Beth Gold-Bernstein, ebizQ Analyst
  • Guy Weismantel, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing, Business Objects
  • Rob Risany, Director, Product Marketing, Savvion
  • Michael Corcoran, Chief Marketing Officer, Information Builders
  • Joe McKendrick, BI in Action Blogger
  • Beth Gold-Bernstein

    BGB: Welcome, everyone to all our attendees and panel members to this final session of the ebizQ BI In Action virtual conference. If you missed either Bill Gassman of Gartner or Boris Evelson of Forester's presentations this morning or you'd like to recommend them to your colleagues, please know that these will both be available for archive viewing.

    Once again, this is Beth Gold-Berstein, chair of the conference and director of the ebizQ Training Center. After we have an initial discussion with our panel members, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. To submit a question, press the "Ask a Question" button on your gray console. Be sure to stick around to the end of the Q&A for a give-away of four advance copies of BI for Dummies due out in September but our four lucky winners will be the first to receive the copies so be sure to stay around.

    During this panel discussion, we are going to be discussing the role of BI and BPM, BI in BPM and SOA. Our panel members are Rob Risany, Director of Product Marketing for Savvion. Welcome, Ron. Michael Corcoran, Chief Marketing Officer for Information Builders, Guy Weismantel, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing, Business Objects Guy Weismantel, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing, Business Objects and our very own Joe McKendrick, ebizQ SOA and BI in Action Blogger. Welcome to all of you and thank you for joining us today.

    Now, after a number of discussions at ebizQ, we decided to do a BI In Action virtual conference because we started to see a trend with companies incorporating BI into their BPM and SOA solutions. We viewed this as an important trend for business managers to understand because of the potential benefits it offers and we're going to start the panel discussion talking about these. But as we know, sometimes it falls to IT to inform and educate the business on the potential of technology so we're also going to address that side of the discussion. But, my first question, is for you: BI has been around much longer than either BPM or SOA and these days BPM is getting very popular. In your view, what is the value of BPM to the business and how does BI enhance that value?

    Why BI Must Enhance; Why IT Must Educate
    Beth Gold-BernsteinRR: Great question, Beth. I think what we've seen is that BPM -- business process management -- basically creates a role for business people that they haven't really had before in enterprise architecture. So business process management basically gives business people the ability to think about the things that affect them most and turn them into running solutions within the business. That's really the crux of BPM's power within the business. What's interesting is, obviously when business people are thinking about the initiatives that affect them most whether it's order management, whether it's managing customer satisfaction, depending upon your industry, the issue that really comes into is what information is critical to you to be able to support the decisions you have to make for those mission-critical processes.

    BI creates a business face for the data, BPM creates a business face for the process while SOA is an underlying approach for building applications across the business.
                                         --Robert Risany

    And that's really the role that BI has in the context of BPM. It's about providing enough information so that the process solutions that are created by business people used in conjunction with IT have enough information so that the right decisions can be made. And there's a lot of different types of information that are available depending upon the time frame, the types of processes you're supporting but the real crux of BI with BPM is providing the content in the context of the core processes and that's really the relationship there. On the SOA side, SOA is the infrastructure which IT uses to enable the business initiatives and so what we see with our customers is the most successful SOA-oriented companies that are leveraging the power of service oriented architecture realize that BPM can create a business face for SOA and that's then the relationship between the three. So BI creates a business face for the data, BPM creates a business face for the process while SOA is an underlying approach for building applications across the business.

    Making BI Proactive

    BGB: OK. Thank you, Rob. Now, Guy, Business Objects is a BI company that has been around for awhile. How would you describe the role of BI in the business and how do you think it enhances these new business initiatives?

    More Resources

    BI in Action: Full Replays -- including slide shows -- of all our Webinars


    Upcoming Webinars

    1. Start Small; Think Big -- Driving BPM ROI featuring Pratt & Whitney
    Guests: Robert O'Connor, Integrated Services Solutions - Business Process Solutions, Pratt & Whitney
    Brandon Lackey, Global Solutions Director, BEA Systems

    2. Navigating BPM Icebergs with Dynamic Business Applications
    Guests: Jeff Shuey, Global Alliance Director, K2 Steve Yi, Senior Product Manager, Connected Systems Division, Microsoft

    3. Event Processing: Competitive Advantage Through Situational Awareness
    Guest: Roy Schulte, Vice President and Research Fellow, Gartner, Inc.

