics, role descriptions, training materials, customer journey and more, united under the BPI Content Layer.

Wolfram Jost was there from the beginning and knows the people in charge at Signavio personally. When evaluating Signavio's tools and Christian Klein's new SAP strategy, Wolfram Jost emphasizes the neutral approach of process mining. Signavio was not designed exclusively with SAP in mind. "The task now is to find a viable end-to-end approach to process design using proven methods", explains Jost.

SAP is also committed to this E2E approach, well aware that not the entire IT world consists of SAP software. Scheer will therefore also help out with methods and models in the further development of Signavio. For Wolfram Jost, a "closed loop" is particularly important here and he emphasizes that with Signavio and Scheer, two partners meet on an equal footing.

The tool idea also has its important meaning according to Wolfram Jost,
because BPI must be optimally embedded in the SAP landscape. This can be an advantage for
become the use of Signavio versus other tools. Ultimately, it will be a decision based on the existing IT architecture: How much SAP is in place? How much third-party software is in the E2E process? Continuous measurement and improvement of business processes is a critical element in the transformation to an intelligent enterprise. However, many companies overlook or underestimate the importance of E2E processes for the overarching digital transformation.

The new partnership is designed to help existing SAP customers leverage a broad range of transformation content that also extends well beyond SAP. Scheer and SAP BPI will combine process know-how with a content layer. The performance-ready solution for digitizing business models and business processes will complement BPI's content.

Rouven Morato, General Manager, Business Process Intelligence at SAP, comments, "The strategic partnership with Scheer will accelerate the implementation of SAP solutions and innovations required to enable digital transformation quickly and at scale. SAP and Signavio's tools and methodologies, combined with Scheer's world-class process mining and deep process content layer expertise, result in a powerful partnership that will benefit companies in the DACH region and beyond."

The partnership will be supported by a 300-strong team of experts at Scheer with deep expertise in process modeling, process mining, process automation and enterprise architecture. Scheer will leverage its presence in Central Europe, particularly in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, for the new combined solution offering. On the other hand, Scheer will also address its customers in Northern Europe and the USA. Priority industries include complex, process-intensive industries such as automotive, chemicals, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

The new partnership is the latest in the three decades of collaboration between SAP and Scheer. Back in the 1990s, the two companies jointly developed tools and methods for the process-oriented documentation and implementation of SAP applications.

Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine

Peter M. Färbinger, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief E3 Magazine DE, US and ES (, AG, Freilassing (DE), E-Mail: and Tel. +49(0)8654/77130-21

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