PAF’s road to now
Last month Power BI celebrated its five-year anniversary. We’ve been there since the beginning, so let’s take this as an opportunity to look at our journey and take a peek at what is coming next (hint: it’s huge).
When we say we are pioneers in the Process Mining sector, we mean it. Our CEO Tobias Rother has worked with Process Mining in consulting since 2009.
PAF and PAFnow are built on this solid foundation in BPM consulting. In the beginning, we were hired to find the problems. We came, we used existing Process Mining software, we found the problems and delivered. But we quickly found the limits in these first-generation Process Mining tools. They were insufficient to fulfill our and our clients’ needs. So we decided to build our own solution.
We asked ourselves three simple questions. Why should Process Mining be expensive? Why should it be complicated and only something for experts? Can we make it easy and accessible for everyone?
At the time we were already recognized as Process Mining experts. We continued our work as consultants, but we moved away from outside solutions to our own Process Mining software PAFnow. Since the first prototype we always focused on what should come next. How can we improve further? With the innovation support of the state of Hesse (LOEWE support line 3) and the German federal government (BMBF support initiative KMU-innovative) we were able to think about how a next generation Process Mining application should look like. And that’s when we decided to put Process Mining where it belongs – into Microsoft Power BI and consecutively into Microsoft 365.
The reason for that is simple. Process Mining applications are most effective for the customer if they are embedded in a powerful BI or analytics environment. So for us it was clear that we want to combine our knowledge and skills with the best BI solution.
2nd generation Process Mining - PAFnow hits the market
The development of PAFnow follows three core principles:
- Process Mining should be part of BI and not the other way around
- Process Mining should be treated as an emerging technology not as a tool
- Process Mining should be as easy and accessible as using a GPS
The combination of PAFnow and Power BI turns employees into process experts, so companies benefit from their expertise, using their own data and resources and collaborating across business structures on process optimization.
This strategy has proven to be very successful and has won us the BARC Start-up Award in 2017. But we did not want to sleep on our laurels. As corny as this phrase is, it is still true. Since the first prototype of PAFnow we always focused on improving every version. One of the most visible changes was the switch from orange to green as our main interface color in 2018. But there was so much more to it than just a different color scheme.
We introduced many new custom visuals specific to PAFnow and started to incorporate more and more user feedback on usability and functionality. You can see this in our predefined report pages. Users don’t have to build everything themselves from scratch. It is already there, and you can browse through the different pages in your analysis. This structured and focused approach makes PAFnow extremely easy to use. An important step on becoming as easy to use as a GPS.
With this version of PAFnow, PAF was listed in Gartner’s 2018 Market Guide for Process Mining.
But behind the scenes we were already working on the next generation of PAFnow. A first step on that journey was our PAFnow 2019.1 update. We put everything up on trial to determine what was needed for a truly great Process Mining solution. The result was an extremely fast product, a new and particularly user-friendly interface, a much improved and interactive PAFnow Process Explorer, a new PAFnow Root Cause Analyzer and many improved dashboards (and a repeated appearance in Gartner’s Market Guide for Process Mining).
3 offices – PAF grows and grows and grows
Of course, we all need a place where we can work and thrive. For PAF that means our office. Or better offices. PAF has outgrown two of them already. In Summer 2020 we moved to our third office. That are only two years since our last move. Every office move was also an upgrade not only space wise but also feature wise. While the first office only had a small balcony, the second came with a roof terrace and additional parking slots. Now we have a bar, pool table, courtyard, and more parking slots but also( and more importantly) improved workspaces for our employees.
We continue to grow fast, so on top of our new German office we now also have our first office in the US. While our US team is currently working remotely to stay safe during the pandemic, we’re really looking forward to officially welcome them in their own office space. And we have to admit, we’re really proud of our growth from a German startup based in a technology-driven student town to an international company in one of the largest cities in the US. Due to our proximity to Frankfurt and our multicultural team, we were always characterized by our international spirit. Now we truly are an international company.
4 completed research projects – knowledge is power
Among the Process Mining vendors we hold a leading position in innovation research. We combine Process Mining techniques with other leading-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain or Robotic Process Automation.
Our research projects are in collaboration with leading institutes, such as the TU Darmstadt, and in collaboration with industry partners. We’re supported by research funds from the state of Hesse and the German federal government.
Since 2015 we have conducted our own research projects. We already successfully completed four of them and incorporated the results directly in PAFnow. Right now, we’re working on our fifth project, which will be finishes in early 2021.
5 years of Power BI – 5 years of democratizing Process Mining
Celebrating five years of Power BI means we’re also celebrating five years of going our own way and democratizing Process Mining. And what an amazing five years it has been!
We are now a Microsoft Silver Partner. Our solutions can be found in AppSource and the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
And what’s even more exciting PAFnow Process Mining is listed in the top ten of the most favorite Power BI reports in Microsoft’s 5 Year Anniversary Data Story Gallery!
Let’s look back on five amazing years with our CEO Tobias Rother and our CTO Timo Nolle
What comes next?
We decided to go all out in celebrating our five years with Power BI! Instead of cake, we’re bringing the PAFnow Summer Update 2020 to the party. Staying with the cake image for a bit, you can expect a five-tier cream cake with gold-sprinkles and fireworks on top!
You can look forward to amazing new features: a new event filter, that you can also use to create conformance models; a new case viewer with new functionalities and a swim lane view; new packages for individual business needs; and real-time process-optimization.
Here’s a preview of the Event Filter and the Case Viewer:
That’s just a sneak-peek though. Get all the information next week! New features. New products. New solutions.
This update is our next milestone on our way to the next generation of PAFnow. We want to revolutionize how Process Mining works as a technology! Right now, we’re building the foundation for the third generation of Process Mining.
On our way, we will complete more research, incorporate more features, and continue our mission to democratize Process Mining. We’re excited to take you with us on this journey. Let’s keep improving together. Raise your glass to another five fantastic years!