Thursday, October 30, 2003

Many companies are moving away from Excel and embracing more flexible, Web-based planning tools to handle business performance, planning and reporting, according to a recent survey. Meta Group says 85 percent of respondents to its recent business performance management (BPM) survey indicated that they will have a BPM solution underway within the next 18 months. Just 15 percent indicated they had no plans for BPM. Meta Group defines BPM is an integrated management approach that includes Web-based analytical applications (to gather and analyze data), business plans to achieve desired metrics and the necessary reporting and forecasting to ensure performance goals. Before BPM tools came along, many of these functions were handled with simple spreadsheet software like Microsoft's Excel. Meta Group Vice President John Van Decker says that the emergence of new tools is helping drive interest in BPM. "Clearly the Web-based tools are enabling organizations to get more folks involved in business performance process," Van Decker says. "Historically, planning and reporting has been an Excel-based process. Companies are trying to get away from that."

BPM May Push Excel Aside [source DarwinMag]
Ninety-five percent of equity trades are automated. Yet, the remaining five percent cost securities and brokerage firms the most to process. However, advances in automated exception management are creating dramatic cost savings and process efficiency improvements for securities and brokerage firms. ADP Brokerage Services Group, a division of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (NYSE:ADP) and Staffware, a global leader in Business Process Management (BPM) software will host a free one-hour webcast on the power of business process in securities and brokerage services. Participants will hear from a leading analyst about how BPM can help reduce costs and improve service in the securities and brokerage industry.

Webcast on Power of Business Process in Securities and Brokerage [source Businesswire]
Action Technologies, a provider of business process management (BPM) software, says the initial deployment of its ActionWorks suite for the Shelby County Commission “has already generated significant benefits” for the Memphis-area regional government. Shelby, the largest county in Tennessee, purchased ActionWorks through system integrator CIMS Inc., which is providing analysis, development, hardware, software, and user training. Like many local governments, Shelby County found that its paper-intensive system of managing local affairs made it difficult for commissioners and the public to track items such as zoning, contracts, resolutions, and ordinances. The result was an inefficient and slow process that frustrated county employees and citizens. The commission wanted to better serve its constituents and selected CIMS Inc. to provide ActionWorks business process management software, combined with OnBase document management software, to enable commissioners and county employees to track items in process and shorten the time required to address important issues, Action Tech explains.

ActionTech's BPM solution for Mephis-Area Gov't [source]

Monday, October 27, 2003

During the last 20 years or so, strategies for using IT usually consisted of making multi-million dollar investments in whole new collections of hardware and software. Companies were engaged in the equivalent of an IT arms race. Massive new systems were built from scratch or from extensive and expensive software packages. These kinds of strategies have run their course. They are no longer viable approaches to meet business needs. The time is ripe for a new strategy whose aim is to combine people and computers into systems where the strengths of each are brought to bear. This can be summed up as, "Automate the rote and repetitious work, free up people to do the creative stuff." So how do you get started? Think of a new, more cost efficient and more responsive way to perform an existing business operation or think of a brand new business procedure that is needed to support a new market opportunity. This is called business process re-engineering (BPR) or business process management (BPM). This isn't rocket science. Ask the people who do the work now. They already know ways to do their jobs better.

Read Darwin -Toward A New Technology Strategy - USING IT [source Darwin Magazine]
Commerce One Conductor gives enterprise customers a flexible platform on which to build various software tools. Its architecture makes many applications viewable through a single graphical user interface (GUI), paring the time and cost of writing and using composite applications, as compared to employing myriad business process management (BPM), enterprise application integration (EAI), portals, identity management and various design tools. Users of the platform insist Conductor differs from other EAI keystones because vendors of those platforms only supply one or two of the facets of a management platform, as opposed to a full suite of EAI, BPM and portal functionality. Because the BPM, EAI and portal facets of the application lifecycle are bundled as one product, it is estimated that Conductor can cut the cost and time of initial process development and integration efforts in half. IDC recently conducted a total-cost-of-ownership analysis, finding that Conductor does indeed cut out some of the middlemen in the application creation lifecycle.

Commerce One's Conductor Rides New Rails [source]
Sales of software used to manage everything from procurement to customer service to financial compliance -- known as business process management, or BPM, software -- are expected to hit $6.3 billion in 2005, according to industry estimates, up from $2.5 billion two years ago. And customers are increasingly looking to BPM vendors for tools that find new ways to improve operational efficiency and automate and organize the everyday protocols crucial to business.

Analysts bullish on BPM software [source Baltimore Business Journal]
Delphi Group, a global business advisor on business and IT, has published a Market Milestone Report on Business Process Management (BPM) which evaluates Staffware, a global leader in BPM software, and provides an overview of the market. The report, suggesting that BPM is one of the fastest growing categories in the software world, indicates a $550 million market for BPM in 2003, with growth rates of between 15 and 30 percent over the next three years. Delphi's report states, "the real value of BPM is the ability to define and execute business processes independent of applications and infrastructure." BPM is also described as the final great boom of the software industry, and the last frontier for generating value from IT infrastructure. The report was drafted following interviews with 500 organisations. Enterprise-wide process redesign was seen as the number one driver for BPM deployments. 46 percent of respondents viewed BPM in this way, more than four times as many as viewed it as an application integration project.

