jBPM 5 Announced by jBoss

jBPMLast week jBoss announced the release of jBPM 5 and have reached out to the jBoss Community for comments regarding what should be included in the roadmap going forward.

The recent announcement states that

…in an effort to consolidate that, we would like to combine our efforts in what will be the next generation BPM platform, called jBPM 5.

jBPM 5 will be based on the combined experience of jBPM and Drools Flow (and related projects like RiftSaw and Overlord), and will bring together the benefits of both solutions (and much more).

It goes on to say…

The architecture of jBPM 5 builds on the experience that was built up over the past few years based on our customer feedback as well as strong community involvement. It will continue the vision of all of the constituent projects, so large parts of the architecture that we are presenting here will probably not come as a surprise to you, either because it already exists in a current project or because it has been on the roadmap for quite some time (BPMN2 for example).

Should be interesting to see what develops.

More about jBPM can be found here.

Intelligent BPM for the Enterprise – Resources from Online Conference

I attended an online conference at which some of the leading BPM vendors presented their BPM vision and capabilities. Very sales focussed so may not be worth the effort if you are familiar with BPM and the products.local-conference-hubs

The list of vendors who attended are:

  • IBM
  • TIBCO
  • Lombardi Software
  • Pegasystems
  • IDS Scheer
  • Software AG

 

Webcasts and slides can be accessed here (registration required)

Gartner Publish BPMS Magic Quadrant for 2009

Gartner have released their 2009 Magic Quadrant report for Business Process Management Suites (login required). They have reviewed their approach to focus their analysis on product support for use cases, rather than product features and functions. This change has altered their assessment of the relative strengths of the vendors since their 2007 Magic Quadrant.

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Metastorm release new Blog

Metatstorm have recently released their new blog .

It is  targeted at a rapidly growing online community of IT professionals, journalists, industry analysts, and other constituents interested in following Metastorm and related BPM and EA trends on a global basis.

Metastorm is, a leading provider of Business Process Management (BPM), Business Process Analysis (BPA), and Enterprise Architecture (EA) software for aligning strategy with execution, today announced the unveiling of a new blog site – “Because Process Matters.” Metastorm will use the blog site to post relevant company and solution news, provide viewpoints on industry trends, and host multimedia content highlighting customer successes, partner solutions, events, and product releases.

The blog adds to Metastorm’s existing social media and web communications channels including its iTunes and YouTube channels, onDemand webcasts, and e-magazine.

I look forward to seeing more free resources, thought leadership and some really interesting developments from them in future.

How Business Leaders can Help IT Deliver ‘Real Value’ to the Business

Foreword: I have written various posts in the past that discuss the typical problems that can be solved for the business by using a BPMS and process automation. I thought it was about time to consider the challenges IT have to manage when not using a process centric approach.

Organisations need to change their focus from being functionally driven to being process driven to be really successful in their adoption of BPM. This is not always as hard as it first sounds.

Most of the organisational and technical building blocks almost surely already exist within the organisation in some form or other. The challenge is to align them together in a consistent and continuous way i.e. using business processes, a BPMS  and ensuring that cultural and human behavioural changes are well managed.

Paraphrasing Gartner, the typical characteristics of functional driven organisations include the following:

  • Organisational roles and responsibilities are functionaly aligned
  • Managers have visibility that is limited to their functional areas
  • Business is very dependant on IT to schedule application changes
  • Functional tasks and process hand offs are implied causing fragmentation
  • Costs are managed by functional area
  • Risk management is done using gut feel and relies greatly on experience with limited numeric evidenece due to lack of integrated and trusted reporting information

The organisational characteristics for a process centric organisation typically include:

  • Roles and responsibilities are aligned to process acitivities
  • Management visibility is based on an end to end business process understanding
  • Business is less dependant on IT for small changes to business rules and process tasks
  • Functional tasks and process hand offs are explicit, therefore reducing the occuraence if inefficient and broken processes
  • Risk management is done using operational metrics and simulation ensusing a proactive approach rather than reactive

 

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Information Overload! – Making a case for Dynamic BPM

Foreword: Have you ever had one of those days where you have been out of the office and returned to an email inbox that is creaking at the seams? I am probably lucky in that I can manage my inbox proactively by using my PDA. Some would argue I have sold my soul to the ‘always-on’  personal time vampire, but that is tale for another day…..

In a world where email is commonly accepted as the primary electronic corporate communication mechanism, employees often find themselves having to filter through huge amounts of irrelevant emails to find those that are really intended for them. Assimilating the various pieces of information we deal with every day, prioritising the results and making decisions as to which to action, is a natural and logical process, one that we all do as a matter of course.
A problem however arises when the occurrence of these pieces of structured and unstructured information exceeds a threshold that is not always manageable by the individual. The resulting information overload can create an unintentional human bottleneck that may impede the normal workings of the organisation. On an individual basis this may seem like a manageable a problem but, consider multiplying this scenario by 50% of employees in an organisation on any given working day of the week.

This problem is validated by research from The Radicati Group into Information Overload and Corporate Email.

“In 2006, the average corporate e-mail user received 126 e-mail messages per day, an increase of 55% since 2003.

If users spend an average of one minute to read and respond to each message, this flood of e-mail traffic will consume more than a quarter of the typical eight hour work day – with no guarantee that users actually read the messages that are most important.

Additionally, if e-mail traffic continues to increase at this rate, the average corporate e-mail user will spend 41% of the workday managing e-mail messages in 2009.”

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How BPM can help drive down IT Operational costs

Foreword: Recently I was doing some research into IT operational cost management and specifically how discretionary spend can be increased for use in new and innovative projects across an organisation. I came across some interesting data and have summarised some of my thoughts from a white paper I was writing on how a BPMS can support this type of initiative.

Organisations are continually under pressure to do ‘more with less’ and this is especially true in organisations where IT departments are seen by the business as being unresponsive and a cost centre, rather than ensuring innovation. This may be further exacerbated by external pressures such as competitors encroaching on existing markets and global economic challenges.

Research has shown that CIOs continually have to ensure that business demands are aligned with available IT resources and budget constraints. It is generally accepted that at least 80% of IT resources and budgets are spent on ongoing maintenance. This creates a dilemma for CIOs and IT departments who have to find ways of reducing operational costs, and designing and delivering solutions more effectively.

“78% of large enterprise budgets are swallowed in existing maintenance–keeping the lights on”
“40% of enterprise scale companies are seeing IT budgets reducing in real terms”
Source: The Bathwick Group, Driving business value from IT, Dec 2007

 

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