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Full Transcript: Business-Empowered BPM Implementation: Good for Business... and IT


BPM Virtual Conference - Beth Gold-Bernstein, Bruce Silver
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BGB: Hello and welcome to the ebizQ BPM and the Bottom Line Virtual Conference. I’m Beth Gold-Bernstein, chair of the conference. Before getting started, I’d like to remind you of the features and functions of our interactive virtual conference environment. We have a Networking Lounge where you can chat with other visitors.

This conference includes virtual booths where you can chat with company reps and download information. Visit all the booths for an opportunity to win a prize. To submit a question to this session, please press the “Ask a Question” button on the gray console.

To download a copy of the slides, click the “Files” button. To enlarge any of the slides, click on the magnifying glass to the right of the slide.

We would like to thank Software AG for sponsoring this keynote presentation. Now, I’d like introduce our featured speaker, Bruce Silver, independent industry analyst and consultant. And Bruce is going to be speaking about Business Empowered Implementation. Welcome Bruce.

Bruce SilverBS: Thanks Beth. Good morning everyone. I’m Bruce Silver, independent BPM analyst and training provider. And I’d like to talk to you today about the emerging fulfillment of a promise made by BPM since its very beginnings that somehow, someway BPM would empower business to take more direct control of its business processes, make them more efficient, more compliant and more agile.

That promise which seems vaguely threatening as well has been twisted and distorted in a number of ways. So let’s see what Business Empowered Process Implementation really means and why it’s good for business and for IT. We’ll weave the discussion around three main points. What Business Empowered Implementation is and is not? The role of a key enabling standard, BPMN from OMG and the tools that build on top of it.

And finally, the challenge of Business Empowerment. Are you ready for it and what do you need to do to get ready? 

So let’s start with Business Process Management. What is it? First and foremost, it’s a management discipline, a new way of looking at your business. Not the way it is usually organized or the way IT systems are typically deployed based on stovepipe functional units like sales, manufacturing and finance, but the way your customers and your trading partners see you as end-to-end processes that cut across those functions. Most companies are just beginning to examine or measure their business from this cross-functional process perspective.

BPM starts with documenting those cross-functional processes end-to-end, something that may have never been done before in analyzing them. Is this really the most efficient, most effective, or most compliant way to do it in measuring business performance that perspective as well? That was the original purpose of process modeling and still an important reason to do process modeling but not the only one because BPM is more than us a management discipline.

It’s also about a new technology suite. It can make those end-to-end processes executable, what’s called the BPM suite. A BPMS is not a stack a of interchangeable components, but an integrated platform from a single vendor that combines process modeling, implementation, implementation design and a runtime environment that executes the process design, automating the human work flow, executing the business rules, reading and writing back end systems and services through SOA middleware and all the while capturing snapshots of instance data and aggregating it in BAM dashboards, provide realtime end-to-end views of process performance.

And third, BPM is about a promise. Business Empowerment in the design and management of those processes. In that context of BPMS, what that means is that the process model created by business is more than just initial requirements handed off to IT for implementation. In fact, the model becomes part of the implementation itself.

Review Bruce Silver's Six-Part Series on Mastering BPMN

An abstract view of the activity flow that business can understand, even when IT needs to tweak it a bit in the implementation lifecycle. Business Empowered Implementation as it changed from the old arms length hand off from business to IT. It’s really about a new, more agile iterative implementation style in which business and IT directly collaborate. The key promise of BPM is agility, going from concept to deployment quickly and adapting quickly as business requirements change.

In first generation BPM suites, the modeling component effectively created business requirements handed off to IT for implementation design. Artifact generated from the modeling component could be mapped and exported to the design component but that was typically in a completely separate tool set based on a different meta model, a data model, and a different programming model.

Once those artifacts were edited in the executable design tool, the implementation inevitably lost sync with the original model. You couldn’t export the implementation design back to the modeling tool. But the business analyst maintained a view of the evolving process, something known as the round tripping problem. But in BPM, true agility requires a faster more iterative implementation style in which business collaborates more directly with IT and BPMN turns out to be the key.

