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Anne Stuart’s BPM in Action

Michael Dortch

"Big Mash-up:" I like the term

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I'm getting on the bandwagon for Michael's term, The Big Mash-up.

As Michael defines it, The Big Mash-Up is a:

"BPM initiative in concert with EII, ILM, and/or MDM... plus event-driven architectures (EDAs) and service-oriented architectures (SOAs)"

My only nitpick is that I would add collaboration functionality too.

In some recent research I did that is excerpted here on ebizQ, all the suppliers I interviewed noted that monitoring process flow dynamically is the way to add business activity monitoring (BAM)-based ILM to the BPM middleware feature list. That is one piece of Michael's vision. Getting data and information into the mix by EII and MDM is an important additive. A couple of years ago when I was at IDC, we were calling the combination of BPM, EII and MDM "intelligent process automation." I do not know if they kept the term after I left but Michael's description is much catchier anyways.

TIBCO has some interesting pre-packaged offerings along these lines and SAP and Oracle will have equivalent feature/function lineups as soon as they digest Business Objects and BEA respectively. In a recent webinar, presented here on ebizQ, BEA highlighted some survey results from January 2008 about the way BPM, Collaboration and Social Computing are converging. Metastorm nears this functionality when you remember that it is the combination of Commercequest, legacy Metastorm, Process Competence, Proforma, and Spotlight Data. Appian, Cordys, Global 360, Intalio and Software AG/WebMethods are other suppliers I have spoken with recently that appear to understand the need.

Caution: this is an extremely slippery-when-wet slope. If you are interested in tying pieces of your operation together this way--and you should be--start small and expect some hiccups.
1. Line up some business partners and get them involved in the planning; do not spring a new way of doing business with you on them some sunny Monday morning.
2. Know your data sources when it comes to your EII plans and budget extra to get some one to scrub and normalize it squeakly clean for you.
3. Even though you want to start with a focused operational area as a trial, think through your entire taxonomy to test the MDM thoroughly.
4. Fully rolled out, it will be hard to get all of this to work well together without an EDA or an SOA. But it would be technically possible to deploy all of the functionality on a more classical client/server infrastructure for a focused test.

And as Michael says, if anyone is thinking of doing a project like this, let us know of your progress.

-- Dennis Byron

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Business process management and optimization -- philosophies, policies, practices, and punditry.

Anne Stuart

I am the editor of ebizQ.

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