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Tighter Link Between Strategy and Execution: Talking BPM With Metastorm

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What follows is my podcast with Laura Mooney, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Metastorm. In this podcast Laura discusses the importance of visibility in BPM, how it applies to Metastorm's "See, Think, Do" messaging platform, and what the future of BPM looks like. Give it a listen below.

Listen to or download the 6:20 minute podcast below:

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PS: First of all, why are so many enterprises reconsidering their IT initiatives at this point?

LM: Well, essentially, with the state of the economy the way that it is and all of the struggles that we're seeing with large organizations across a variety of industries, I think that everyone's just sort of stepping back and saying, okay, we're being forced to make some cutbacks. Obviously, cost cutting is at the top of mind for a lot of organizations, as they need to try increase their bottom line when sales have degrees. And there were also having to rethink how they do business, essentially, everything from the lack of control that some organizations have been operating under, to the level of productivity that they're getting from their existing resources, to how they can become more innovative. And so they need to rethink how they allocate their IT investments so they get greater return and that they focus on the right thing.

Interesting, I have to say from ebizQ's perspective that's pretty much how we're seeing things as well. Now what exactly does an enterprise architecture solution allow companies to see?

Well, essentially, it allows them to see the big picture and that's a very high-level answer but enterprise architecture technology allows companies to model all of the existing assets that they have in the organization and also plan out where they want to go. So what that allows them to do is simplify the complexity of a large organization by documenting it in a series of models and these could be anything from organizations models, to systems models, to process models, and how all of these various aspects of their business interacts with each other, and what the dependencies are so it really gives them the big complete picture of the entire enterprise.

Now how does this visibility actually help organizations think then?

Well, it gives them accurate information to allow them to focus on the right areas so this allows them to see where certain assets might be over utilized or underutilized and where they might have redundancy across processes, or people, or systems, or information they need to be corrected. And having this insight gives them the ability to analyze and make the right decisions so really think about how do things the appropriate way.

I guess that this leads to the "Do", right? What does it help companies do?

Exactly. So once you've analyzed the changes that need to be made, it allows you to actually implement those changes in the optimal way and those could be anything from very small tweaks and how do you perform a certain process to very large overhauls say in terms governance or compliance processes that you want to put in place.

That basically covers your See, Think, Do platform. But now can you give me sort of a concrete example of how this actually helps the company like -- probably what they're most interested in today is save money

Absolutely. So if we take See, Think, Do and we map those to Metastorm's software, we're talking about Enterprise Architecture, Business Process Analysis, and Business Process Management technology. And one example of this in practice is a large utility company that we work with; actually, they're in the oil and gas industry. And they manage a network of approximately say 350 gas stations at a national level. And they needed to integrate various software applications with the human centric tasks that support them.

And the goal was really to get a complete overview of the parameters that go into all of their business process and also allow them to figure out where exceptions most often arise and how they could control those. And so they actually used the Metastorm ProVision software which is the enterprise architect and business process analysis capabilities to see the big picture and to think about how to put together a more collaborative work environment that would allow them to streamline these processes and put better exception management programs in place and to really get more accuracy across how they were delivering their product to the market.

And so once they did that analysis, they had the insight that they needed to deploy the Metastorm BPM platform to actually put these changes into place. And so now, they have a much greater degree of control over sensitive business processes and mission-critical business processes. And by doing that, they've tied together the systems that support these processes with the human activity that goes into the exemption management. And so far they've seen an actual 100% decrease in human error as a result doing that.

They also have reduced their losses to less than 1% per month through automating their sales order process and they've also improved control overall the fuel delivery processes and reduce the manual effort that goes into those by more than 70%. So they haven't given me the liberty to talk about the dollar figures associated with that but it's quite substantial.

Good to know. Now what you see for the future of Metastorm and See, Think, Do?

Well at this point, we're really focused on getting it out there to our customer base and we're seeing our adoption rates accelerate significantly to several months to a year that we've been offering the combined platform. And I think that the future of BPM really is going to lie in that tighter link between strategy and execution. Customers are demanding it now and they really needed to be effective and competitive in the economic environment that lies ahead.

ebizQ’s expert blog team covers a broad range of BPM, business integration, business analytics/monitoring, collaboration, content and related issues.

Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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