Well, not all BPM suites work this way. Most of the ones that use BPMN don’t simply use the model as business requirement handed off to IT in a separate tool,but combine process modeling done by a business analyst and executable process design done by an IT process architect in a single tool with separate views or perspectives containing the specific editors appropriate for business and for IT but all based on a single meta model, a single data model, and a single programing model shared by business and IT.

But now the model is not just requirements, not just a starting point for executable designs, but a descriptive business oriented view of the process activity flow that remains valid throughout the entire implementation lifecycle. The model and implementation can never get out of sync because there is no round tripping problem. BPMN is a critical enabler of this new implementation style.

Let’s see why. First, what is the BPMN? It stands for Business Process Modeling Notation and it’s just that. A set of sheets with specific meaning for defining business processes with rules and a structural meta model described by a standard. BPMN is vendor neutral standard from the Object Management Group -- that’s huge. In the past, each modeling tool invented its own proprietary notation.

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Not good for shared understanding among a wide population within the enterprise or across companies in an industry. But BPMN is supported by a wide variety of tools, inexpensive tools, even free ones all following the same specification. BPMN is familiar to business analysts because it describes processes from the perspective of the swimlane diagram, a flowchart. BPMN is simple and thereby easily understood by business.

There are only three basic shapes each with a distinct meaning in the diagram. Nevertheless, using subtypes of those three shapes, denoted by icons and size and their placement in the diagram, BPMN is richly expressive and semantically precise. Precise enough, for instance, that you can run it through a simulation engine and you can even make it fully executable simply by layering implementation detail on top of the BPMN rather than starting over in a different design tool.

Finally, BPMN is lightweight. It doesn’t try to model your whole business just the activity flow of your business processes. That’s key to its incorporation in so many different tools. Some gear it to description analysis and others gear it to executable designs. And because it is not defined by a single vendor, with a complex meta model, an investment in the particular methodology, BPMN can be used in a wide variety of tools and by a wide variety of user skills.

While its use of the flowchart and swimlane paradigm makes BPMN similar to many to traditional modeling notations, BPMN is distinct is a number of way. One, is that it has predefined semantics and rules. Its estimated two-thirds of the process models in existence today are simply Visio diagrams. But Visio by itself has no built-in process modeling semantics and rules. It’s just a drawing tool, but BPMN does. You can actually validate a BPMN diagram against those rules. BPMN encourages a hierarchal view of the process, meaning you can you can describe the whole process end-to-end in a simple diagram in one page and then drill into it interest more detailed views without losing the integrity of a single model end-to-end.

The key to this is the subprocess, a critical element in BPMN, which can rendered in the diagram either collapsed as a single activity or expanded into its own process diagram. And all those different levels of the process are kept together by the tool. Third, BPMN allows you to show how your process communicates via request, responses ,and unsolicited events with external processes; that’s called choreography and it can add valuable business context to your model.

Fourth, and this is the signature feature of BPMN, it includes rich support for events, explicitly in the diagram. An event is simply a signal that something has happened either inside the process or outside. Events can be placed in a BPMN diagram to show, for example, how a process is started by a particular event, or waits for a particular event, or is interrupted and redirected by an event, or can generate its own events. These notions of Business Empowerment are vaguely threatening to IT.

They are mission critical systems. I’m not going to let business people mess with the code, that’s basically the strawman argument. But I’m not saying business is creating executable processes. No, business creates the process model, the abstract or descriptive view of the flow of process activities. It's IT that then adds the technical implementation detail as properties as each note in the diagram.

Each tool provides its own dialogues to do that but it’s layered on top of the model -- it does not change the model, it's layered on top of the model. And it’s IT that still does the unit testing, the integration testing and deployment like it always has so it’s important to understand what Business Empowered Implementation is and what it is not.

Now, you may be saying, sure, this is some next generation things that always is just around the corner. But I’m saying this is how most BPM suites actually work today starting with human-centric ones Lombardi, or Appian, and Savvion all the way to integration centric suites like Foster AG and Vitria as well as those that try to balance the two such as TIBCO, or BEA, and SAP’s new project Galaxy.