    A Pertinent Podcast

    Choosing Web-Based BI Applications
    Guest: Lyndsay Wise, Technology Evaluation Centers
    Hear Podcast | Read Full Transcript

    Guy WisemantelGW: Well, thanks Beth. There's a lot of ways that Business Intelligence today is being embedded within company processes and company operations to go ahead and make better use of the information that organizations have within their four walls and within their data structures today so the interesting part about Business Intelligence today is how it's going very much from a backward looking view of what we used to do with the business and becoming as Rob mentions, much more process-aware and much more ingrained in the context of how people solve the key business problems they have and solve the business challenges in front of them. So, as companies have started to make better use of their information, get more timely in terms of the use of their data and their information, they've been able to marry up that data with the specific processes they use to go ahead and solve the business problem or address the issue in front of them.

    So, a really easy example if we see that our sales forecast is headed down and not going to make our revenue forecast that we committed to, you know, the Vice President of Sales previously, you know, we kind of had a trailing view of what was happening. We could see that, yes, our sales were definitely headed down. But people are really changing the way through BI that they use this information and to more proactively look ahead of the curve and say "gosh, we've got, you know, two weeks or so left in the month of June, I see that I might not make my sales target so now I have, you know, an opportunity before the quarter closes, before the month-end to go ahead and take some corrective action and how can I use this information at hand to understand if I need to, you know, do something with my inventory, change my product mix, change my pricing, run a promotion" and where we marry up with business process management is to embed ourselves how a company would handle that situation in the absence of BI. So, BI can get you, kind of, you know, part of the way there, even most of the way there giving you the insight to say "Aha, it's this product that's causing the issue or this region or this sales person" but then we marry up with the processes that are in place and the processes that folks like Savvion put into the business to go ahead and make sense of the information so the end user and the company can actually make the right decision with the right data that they have within their company today.

    Combining BI and BPM: Better Processes for Smarter People

    BGB: Thank you, Guy. So, we've talked about how both BI and BPM provide business benefit. Michael, can you tell us what kind of business problems or solutions can be accomplished using BI and BPM together that can't be done with either of them alone?

    Michael Corcoran MC:: Absolutely, Beth. At Information Builders we've kind of had a unique opportunity and perspective because we have two separate, well, we're one separate lines of businesses. One is our business intelligence business with focus. The other is something called iWay software which is much more focused on operational systems integration and process management. And what we've really learned over the last couple of years is that the wall between these operational systems and these BI systems is really coming down. Business intelligence is no longer a 9-5 job that just happens in the back office. It's really infiltrated down to a process level so there's two opportunities for organizations to really improve the business.

    One would be to use BI technology and leverage better integration to bring much more real-time information to people who are directly engaged in a business process. How can we make them more intelligent? But then there's another emerging opportunity which is where you take the technologies and merge them together. You have an opportunity to automate the intelligence somewhat. You have ways to bring what we call BI down to a process-driven level and there are three things you can do there.

    And what we've really learned over the last couple of years is that the wall between these operational systems and these BI systems is really coming down. Business intelligence is no longer a 9-5 job that just happens in the back office. It's really infiltrated down to a process level so there's two opportunities for organizations to really improve the business.
                                         --Michael Corcoran

    One is to really enable some true event-driven alerting of business events and business agents without a process. As BI vendors, we've all been kind of focused on this problem for a number of years but a lot of the focus has been on polling of data and information that is just stored in databases. What we can, today, do with real-time integration technology is to really look at events as they flow through our systems at a transaction level, almost, in a process. At any point in the process, we have the ability to alert people as to events that are happening. You have more formal process monitoring is what Gartner calls business process monitoring or BAMs -- business activities monitoring. And within those two opportunities, we've obviously seen BI being used in a lot more real-time model which really exciting to us will be the new wave that we see which is how do we take BI and truly embed it down into the business process itself and, you know, both the speakers before talked about the relationship with SOA and BPM and BI. These three technologies come together in ways where we'll be able to build much more intelligent processes, not just smarter people in our organization.

