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BPM from a Business Point of View

Scott Cleveland

BPM Trends - SaaS

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From Rashid N Khan, President of Leadership BPM ...

He sees the future of BPM in the three S's: Socialization, SaaS and Simplification.
SaaS is definitely the next big thing in BPM. Innovative companies in the industry have already taken the leap and started offering BPM software as a service. Like every evolution, the early offerings will not be comprehensive, but the innovators will earn quickly from their experiences and offer increasingly sophisticated solutions, which is one of the big advantages of the SaaS delivery model.

There is no longer any technical impediment to offering rich BPM functionality in a hosted environment except perhaps the challenges of integration with on-premise systems and data. Even in this area the integration-related developments spawned by Cloud Computing will have direct beneficial impact on BPM.

My Thoughts...

Again, BPM is about managing business processes. The goal: manage processes to increase revenues, decrease costs and improve customer relationships. You can manage business processes without using any software or websites - it has been happening for years.

Over the past 10 years or so, I have talked with many companies about BPM. We have discussed SaaS implementations vs. in-house; however none of these companies chose the SaaS route.

That said, I can see using SaaS BPM software to manage simple processes, but more complex processes that require some integration will not be run on SaaS any time soon. Companies may be OK with SaaS if the data is not critical; however most companies have adopted the position that they need to control the data - therefore they believe that it needs to be running on one of their computers in their building.

Next week - Simplification

Your Thoughts...

What is your company's policy? SaaS or Software onsite?

Keeping it Real!


integration between applications has to be the key to SaaS being adopted for more critical applications (bit.ly/5J2vOD). Otherwise it's only going to remain useful for peripheral point solutions.

SaaS in BPM is definitely not happening at the rate most of the pundits originally predicted. We have a pretty good perspective on this. ProcessMaker was arguably one of the first 2 or 3 applications to be offered as a BPM SaaS application. Back in the early 1990's there were really only two options - ProcessMaker and Nsite (later gobbled up by Business Objects which is now SAP Business Objects).

Certainly if you look only at the US Market, then SaaS is happening at a reasonable rate. If you look at the global market, forget it - there are still too many connectivity issues in much of the world so anything complicated is being run locally, i.e. on premise.

Of course, SaaS continues to be the NEXT big thing in BPM...but "next" is a slightly longer time period.

Brian Reale

Nimbus http://www.nimbuspartners.com has been offering a business process improvement platform - as a software as a service for over 4 years.

Now used by many companies of all sizes. Some of these have stringent compliance and security requirements and have audited the service accordingly. Case studies of such customers on our web site include Toyota and ING. Integration with customers' own infrastructure is a frequent requirement which we satisfy.

Now approximately 90% of our projects start this way, the benefit is that distributed teams can collaborate across the web to collectively capture, review, improve and use business processes, with zero IT / infrastructure impediments and delays. The result = faster ROI.

So I found the views above such as "will continue to be the NEXT big thing" a bit behind the wave, (at least behind the wave we are riding).

This SaaS issue is interwoven with the other themes you intend to speak of. Socialization and Simplification. As explained above (and described in detail in Cisco's interview here http://tinyurl.com/yby27zm - the provision of a web accessible platform for collaborative capture and improvement of business processes is a real boon. SaaS makes this possible for companies of all sizes without drama or delay.

Secondly - If you intend to socialize processes with intention of having them collaboratively reviewed, improved and adopted by the workforce - simplification is a must. You need to engage business stake holders, who have not got the time or inclination to learn BPMN and EPC type 'wiring diagrams'. Those are important for automation, but somewhere in the region of 80% of process improvement has little or nothing to do with BPMS /workflow type automation. So for a business audience keep it simple. I mean really simple - way simpler than BPMN core for example.

More on Business Process Improvement in the ‘cloud’ here - http://tinyurl.com/ybpxz25

Scott Cleveland blogs about BPM from a business point of view.

Scott Cleveland

Scott Cleveland is a technical, innovative and creative marketing manager with more than 25 years of experience in marketing, marketing management, sales, sales management and business process consulting aimed at high-tech companies. His areas of expertise include: product marketing, solutions marketing, solution selling, sales maangement, business process management, business process improvement and process optimization. Reach him at RScottCleveland[at]gmail.com.


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