In fact, with IBM, SAP, Oracle, and BEA, teaming to define BPMN 2.0, by 2009, any BPM suite that doesn’t work this way is going to have to explain why not. Recapping what Business Empowered Process Implementation is, we’re talking about activity flow models created by business analysts and business architects. Defining in business terms what happens when end-to-end including the exception path and then IT laying implementation properties on top of the model -- not starting over in a different tool, in iterative style in which business and IT collaborate. 

So what might be the benefits of that? Start with faster time to value. Business usually has the motivation to move quickly and now they can take direct action with new or changed process models. IT is still needed to make the models executable, to test and deploy them, but it’s faster.

Most notably, because they’re more likely to get it right the first time. Why? Less translation from vague requirements tossed over the wall. Business is collaborating on the design, less feedback, less buy-in, less shared commitment. No, you can't force those things but you can enable them and that’s what BPM does. One of the big problem areas has always been the exception path, that’s where the cost is, the delays, the quality problems.

BPMN, in contrast to traditional swimlane diagrams, now provides the visual language for describing them, not the implementation but what should happen if this exception occurs or that one and making it all explicit in the diagram. We’ve never had that before. And third, with the single process diagram shared by the business and IT, we have a common visual context for monitoring process performance.

This problem is happening right here in the process diagram and the process owner knows exactly what that means because the model is their model not some developer’s indecipherable view of the solution. So Business Empowered Process Implementation based on the iterative style, collaboration with IT, and the single visual language for process description is good for business and for IT.

Okay. You asked for it. Now, are you ready for empowerment? Business has to step up to the plate with new skills. Not necessarily technical skills but some other discipline and rigor that IT is used to. BPMN is an expressive and precise visual language. But do you know how to use it correctly or how to use its features like events and exception flows needed to support the real implementation? Probably today you do not.

Business Empowered Implementation demands a new role, what some vendors call the Business Process Expert. Today, it barely exists in most companies but it is the critical role traveling business and IT needed to do the process modeling creating models in that common visual language. If the tools you need are there today, the language is learnable by business, that’s not to say you know it already but you don’t have to be a developer to use it.

So empowerment raises the bar and business is going to have to raise its own skills to get over it. But I think the benefits are well worth for business and for IT. Just look at the tool vendors backing this approach, it’s essentially everyone in the BPM world. So this is the way BPM solutions are going to be built ready or not.

Fortunately, resources for this new role are emerging. Because BPMN is a standard, you have new sources of training and education, for example, some free, and all much less expensive than with proprietary modeling tools. For example, through bpmessentials.com, and theBPM Institute, I offer in-depth training on process modeling of BPMN. Hands on with individualized feedback both online, on demand, and in the classroom setting.

And the links are there if you’re interested in that. I also provide free learning resources as well, such as on SAP’s Process Expert Community site. A six-part article series on the topic of BPMN and the Business Process Expert, and a six-part e-learning series and flash video that explains how to use BPMN correctly and effectively including tips and best practices -- all that’s free.

The point is that BPMN and Business Empowered Implementation are opening up a whole new world. It’s good for business and good for IT but you need to get ready for it. Thank you very much and now I’m going to turn it back over to Beth.

Review Bruce's Six-Part Series on Mastering BPMN

BGB: Okay. thank you, Bruce. And now it’s time for your questions. I’d like to remind you to submit a question, please press the “Ask a Question” button on your console. Now, before we go to your first question, please take a moment to answer this poll. Is Business Empowered Implementation something that’s resonating for you and your organization and something you would interested in? We’ll be back to you in just a few moments.


So Bruce, are you finding that BPMN is really usable by business analysts?

BS: I am but I would say with this small adjustment. Not all parts of the notation are understood by business but the core elements of it are. There’s some tools that let you ease into it. For example, Lombardi Blueprint is a good example of a tool that lets any businessperson create essentially a block diagram and the BPMN is generated under the covers.