    The Killer Apps: BI and SOA

    BGB: OK, excellent. So, now we've established the links certainly between BI and BPM as well their separate disciplines and technologies and each delivers unique benefits on their own to the business but together they are creating new opportunities for delivering business's ability and intelligence. So, how we started this discussion on the business side, now let's turn to how we deliver these solutions and as Rob alluded to, the SOA side of this story while neither BPM nor BI require SOA for implementation, they both benefit from being implemented on top of the SOA infrastructure. Joe, what do you see as the relationship between BI, BPM and SOA?

    Joe McKendrick JM:: Thanks, Beth. Well, I think Rob hit it when he described SOA as the infrastructure enabler for BI and BPM. SOA is essentially so the IT - information technology folks -- can contribute to the story and it's interesting because there's been a lot of discussion in the SOA world about what will be the killer application that will really drive SOA implementations forward and I think and I've seen quite a bit of agreement on this that BI and BPM and BI in particular will be that killer app, so to speak, you know, there's the question of what comes first, the chicken or the egg, you know.

    Most data and most applications still reside scattered across the enterprise and something needs to bring those, that data and those applications, that logic together into a single place and SOA is that enabler.
                                         --Joe McKendrick

    Do you develop the SOA and then put BI on top of that or do you have BI that will kind of evolve a SOA infrastructure underneath and then it's probably going to happen both ways and I think what the need is what companies, what enterprises need at this stage are a single view of the truth, a single view of their enterprises, a single view of their data. There's a lot of emphasis on corporate performance management, the dashboards, being able to look at what's across the business, across your enterprise, what's happening. There's an emphasis on competing on analytics, the ability to employ BI and analytic technology to gain the competitive edge in your business.

    And none of this is possible without an enterprise view and unfortunately, most companies these days are stovepipes, you know, it's still a challenge. I know stovepipe is still kind of a cliché term but it's still a challenge. Most data and most applications still reside scattered across the enterprise and something needs to bring those, that data and those applications, that logic together into a single place and SOA is that enabler.

    Case Studies: Motorola and NetManage -- Triage and Compliance

    BGB: OK, thank you, Joe. So, let's turn our discussion to BI in action. Rob, what are Savvion customers actually doing with this technology?

    To hear the rest of the podcast, please log in using your free ebizQ Gold Club membership.

    "/> Full Transcript: The Role of BI in SOA and BPM
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    About this feature:

    • DATE: June 20, 2007; 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
    • Featured Speakers:
    • Panel Leader: Beth Gold-Bernstein, ebizQ Analyst
    • Guy Weismantel, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing, Business Objects
    • Rob Risany, Director, Product Marketing, Savvion
    • Michael Corcoran, Chief Marketing Officer, Information Builders
    • Joe McKendrick, BI in Action Blogger
    Beth Gold-Bernstein

    BGB: Welcome, everyone to all our attendees and panel members to this final session of the ebizQ BI In Action virtual conference. If you missed either Bill Gassman of Gartner or Boris Evelson of Forester's presentations this morning or you'd like to recommend them to your colleagues, please know that these will both be available for archive viewing.

    Once again, this is Beth Gold-Berstein, chair of the conference and director of the ebizQ Training Center. After we have an initial discussion with our panel members, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. To submit a question, press the "Ask a Question" button on your gray console. Be sure to stick around to the end of the Q&A for a give-away of four advance copies of BI for Dummies due out in September but our four lucky winners will be the first to receive the copies so be sure to stay around.

    During this panel discussion, we are going to be discussing the role of BI and BPM, BI in BPM and SOA. Our panel members are Rob Risany, Director of Product Marketing for Savvion. Welcome, Ron. Michael Corcoran, Chief Marketing Officer for Information Builders, Guy Weismantel, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing, Business Objects Guy Weismantel, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing, Business Objects and our very own Joe McKendrick, ebizQ SOA and BI in Action Blogger. Welcome to all of you and thank you for joining us today.

    Now, after a number of discussions at ebizQ, we decided to do a BI In Action virtual conference because we started to see a trend with companies incorporating BI into their BPM and SOA solutions. We viewed this as an important trend for business managers to understand because of the potential benefits it offers and we're going to start the panel discussion talking about these. But as we know, sometimes it falls to IT to inform and educate the business on the potential of technology so we're also going to address that side of the discussion. But, my first question, is for you: BI has been around much longer than either BPM or SOA and these days BPM is getting very popular. In your view, what is the value of BPM to the business and how does BI enhance that value?

