Monday, January 27, 2003

Just when enterprises thought they could finally get all their different technologies to dance to the same tune with Web services, the performers have started squabbling. Where does that leave business? Most chief information officers just want to get on with integrating their systems. Of course, they want to pay as little as possible for the Web services that will do this, especially in this economy; and so they're not likely to cheer for the royalty lobby at W3C. They want to leverage their current technological assets, and are loath to spend large sums on risky new ones. In the meantime, their shoelaces are tied, and they can't dance much even if they want to. What business wants is to get on with the prospect of getting all the various systems working together, and the longer they think about it, the more complex and intricate the prospects of integration become. And the last thing they want is to be stalled by squabbling tech companies whose conflicting choreography technologies threaten to break all the dancing couples apart and turn the whole thing into a huge mess.

Web services designers out of step [source The Globe and Mail]

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

While the vision of business process management or BPM is not new, existing theories and systems have not been able to cope with the reality of business processes - until now. Analysts report that BPM may provide the greatest return on investment of any software category on the market today. BPM gives companies the ability to cut operational costs at a time when the economic downturn makes it increasingly difficult to boost revenues. BPM is not just another form of automation, a new killer-app or a fashionable new management theory. It's all about discovering what your company does by explicitly defining and digitizing its business processes, and then managing the lifecycle of improvement and optimization in a way that translates directly to live operations.

BPM’s Third Wave: Build To Adapt, Not Just To Last [source and]

Monday, January 20, 2003

Disagreement over intellectual property issues could derail efforts to create new Web services standards. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) this week established a working group to define and establish rules for Web services choreography, which seeks to map out how Web services interact to form business transactions. Web services is an increasingly popular way to build and link business software. The W3C hopes that by establishing a standardized language for choreography, businesses will be able to more quickly build complex applications that involve interlinking several Web services. Without a common language for choreography, the world of Web services risks balkanization, the W3C warns.

Dancing around Web Services [source]

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Intalio Inc. and Fuego Inc. are leveraging XML in forthcoming upgrades to their respective BPM software that ease not only the creation of business process models but also the execution of those models.

Intalio, Fuego Tap XML to Extend Business Processes [source eWeek]
Start-up Intalio will next week debut new software to help automate business processes, entering a market segment that is poised for growth, according to analysts. The company, one of a handful of business process management (BPM) software specialists, has developed software to model and build programs to automate complex processes such as product manufacturing and acquisition of raw materials. BPM software includes tools to model and build systems and to link these to existing databases and other business applications.

Start-up greases wheels of business [source CNET]

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Microsoft is not the only company to have figured out the importance of process-focused integration; there is a whole raft of smaller specialist infrastructure providers now working to build out comprehensive "business process management" suites to unify people, business processes and business information. But Microsoft going further than most others can take itself a step closer to the proposition of packaged application suppliers. The packaged application suppliers are at it, too. Siebel (with its much-publicised Universal Application Network or UAN) and SAP (likewise, with its Exchange Infrastructure and xApps) are high-profile examples of application players making moves to ensure that they have a stake in this cross-entity, interoperable, process-driven future. There is no doubt that these companies understand the potential threat from business process management technology suites.

Project Jupiter [source ComputerWorld]
During the economic downturn that began with the new millennium, many CEOs found they did not have adequate knowledge of and control over key business processes to respond quickly enough to fast-changing conditions in a focused, intelligent manner. The events of Sept. 11, which instantly changed business conditions in many markets and left companies and government agencies scrambling to respond, reinforced this lesson. To improve their business process agility, many Global 2000 organizations are looking to deploy business performance management (BPM) principles and solutions (both suite-based and those assembled in-house from best-of-breed BPM tools) to enable a closed-loop measurement and planning process for core business processes.

BPM: Plan globally, act locally [source ZDNet Tech Update]

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

With companies focused on being more efficient and leveraging existing systems, business-process management is a top priority. While it isn't new, the definition of "process" continues to broaden. A process is any business function or set of functions that includes the interaction of large numbers of distributed people and disparate systems, where management, coordination, and automation of tasks and decision-making would provide a business benefit. The value of managing business processes has given rise to a market for BPM technology products. These provide frameworks that can be used to develop multiple applications that manage or simply participate in business processes.

Blurring The Boundaries [Blurring the boundaries]

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Credit Giant TransUnion's nascent mortgage and personal loan business is growing fast, and Executive Vice President and CIO Len Lombardo will not let technology slow it down. "We don't want any software package putting restrictions or dictating how our business can act," says Chicago-based Lombardo. "Our product guys are very creative, and there's so much competition out there. We've got to be able to react." Lombardo's need for speed and flexibility rings true in nearly any business. Ideally, companies should be able to quickly automate their business processes while also being nimble enough to optimize those processes over time. In practice, companies often find themselves bound to the business rules hard-wired into their enterprise applications because modifying the software is so difficult. Business process management (BPM) software seeks to turn the tables.

Process Power - The latest process management tools put business users in control [source CIO Magazine]