I would say that to use BPMN effectively requires training so people tend to because it looks familiar think they know how to use it already and I would say they understand most of it just from the kind of flowcharting they’ve already done. But to really use it correctly and effectively it’s something that requires some education on there’s free sources and there’s non-free sources of that education. So it is learnable but I would say it is not already known in its entirety by most business analysts.

BGB: Now, are there any extension possible for a BPMN? And if extension are possible, how do you make the BPMN models compatible across various BPMN designer tools?

BS: Well, as I tried to explain in the talk, the value of BPMN as a standard is that, at least what it purports to do, which is to describe the flow of activities in some kind of abstract way without saying how you implement those activities that it’s complete without extension. I mean the problem with a standard that you have vendor proprietary extensions to is that it’s not a standard anymore.

So BPMN doesn’t try to do too much and it tries to be complete without extensions as far as that goes. So where the tools do their own thing, is on implementation side. So like I said, BPMN really just says what activities go in what order, and what are the sort of the branches and the flow, and where does it start and end? But the different types of actions that can be done, the different types of humans tasks, the different types of integration actions, business roles, etc., all have their particular flavors provided by the various vendor tools, but those are simply external to BPMN, that’s detail that’s layered on top of the standard.

BGB: Now, I know you just mentioned that, but I have also had that experience. When you want a model the human processes and which may be part of an overall process, how would you do that if you didn’t include extensions then if you say it’s complete?

BS: Well, I guess, what I’m trying to is you might have an activity in the model and BPMN it’s a human task. You just grab it. All BPMN says is here’s what it’s called and that it’s a human task. And that’s really all that BPMN has to say about it. Now, the BPM suite or other tool that is layered on top of it would say, all right, what is the implementation of that human task? Is it a screen flow or what’s the user interface look like?

How do I build it? What data is involved in it? what can the user do? Can the user delegate that task, forward that task to somebody else? All of that is external to BPMN. So you don’t need to extend BPMN but I agree with you that you need to define all that stuff to have a solution that actually does something. So I’m just saying that that part of the process definition is outside of BPMN so BPMN doesn’t try to define that piece of it.

BGB: Okay. So you’re saying then BPMN would not be the only model for designing the flow process?

BS: Absolutely, so you need a data model, for example, not included in BPMN. You might have models for your business rules if you have that kind of -- if you extract those. And there’s other information whether you call it models or just detail that’s required.

And there is no standard for that, at least, in BPMN so that tends to be different from one tool to the next so you can't -- to say BPMN is a standard doesn’t mean you can take a working BPM solution and port it from one environment to another. BPMN doesn’t promise that. It promises that the activity flow, the model, could be portable from one environment to another.

BGB: Now, how can BPMN just decrease development time and how detailed do you model in BPMN?

BS: Okay. The agility questions is an important one because it’s something that IT talks about all the time and business talks about it as well. The really -- the way that BPMN and this whole idea of Business Empowered Implementation makes things go faster is in two ways. One, well, they’re related. One, is that it encourages an iterative style of implementation so the old way business would work for a long time, try to develop a complete set of requirements because IT insists that it be completed.

It take a while and then it kind of gets tossed over the wall to IT who would then start to build it, and then build the whole thing, test it, and then go back months later and say is this what you wanted? And if it wasn’t, then that cycle repeated. So cycles were kind of measured in months. Now, I think, when you have the possibility where business and IT are sharing a common tool, maybe not the same view, but the common tool, common meta model so what the process looks like they’re forced to work together. They’re encouraged to work together.

So usually it works like, well, of the core of the thing is built out, and business is continuously doing it this, is this what you want, and adjustments are made, more or less then in realtime or in the shorter cycles and so the application is kind of built out from the center instead of the waterfall approach. So things that used to take months now take a few weeks and it’s more likely to be right the first time so I think that’s really the reason why all of this tends to go faster.

BGB: Okay. Now, do you agree that BPEL for People standard is suppose to get a part of the BPMN market since it solves a great part of its weakness? So I’m going to ask you first Bruce what is the weakness and do you think its solving it and where are these standards fitting together and I’m going to ask Pedro to write back in again and say what he thinks the weakness is. So let’s start Bruce. Sorry.