    Why BI Must Enhance; Why IT Must Educate
    Beth Gold-BernsteinRR: Great question, Beth. I think what we've seen is that BPM -- business process management -- basically creates a role for business people that they haven't really had before in enterprise architecture. So business process management basically gives business people the ability to think about the things that affect them most and turn them into running solutions within the business. That's really the crux of BPM's power within the business. What's interesting is, obviously when business people are thinking about the initiatives that affect them most whether it's order management, whether it's managing customer satisfaction, depending upon your industry, the issue that really comes into is what information is critical to you to be able to support the decisions you have to make for those mission-critical processes.

    BI creates a business face for the data, BPM creates a business face for the process while SOA is an underlying approach for building applications across the business.
                                         --Robert Risany

    And that's really the role that BI has in the context of BPM. It's about providing enough information so that the process solutions that are created by business people used in conjunction with IT have enough information so that the right decisions can be made. And there's a lot of different types of information that are available depending upon the time frame, the types of processes you're supporting but the real crux of BI with BPM is providing the content in the context of the core processes and that's really the relationship there. On the SOA side, SOA is the infrastructure which IT uses to enable the business initiatives and so what we see with our customers is the most successful SOA-oriented companies that are leveraging the power of service oriented architecture realize that BPM can create a business face for SOA and that's then the relationship between the three. So BI creates a business face for the data, BPM creates a business face for the process while SOA is an underlying approach for building applications across the business.

    Making BI Proactive

    BGB: OK. Thank you, Rob. Now, Guy, Business Objects is a BI company that has been around for awhile. How would you describe the role of BI in the business and how do you think it enhances these new business initiatives?

    More Resources

    BI in Action: Full Replays -- including slide shows -- of all our Webinars


    Upcoming Webinars

    1. Start Small; Think Big -- Driving BPM ROI featuring Pratt & Whitney
    Guests: Robert O'Connor, Integrated Services Solutions - Business Process Solutions, Pratt & Whitney
    Brandon Lackey, Global Solutions Director, BEA Systems

    2. Navigating BPM Icebergs with Dynamic Business Applications
    Guests: Jeff Shuey, Global Alliance Director, K2 Steve Yi, Senior Product Manager, Connected Systems Division, Microsoft

    3. Event Processing: Competitive Advantage Through Situational Awareness
    Guest: Roy Schulte, Vice President and Research Fellow, Gartner, Inc.

    A Pertinent Podcast

    Choosing Web-Based BI Applications
    Guest: Lyndsay Wise, Technology Evaluation Centers
    Hear Podcast | Read Full Transcript

    Guy WisemantelGW: Well, thanks Beth. There's a lot of ways that Business Intelligence today is being embedded within company processes and company operations to go ahead and make better use of the information that organizations have within their four walls and within their data structures today so the interesting part about Business Intelligence today is how it's going very much from a backward looking view of what we used to do with the business and becoming as Rob mentions, much more process-aware and much more ingrained in the context of how people solve the key business problems they have and solve the business challenges in front of them. So, as companies have started to make better use of their information, get more timely in terms of the use of their data and their information, they've been able to marry up that data with the specific processes they use to go ahead and solve the business problem or address the issue in front of them.

    So, a really easy example if we see that our sales forecast is headed down and not going to make our revenue forecast that we committed to, you know, the Vice President of Sales previously, you know, we kind of had a trailing view of what was happening. We could see that, yes, our sales were definitely headed down. But people are really changing the way through BI that they use this information and to more proactively look ahead of the curve and say "gosh, we've got, you know, two weeks or so left in the month of June, I see that I might not make my sales target so now I have, you know, an opportunity before the quarter closes, before the month-end to go ahead and take some corrective action and how can I use this information at hand to understand if I need to, you know, do something with my inventory, change my product mix, change my pricing, run a promotion" and where we marry up with business process management is to embed ourselves how a company would handle that situation in the absence of BI. So, BI can get you, kind of, you know, part of the way there, even most of the way there giving you the insight to say "Aha, it's this product that's causing the issue or this region or this sales person" but then we marry up with the processes that are in place and the processes that folks like Savvion put into the business to go ahead and make sense of the information so the end user and the company can actually make the right decision with the right data that they have within their company today.

    Combining BI and BPM: Better Processes for Smarter People

    BGB: Thank you, Guy. So, we've talked about how both BI and BPM provide business benefit. Michael, can you tell us what kind of business problems or solutions can be accomplished using BI and BPM together that can't be done with either of them alone?

