Thursday, January 08, 2004

Bruno: It's kind of odd, because my top concern is not technology. Symbol is involved in a very comprehensive business-transformation exercise that touches every part of our business, including the supply chain, the front-end systems, the back-end reporting. A transformation that is that deep and that wide, and that touches every process, provides many opportunities to align processes with technology.

Symbol Technologies CIO John Bruno Reveals Best-Kept Corporate Secret [source CIOToday]
What drives improvements in business process management? Don't look for corporate governance at the top of the list -- it's closer to the bottom. Despite that, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its demand for fiscal accountability still has most executives concerned about tracking performance, according to a recent survey. In a survey of 230 members of the Business Process Management (BPM) Forum, 68% consider increasing revenue and optimizing profit to be the driving factors for performance accountability, while 61% consider challenging marketing conditions a driver. Only 22% consider corporate governance. Respondents were allowed to give multiple answers to each question. Despite the low ranking of compliance as a driver, 73% said they're concerned about processes, tools and methodologies used to track performance as a result of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Study: Sarbanes-Oxley 'catalyst' for process management [source SearchCIO]

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Add AMR Research’s Eric Austvold to the growing list of industry experts advocating creation of a Chief Process Officer (CPO) position to help companies become agile, efficient, process-oriented enterprises. During the ebizQ webinar Extending BPI Beyond the Enterprise, part of the series A Manager's Guide to Enterprise Integration, sponsored by Sterling Commerce, the AMR Research Director showed how organizations could do just that: extend Business Process Improvement outside their corporate boundaries to their customers and trading partners, extend expensive but tough-to-integrate ERP systems, and generally reap the rewards of being process-oriented.

CPOs and Black Belts: Process Improvement Missing Links? [source]

Monday, January 05, 2004

Are you working on a BPM project? Chances are you'll be doing some form of BPM in the next 18 months, according to findings from a recent study by market researcher Meta Group. BPM, or business performance management, is the latest acronymic arrangement in the technology soup. Think of BPM as a kind of medical system that takes the pulse of a patient, in this case a specific area inside a company, and helps plan the treatment or enhance fitness. The term BPM describes methodologies, metrics and processes used to monitor and manage a company's performance across many facets. At least that's how the BPM Forum, a nonprofit organization in Palo Alto with more than 230 members, describes BPM (not to be confused with another 'BPM' in the tech arena, business process management). The BPM Forum released findings from its own survey this month. Both Meta and the BPM Forum point to a growing market. Meta says the market will grow up to 20 percent in 2004, up from $1.1 billion in 2003. Within the next 18 months, 85 percent of firms will be working on a BPM project. Meanwhile, the BPM Forum reported that 95 percent of respondents said they were 'sensitized' to the need for better BPM. "The whole notion of BPM is high on the radar screen of executives," says Jim Bramante, BPM Forum advisory board member and global leader of the financial management practice at IBM Business Consulting Services, which offers BPM services. "The root of all of this is to drive greater visibility."

BPM market poised to take off in new year [source Silicon Valley Biz]
In an effort to comply with new federal legislation governing accounting practices and securities law, businesses are turning to business process management (BPM) software to help with the transition. Because BPM applications shepherd work items through a multistep process where they are identified and tracked as they move through each step with either specified people or applications processing the information, many businesses are relying on these applications to help them comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX).

Legislation to Drive BPM Market Growth in 2004 [source DestinationCRM]
BANGALORE: Imagine if you could see a ’working’ blueprint of your new IT system architecture before you spend your money. Or even think of the convenience if you could qualitatively and quantitatively guage the impact a work-flow change would have on the business, well before it is actually implemented. Herein lies what the new concept of process-driven BPM (business process management) is promising and what Infosys Technologies Ltd is looking to take to market. This is part of the company’s gameplan to get into the global consulting game in a big way and also build value into customer deals.

Infosys Now Has Designs On Process-driven Frameworks [source FinancialExpress]
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Technology Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari Tuesday called for using IT as a tool in improving the business process management in the public and private sector organizations to increase efficiency and the quality of services. “If Pakistan is going to compete in the global markets, speed, efficiency and quality are vitally important,” he said in a speech to a seminar on Business Process Management organized by Ultimus Pakistan at a local hotel. He maintained that it was very important for the public as well as private sector organizations to seriously consider the use of new technologies. “Indeed, when the Pakistan government, like governments everywhere, talks about ‘E-Government’, the purpose is to digitize, automate, and improve business processes,” he said, hoping the business process management (BPM) would become “a central component of our IT strategy in building an effective e-government”.