BS: All right. Well, I’ll take a whack at it. I don’t think they’re competing because BPEL for People was intended to fix a hole in the BPEL standards. The BPEL standard is an execution language. BPMN is a modeling notation so model and execution are not the same thing. Execution language is basically the pseudo code or the code that runs on the process engine in an execution environment.

And the BPEL standard did not because it’s really about web service orchestration it not include anything to do with human tasks because a human task is not a web service, it’s actually is some kind of stateful object that is managed by a web service so it was excluded for that reason.

And every BPEL based BPM suite, and there aren’t that many of them, there are some, IBM and Oracle and some others did their own implementation of how human tasks would work. And BPEL for People was intended to say let’s describe a standard way to do this, it’s actually kind of five -- a group of five standard ways to do and you can choose which one you want. So that’s on the execution side.

I think what it does is it allows you to define more easily a mapping between BPMN and BPEL. But as I said, a lot of this detail is information that goes beyond what BPMN tries to do. So I don’t think they really compete at all actually and the fact that companies like IBM and Oracle are moving toward BPEL for People -- they sort of have pieces of it in there now and are independently moving towards BPMN. Oracle already has it. I just don’t see them as competing at all. They operate at two different levels.

BGB: All right. Now, we do have a comment here that would be pertinent to this but isn’t the real value of executable business processes, in everything we’re doing, that IT is executable? So if BPMN is not capable of the defining this down to the executable layer, isn’t something lost there?

BS: Maybe I’m not understanding the question but I think to me if something is lost when IT has to start over by defining the activity flow, which is sort of the skeleton of the process in a totally different tool with a totally different meta model. I mean there you have translation loss between what business thinks they’re getting and what IT thinks they’re giving.

Because BPMN doesn’t try to  define all -- if BPMN tried to define all the executable detail, for one thing, it really couldn’t succeed at as a multivendor standard and for another thing, business really wouldn’t be able to use it. Because I agree with whoever asked that question or comment that business can't really build implementation themselves, that’s not what it’s about.

But they can describe the skeleton of what’s the activity flow, what happens when basically who does it? If certain exceptions happen, what should happen next without describing implementation of those things? So the fact that IT can layer all that information with which they define on top of this skeleton that business has a hand in developing, I think that’s a stronger way to go rather than losing something.

BGB: Okay. Now, what do you think is going to happen to WS-BPEL?

BS: Well, as I said before on the BPEL for People question, WS-BPEL... It’s an execution language so the vendors and the vendors who support it -- not all of them are interested in BPM. I would say a lot of this web service orchestration is useful in SOA, for example, to make coarse grain business services out of low level APIs.

So that’s sort of one use of it, totally apart from BPMN which is more about end-to-end process and business empowerment. So the vendors who use BPEL, who care BPM, so people like Oracle, people like IBM, they’re all moving to BPMN. Now there are some difficulties in mapping BPMN to BPEL today.

Not having to do with the human task so much but having to do with certain -- you have more flexible routing in BPMN -- you can sort of draw the arrows pretty much anywhere you want and BPEL you can't, it’s a block-structured language and its one limited. So in the BPMN 2.0, which is under development now, there’s a proposal to actually create called a proper subset of BPMN that where the mapping to BPEL is clear, and unambiguous, and automated, and without sort of the problems that of sort of hand tweaking that’s required today.

So I would say if we wait a year, a year and half for that standard to come out, there’ll be a simple mapping between them, and it’ll be clear that they’re not competing, that one’s a modeling standard, the other is an execution language, and there’s an automated translation between them. So I think all of this will become obvious to everyone once BPMN 2.0 comes out. Today, there is still a bit of hand tweaking required to go from a BPMN model to BPEL that is efficient and readable and all that so I think that’s a temporary situation.

BGB: Okay. So let’s talk about other modeling methods now. Couldn’t you use an activity diagram to create the business models and using an iterative methodology? That’s the question from the user. So I’m asking you what is the benefits of using BPMN over, for example, activity diagrams?