    Michael Corcoran MC:: Absolutely, Beth. At Information Builders we've kind of had a unique opportunity and perspective because we have two separate, well, we're one separate lines of businesses. One is our business intelligence business with focus. The other is something called iWay software which is much more focused on operational systems integration and process management. And what we've really learned over the last couple of years is that the wall between these operational systems and these BI systems is really coming down. Business intelligence is no longer a 9-5 job that just happens in the back office. It's really infiltrated down to a process level so there's two opportunities for organizations to really improve the business.

    One would be to use BI technology and leverage better integration to bring much more real-time information to people who are directly engaged in a business process. How can we make them more intelligent? But then there's another emerging opportunity which is where you take the technologies and merge them together. You have an opportunity to automate the intelligence somewhat. You have ways to bring what we call BI down to a process-driven level and there are three things you can do there.

    And what we've really learned over the last couple of years is that the wall between these operational systems and these BI systems is really coming down. Business intelligence is no longer a 9-5 job that just happens in the back office. It's really infiltrated down to a process level so there's two opportunities for organizations to really improve the business.
                                         --Michael Corcoran

    One is to really enable some true event-driven alerting of business events and business agents without a process. As BI vendors, we've all been kind of focused on this problem for a number of years but a lot of the focus has been on polling of data and information that is just stored in databases. What we can, today, do with real-time integration technology is to really look at events as they flow through our systems at a transaction level, almost, in a process. At any point in the process, we have the ability to alert people as to events that are happening. You have more formal process monitoring is what Gartner calls business process monitoring or BAMs -- business activities monitoring. And within those two opportunities, we've obviously seen BI being used in a lot more real-time model which really exciting to us will be the new wave that we see which is how do we take BI and truly embed it down into the business process itself and, you know, both the speakers before talked about the relationship with SOA and BPM and BI. These three technologies come together in ways where we'll be able to build much more intelligent processes, not just smarter people in our organization.

    The Killer Apps: BI and SOA

    BGB: OK, excellent. So, now we've established the links certainly between BI and BPM as well their separate disciplines and technologies and each delivers unique benefits on their own to the business but together they are creating new opportunities for delivering business's ability and intelligence. So, how we started this discussion on the business side, now let's turn to how we deliver these solutions and as Rob alluded to, the SOA side of this story while neither BPM nor BI require SOA for implementation, they both benefit from being implemented on top of the SOA infrastructure. Joe, what do you see as the relationship between BI, BPM and SOA?

    Joe McKendrick JM:: Thanks, Beth. Well, I think Rob hit it when he described SOA as the infrastructure enabler for BI and BPM. SOA is essentially so the IT - information technology folks -- can contribute to the story and it's interesting because there's been a lot of discussion in the SOA world about what will be the killer application that will really drive SOA implementations forward and I think and I've seen quite a bit of agreement on this that BI and BPM and BI in particular will be that killer app, so to speak, you know, there's the question of what comes first, the chicken or the egg, you know.

    Most data and most applications still reside scattered across the enterprise and something needs to bring those, that data and those applications, that logic together into a single place and SOA is that enabler.
                                         --Joe McKendrick

    Do you develop the SOA and then put BI on top of that or do you have BI that will kind of evolve a SOA infrastructure underneath and then it's probably going to happen both ways and I think what the need is what companies, what enterprises need at this stage are a single view of the truth, a single view of their enterprises, a single view of their data. There's a lot of emphasis on corporate performance management, the dashboards, being able to look at what's across the business, across your enterprise, what's happening. There's an emphasis on competing on analytics, the ability to employ BI and analytic technology to gain the competitive edge in your business.

    And none of this is possible without an enterprise view and unfortunately, most companies these days are stovepipes, you know, it's still a challenge. I know stovepipe is still kind of a cliché term but it's still a challenge. Most data and most applications still reside scattered across the enterprise and something needs to bring those, that data and those applications, that logic together into a single place and SOA is that enabler.

    Case Studies: Motorola and NetManage -- Triage and Compliance

    BGB: OK, thank you, Joe. So, let's turn our discussion to BI in action. Rob, what are Savvion customers actually doing with this technology?

    To hear the rest of the podcast, please log in using your free ebizQ Gold Club membership.


    Gold Club Protected  You must log in before accessing this content.

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