BPM: 'The Final Great Boom of the Software Industry' [source Businesswire]
Metastorm, a provider of Business Process Management (BPM) software for automating, managing, and controlling processes today announced the successful conclusion of its third annual North American BPM Forum & User Conference. The event took place on October 9th and 10th in Baltimore, Maryland and focused on providing thought- provoking presentations on market trends, adoption statistics, and an impartial look at BPM. Metastorm's president and CEO, Robert Farrell, kicked off the conference by providing attendees with a company performance update, a look at key market trends, and an insightful synopsis of real-life BPM successes and the associated impact on business operations results. Additional keynote speakers included Jim Sinur, Vice President, Gartner, Inc. and author of the Gartner BPM Magic Quadrant report and Howard Smith, CTO - Europe, CSC, co-chair of the and author of BPM: The Third Wave.

Metastorm Completes BPM Forum & User Conference with Record Attendance [source Yahoo Biz]
With Gentran Integration Suite, Michael Foods has the flexibility to incorporate existing systems and technology with new integration standards including Web Services, ebXML, Business Process Modeling Language (BPML), and Internet security protocols. In addition, Gentran Integration Suite is designed to support a wide range of application and technology adapters, including popular packages such as SAP, PeopleSoft, Seibel, MQSeries, Oracle AQ and Java Messaging Services.

Sterling Commerce Dishes Up Gentran Integration Suite to Michael Foods; Sterling Commerce Helps Meet Retail Business Integration Requirements [source Businesswire]
Intalio, a Business Process Management company, has expanded into Europe. Bringing its Intalio|n Business Process Management System (BPMS) to the European market, Intalio has opened offices in Brussels and London. The Aberdeen Group forecasts that Business Process Management (BPM) spending in Europe will reach $850 million in 2003 and will top $1.67 billion in 2005. After North America, Europe is the most significant region for BPM spending, according to Aberdeen. Moreover, says Aberdeen, fewer suppliers are targeting Europe, making it very lucrative for those actively pursuing in the region. Intalio says it “has already signed several enterprise customers in Europe, as it builds on the momentum from its pioneering efforts in business process management (BPM) standards and its soon-to-be-released version 2.5 of Intalio|n³. Client success and aggressive plans to leverage the potential has led Intalio to form a series of partnerships with multiple BPM-savvy system integrators in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Details of these new customers and partners will be announced over the next few months.

Intalio into Europe [source]
Business process modeling software developer IDS Scheer Inc has announced new software to help small and mid-size businesses model their business processes. Separately, Intalio Inc. on Wednesday announced the latest iteration of its BPMS (business process management system) software. Intalio, of San Mateo, Calif., also has a relationship with IDS Scheer; the latter company's Aris 6.0 process modeling environment is built into Intalio's software to provide executable process models.

IDS Scheer, Intalio Unveil BPM Software [source eWeek]
Intalio announced Intalio|n³ 2.5, a new version of the company’s Business Process Management System (BPMS). Intalio|n³ helps Global 2000 companies shift IT resources from operations to innovation, reduce the total cost of ownership of mission-critical process assets, and extend the best-practice processes engrained in packaged applications. Highlighting the new release of Intalio|n³ are the following key enhancements:
Page Designer, a WYSIWYG editor for the development of rich, Web-based end-user interfaces; Integration of Systinet’s Web services platform; Integration of Corticon’s business rule engine (BRE); New and highly customizable user interface to enhance the productivity of business analysts.

Intalio extends BPMS with Page Designer, Featuring 100% Code Coverage [source Intalio and Businesswire]
Business Process Management (BPM) -- the ability to define and execute business functions independent of applications or infrastructure -- may sound like a stuffy concept, but a few small companies are steadfastly clinging to it for success in a time when controlling company workflow is seen as a way of paring total-cost-of-ownership. Intalio and Oak Grove Systems are two of a handful of standalone software companies that make custom engines for executing transactions with packaged applications, databases, and heritage systems, each hoping to chomp a bit out of what market research firm Delphi Group recently claimed is a $550 million market when the book closes on 2003, with growth rates of between 15 and 30 percent over the next few years.

Standalone Vendors Look to Plot BPM Course [source]
For the first time, software vendors are beginning to find effective ways of automating BPM. It is a problem that has attracted some of the brightest minds in the industry, and the first supplier to establish leadership in this emerging global market stands to benefit from tens or hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of pent-up demand. Howard Smith and Peter Fingar, authors of Business Process Management: The Third Wave, position BPM as a revolutionary movement on a par with the introduction of database management 30 years ago. Just in case this fails to stir up controversy, their next book will be entitled IT Doesn't Matter: Business Processes Do.

Raising The Standard [source Computer Business Review]