They say it's good to try to learn something new every day so the day I met with Dave Marcus, VP of Alliances and Business Development at K2 was a banner day.
First I learned that the company, whose flagship business process management (BPM) product is called Blackpearl, has nothing to do with the Blackpearl business inteilligence (BI) product startup I had dealt with six or seven years ago. Despite the current messaging which tends to promote the "Black..." product nomenclature more than the company name, this is the company I last ran across in the UK by way of South Africa years before that. But now given its Microsoft (MSFT) Sharepoint relationship, it has moved its headquarters right down the street from Microsoft's campus in Redmond, WA, USA.
Second, in addition to the Microsoft-server-stack-tuned Blackpearl BPM suite, the company offers
- a subset product called Blackpoint (announced this year) that is basically just tuned to Microsoft Sharepoint (as opposed to Blackipearl being tuned to the whole Microsoft stack)
- an open-source-like community called the Blackmarket (see more in my upcoming feature article on ebizQ about the open source culture in BPM), and
- a new software as a service (SaaS) like feature for Blackpoint that makes using the Blackpoint product even easier
The features that I liked where the way K2 Blackpoint seemed to empower non-developers to take ownership and build Sharepoint-based content management applications without writing code. The long-term success of BPM depends on getting a lot of line of business end-user guys (the budget planner or technical writing department head or marketing admin for a new product launch) involved. Of course these features can also be used by a business process analyst or even a programmer that does not want to write code.
-- Dennis Byron