Paperless from Munich to New York with Celonis and DocuSign

Founded by three friends in Munich, Germany, process mining pioneer Celonis got its start as a college project designed to help businesses remove inefficiencies from key processes. Today, it’s one of Germany’s fastest growing startups—and its technology is used by big companies across the globe, including Dell, Pfizer and L’Oréal.

We talked to contract management lead Nikol Gavranovic about the benefits of automated contract management, why Celonis chose DocuSign CLM and how it was implemented in just a few months.

A sprint is behind you: you introduced DocuSign CLM at Celonis on a global basis at the beginning of March 2021. When did the rollout start?

Nikol Gavranovic: Indeed. It was a fast implementation. We started rolling out DocuSign CLM in January, and the global rollout took place on March 1, 2021. We only managed this sprint so quickly because of our collaboration with Spaulding Ridge, our implementation partner.

We’re currently using DocuSign CLM for sales, so sales teams can work as independently as possible and deals can be closed faster. CLM also makes reporting easier because we can better understand which conditions have been inserted into specific deals. Later this year, we’ll also implement DocuSign CLM in other areas of the business, such as procurement and HR.

Can you briefly describe Celonis' path from e-signature to comprehensive contract management?

NG: Celonis was founded nearly ten years ago, and we now have headquarters in Munich and New York as well as 15 branches worldwide. With our rapid growth, our contract volume has also increased dramatically.

With more than 1,200 employees, we’ve now reached that size where contracts can no longer be created or tracked manually. That’s why we were looking for a solution that could create contracts in an automated and standardised way so that we could work more efficiently internally.

With DocuSign CLM, the legal team created a library of preapproved clauses so contracts can be drawn up faster. As a result, contracts are closed more quickly and we work more efficiently overall—whether it’s in sales or HR when it comes to hiring new talent.

As the contract management lead, you compared a number of CLM products beforehand. Why did you ultimately choose DocuSign?

NG: DocuSign CLM offers features that are extremely important for a global company. Since we've been using the DocuSign eSignature solution for years, our employees are familiar with DocuSign, so we knew they’d be just as enthusiastic about the new CLM system. Also, it was important for us to seamlessly manage contracts from a single source.

Another important point for us is the easy integration of DocuSign CLM and Salesforce in our sales channel. All contracts can be found in Salesforce at the account level—and sales teams can concentrate more on their strategic work now because there are no contracting issues.

At Celonis, you help your customers to analyse and optimise complex company processes...very similar to what we do here at DocuSign.

NG: Exactly, our approaches complement each other very well! Above all, DocuSign helps us to become more efficient internally...just as our intelligent, process mining-based execution management solution enables our customers to optimise their processes.

Since our customers are located all over the world, it was very important to us that our CLM platform is internationally accepted and trusted. Avoiding paper as much as possible was also a big priority. A CLM system was the next logical step. With a completely digitised contract management system, contracts no longer need to be printed, signed and scanned since they’re available centrally and digitally at any time. Every piece of paper saved also benefits the environment.

With DocuSign CLM, users can:

  • Do business faster with efficient automation
  • Optimise compliance management thanks to standardised business processes
  • Improve the customer experience with a fast and transparent contract process
  • Execute paperless contracts
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