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What is the business value of having a CEP system today?

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Very simply, what is the business value of having a CEP system today?

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  • A CEP system is always valuable for a business, success of which is based on high volume activity and decision making. Many organizations have built those systems over time and leveraged on incremental improvement of such systems. Many such organizations are facing the common dilemma of build v/s buy vis-a-vis CEP systems. A CEP infrastructure, being capital intensive is a deterrent to a buy decision, but the business value cannot be denied.

    But, there are two more advances, one as a great enabler and another adding to the challenges. Cloud is definitely a great enabler for an uptake in the CEP with infrastructure and burst-computing needs taken care of. Social media and the more involved processes with numerous events getting generated in the business due to Chatter, Twitter, FB, Google Alerts, Customer services integration etc lead to higher challenges in the enterprise level Events handling and hence bigger value that CEP can provide.

  • CEP has no less business value today as it did yesterday. What has shifted is the improvement of integration into BPM solutions, decision management, and the abilities to handle volumes and types od data. Of course each of these require some touchpoint back into CEP.

    CEP by itself, doesn't provide additional value to the business, besides making automated decisions on events that it is configured to observe and handle. Once integrated into a BPM solution, that bridge then can potentially create a proactive business awareness. This in handle drives much quicker decisions, and can bring levels of agility to the business

  • The business value of CEP is the identification of situations that are difficult to identifiy by humans either through the amount of data or through their complexity. CEP is difficult to do and the ROI is hard to measure. The identification of a complex event should lead to some action, and therefore the link to BPM is relevant.

    One can discover events in large data streams, such as stock market data or one can discover a CBE Complex Business Event that consists of data patterns from multiple sources. Events in streams has less applicability in most businesses. But all businesses have interesting CBEs happening in their IT infrastructure that are relevant to business objectives and operational targets and should lead to business action.

    A CBE needs a data model that identifies and maps the sources and then some model thesis that describes the logic to combine the sources. As the logic is done with RULES, the implementation is difficult and rigid. Therefore most current CEP/CBE do not improve agility, because any change in the event mechanism (i.e. a business reorganisation) or a change in data sources can destroy the viability of the model thesis.

    But CBEs can also be detected by trained pattern matching (which I see as the most relevant technology) as that doesn't require a logical model and rule coding. It still requires a data model for the event sources.

    What most people (even most 'experts') don't realize is the true nature of an event. Events have a causal chain AND relevance AND receptor AND actor. I.e. many pedestrians cross roads (as an event happening) but to you only those doing it in front of your car are relevant for possible action. So the CBE pattern is information feeds -> relevancy -> action (decision). The 'action environment' is as relevant as the 'event input'. What effect can/will an action have gven the nature of the event? Does the action change my event environment? And so on.

    COMPLEX means that eventss aren't logically rigid. They are actually fuzzy. Meaning: where the person is on the road and how fast it is moving and how fast are you moving is not a simple rule. Therefore discovering CBE patterns through a mining functionality starting from ACTIONS taken is the most promising approach (IMHO).

    Many CEP and CBE are thus big money wasters ...

  • I'll keep it simple.

    I agree with Max. Let me avoid redundant answers :)

  • No technology is valuable by itself. CEP is not, neither is BPM, and so is not CRM or ERP. A business architecture requires synergy of the technologies such as CEP and BPM, not a need to put one above the other.

    Max, Ryan: both of your answers are only trying to create a bigger line of BPM in front of CEP. Does that reduce the value CEP provides in the situations of high transactions and increasingly higher interconnected business events? I don't think so, unless you can come up and say that there's yet another jargon for the same stuff that provides a bit better add-on to CEP by itself.

  • I guess I should have something to say on this :)

    Business value... is one of they key drivers for CEP take-up. Not IT. CEP - exploiting the cloud of events that modern IT systems can deliver - gives business new capabilities.
    - How can you sense and respond to events that could lose you customers?
    - Can you track and trace the assets of your organisation to your advantage?
    - Does situational awareness for your managers improve their decision making?

    CEP systems are delivering some of the highest ROI in IT investments today. See http://tibcoblogs.com/cep/category/use-case/ for some examples.

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