IT a must to increase efficiency, quality of public services: Awais Leghari
[source Pakistan Link Headlines]
"According to META Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: METG), the business performance management (BPM) marketplace will grow by 15%-20% in 2004. The BPM market grew to approximately $1.1 billion in 2003. Although this growth represents a 10%-15% increase over the 2002 marketplace, this was less than most BPM vendors had anticipated for the year. A recent META Group study uncovered that, within the next 18 months, 85% of firms will work on a BPM project. 'The anticipation of increased BPM growth in 2003 was primarily due to expectations that companies would use business applications in an effort to comply with regulations for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX),' said John Van Decker, vice president with META Group's Technology Research Services. 'The business drivers for the BPM market in 2003 were primarily more penetration of planning and budgeting solutions, not SOX compliance-driven sales.'"

Business Performance Management Market Will Grow 15%-20% in 2004, According to META Group; BPM Market Grew to $1.1 Billion in 2003 [source META Group]
Forrester Research, Inc. recognized Identitech as the overall winner in the Breaking the Status Quo technology category at the sixth annual Emerging Technology Showcase held in Scottsdale, Arizona on Dec. 8-10. Over 300 senior-level IT professionals and Forrester analysts participated in the voting for each of the six categories, called "TechnoVistas" by Forrester. Identitech, a leading provider of business process management (BPM) solutions, demonstrated FYI Visual(TM), a revolutionary business activity monitoring solution that communicates real time metrics through an intuitive graphical pattern of symbols that speeds decision making and action. The award was based on quality of demo, level of innovation and best business potential.

Identitech FYI Visual Software Wins Emerging Technology Showcase Award [source PRNewsWire]
Pegasystems Inc. (NASDAQ: PEGA), a leading provider of smart, rules-based business process management (BPM) software, today announced that Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has implemented its PegaHEALTH(TM) Member Services application, bringing a higher level of customer service to its 680,000 members. Called BlueLYNCS (Leading Your Next Customer to Satisfaction) by BCBSRI, the solution includes 41 healthcare-specific workflows, CTI screen pops and integration to BCBSRI's legacy IT systems with full update functionality. Deployed at BCBSRI in under six months, the customer contact center solution is part of Pegasystems' integrated suite of healthcare-focused smart BPM solutions that intelligently manage customer and business interactions across the payer enterprise. Pegasystems' solutions for customer service, claims automation, sales and underwriting are installed across 20 percent of the nation's Blue Cross Blue Shield network and at many other innovative healthcare and insurance organizations worldwide. "The PegaHEALTH Member Services application implementation is a tremendous success, and we expect to reduce training time by 20 percent," said David Zink, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island's CIO. "Pegasystems has also allowed us to reduce our average call handling time by approximately 20 percent. The software is easy to use and has helped us improve member care by providing detailed caller history in one application with guided scripts to most efficiently handle the call, and by providing straight through processing to resolve customers' requests. With PegaHEALTH Member Services, we're achieving superior customer satisfaction."

Pegasystems Helps Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Achieve Superior Customer Satisfaction with New Contact Center Solution [source Pegasystems]
Business factors such as profit optimization, better business planning, and improved operational visibility are weighing in as key factors along with corporate governance in driving business performance initiatives, according to a poll released today by the Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum. 70 percent of respondents have also moved beyond financial data to incorporate marketing and customer information in performance assessment, suggesting a more holistic and comprehensive approach. These findings are part of an in-depth poll of the members of the BPM Forum (, a new organization including more than 230 leading business executives and thought leaders launched in July to address the growing challenge of performance management, corporate accountability, and compliance in global enterprises.

BPM Forum Poll Shows Fundamental Business and Operations Issues Weigh in With Compliance as Imperatives for Performance [source MarketWire]
BPM, or business process management, capabilities increase value for businesses by relating low-level integration tools to business processes and allowing organizations to model and monitor business operations, says Forrester Research vice president Mike Gilpin

Middleware Hits Middle Age [source NewsFactor]
Lombardi Software, the provider of the award-winning business process management (BPM) software, TeamWorks(R), and Corticon(tm) Technologies, a leading provider of decision management enterprise software, today announced an alliance that makes powerful business rule management capabilities available as part of the TeamWorks 4 BPM platform. Now, customers seeking to actively manage enterprise-wide, end-to-end processes can easily combine Corticon's business rules engine with the Continuous Process Improvement(tm) (CPI) capabilities in TeamWorks. "Lombardi's 'TeamWorks Everywhere' strategy provides a BPM platform that fits into any environment, is open to external applications and tools, and includes out-of-the box integration with leading technology providers that deliver great value to process improvement initiatives," said Phil Gilbert, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Lombardi Software. "Corticon's Decision Management Platform combines the benefits of a sophisticated Web services-based rules engine with an ease of use that has become a key driver in the development of TeamWorks."

Lombardi Software and Corticon Align to Provide Business Rules Within the TeamWorks BPM Platform [source LombardiSoftware]
According to Gartner, by 2008, 75% of programming code will be generated through Business Process Modeling (BPM) and not written by conventional programmers. Speaking to CXOtoday, Partha Iyengar, research vice president, Gartner India, said, "The 4GL platform today, is still at a ‘flowchart code generation level'. For the BPM concept to evolve, 4GL will have to move probably three or four abstraction levels higher, into a 5GL, in which absolutely no programming expertise will be required.' 4GL is slowly and steadily molding itself into the BPM concept.

Programmer Extinction Era Near; 4GL Evolves [source CXO]
Oracle Corp. is releasing a substantial upgrade to its application server software, as part of a planned refresh of the company's entire product line to support the grid computing model. Grid computing's publicity notwithstanding, the new EAI and BPM features included in the release may be the most significant additions for users and could prompt some customers to upgrade to Oracle's related products, analysts said. "EAI, and especially BPM technology are becoming more critical inside organizations as they move to improve the effectiveness of their core business processes. If a customer is an Oracle shop and pretty much all based on Oracle applications, they have had limited functionality in that area until now," said Ken Vollmer, a research director at Forrester Research.

Oracle adds grid and BPM functions to app server [source IDG]
Income Management is in the business of making money for its clients, but under an important set of conditions. Since it's the client's money, the client gets to decide what kind of risks and strategies are appropriate -- for example, how deep to get into certain companies, or designating acceptable ratings on bonds. Tony Plasil, STW's CIO, explains the situation. 'We have over 200 unique rules that clients have requested,' he says. 'The guidelines have to be adhered to or you may have a situation where you find out you violated guidelines and have to back out of a trade.' Backing out of a trade means money out of STW's pocket and, more importantly, a dissatisfied customer. That's why, when Plasil came aboard in 2000, one of his most pressing mandates was to address the issue of guideline compliance. Since Plasil couldn't find any packaged application to address this need, he decided that STW had to pursue another avenue. 'I was looking for a rules engine to process rules rather than code,' he says. That's what STW found in an offering from a company called Corticon, which plays more generally in the business process management (BPM) space. STW bought Corticon's rules engine and went live in November 2001."

Following the Customer's Rules [source Line56]
Beefing up BPM capability can improve your organisation’s ability to compete on cost, quality, speed and service. For most of the past 40 years, Transfield Services business improvement manager Wil Carey has been telling managers and management teams that they need to get back to the basics. And when it comes to business process management (BPM), Carey says, nothing is more basic than empowering the organisation’s business unit managers, and helping them recognise that everything the organisation does is a process and hence can be described in a procedure. “The simple [fact is] that everything we do is a process,” Carey says. “Most people don’t think of it that way. Even when it’s explained to them they have some difficulties comprehending it, but everything that we do is a systematic series of activities that when done in a certain way generate a certain, specific result. When you come to understand that, you can build a system that can help managers and leaders improve on what I call the core competencies.”

Do Process [source CIO]
Action Technologies, a software firm specializing in business process management (BPM), has expanded its ActionWorks product to facilitate all the different ways that people work together, including processes, projects, collaborations and ad hoc interactions. The ActionWorks suite “provides the tools that reduce the time and cost of white-collar business processes by 40-60% -- and generate typical returns of more than 300% -- by managing the flow of decisions, information and accountability,” Action Technologies says. “Unfortunately, most BPM packages are designed to facilitate the structured and repetitive work sequences found on the factory floor, or in tasks such as insurance claims processing,” the vendor continues. “The organization of this work is recurrent, stable and driven by predetermined “command-and-control” rules that allow simple automation of standard processes. Knowledge work, on the other hand, is filled with uncertainty, inventiveness and risk. ActionWorks is the only BPM application that facilitates all the different ways that people work together,” the company asserts.

Action Tech In Action: Enhancing BPM Ware [source ebizq]