BS: It’s interesting because I was at a user conference yesterday and this same question came up. I assume the caller is referring to UML activity diagrams. And someone on the panel who is actually involved in writing the UML 2.0 spec said very clearly that even though the notation is not all that different between BPMN and UML activity diagrams.

I mean there is a sort of a similarity to them, that the rest of the infrastructure around UML is strictly -- is used by IT and business doesn’t like it. Okay. And so BPMN was created to be more business friendly. So I think that while it is technically possible, to teach business analysts to use UML activity diagrams, and do collaborative iterative development. I think they have spoken in the past and this came out of the origins of BPMN when it very first started, this question, that it was designed to make it something that was more palatable to business and I think BPMN uptake in the marketplace and adoption by vendors has been driven by that that fact.

So I can't really speak to the psychology of it of why but I think it’s a coined historical fact that this has researched and business users are more attracted to BPMN and they don’t like activity diagrams. And so if want this business to play in this environment, may be not everybody does, but if you do then BPMN is, I think, proven as the way to go.

BGB: Now, is there integration between BPMN 2 with XML 2, or XMI 2?

BS: With UML 2 you mean.

BGB: UML, sorry. UML 2 and XMI 2.

BS: There might be. I think there will be. Obviously, those other standards are also very important to OMG who is the owner of BPMN. And so I believe that will happen. The particular way that will happen is I would say under some debate in OMG today because they’re two alternative proposals for BPMN 2.0. One called BPDM and the other, I’m not sure it has a name.

But I think both of them will accomplish a number of things. One is XML schema and XMI representation. Basically, serializations of BPMN and an unambiguous mapping to UML. So I think that will happen as sort of a result of BPMN 2.0. That standard is probably going to be finalized at the end of this year and we would probably see products next year that implement BPMN 2.0

BGB: Okay. Now here’s a question, it’s interesting. I’ve gotten this question from other people as well. You mentioned that BPMN does not model everything you need to model such as information, and business rules, and data. So how do business analysts do that? What do you use? How do you integrate this model? What are they -- what types of models? Are they using the same models? How do you link that to the BPMN to represent the entire picture?

BS: All right. I mean that’s a really good question and really a basic one. And I think, again, let me say you need all that stuff to build a solution. You need it. Nobody’s saying you don’t need it. The question is what is in the standard? What is in this particular standard? And the BPMN doesn’t try to standardize that piece but BPMN is not a standalone tool.

BPMN is one tool within a process-authoring environment. And let me speak to BPM suites because that’s the marketplace I know the best. I won’t say there’s 30 to 50 of those products out there and they all have process modeling, not all BPMN based, but process modeling, executable design, task user interface design, a work list design, business rules, BAM, integration middleware, and adapters. All that stuff.

Okay. All the stuff that you need. Everything I mentioned except for the process modeling is not BPMN and I would say they’re probably are very few standards for those other things. I mean you mentioned BPEL, so that BPEL would standard the process engine and execution language for the tools that use that. But some fraction use that and many do not. So I would say that each BPM suite is essentially proprietary and vendor specific, except for the process modeling part.

In a way, you can say that’s a small part of it but it’s kind of the skeleton, the backbone. It says what happens when. And often that’s all business cares about because that’s really as deep as they want to be involved in it to say what happens when, who does what, if this exception occurs, what happens next. I mean to the developer they might say well, that’s a tiny piece of what I need to do. That’s true.

But that’s the part that business cares about. So the rest of it, yes, you need and IBM is different from Oracle, is different from Lombardi, is different from Appian, or Adobe, or Vitria, or whatever Software AG, whatever product you want to talk about. They all do all those things and they all do them all differently except for the BPMN part.

BGB: Okay. Okay. So you’re just focused on that. We had some other questions on applying decision rules and CEP and that’s also a part when you talk about BAM, etc. but you’re saying that -- what I thought I heard you say was that the BPMS, those suite vendors are providing different tools and many of them proprietary but there aren’t standards that integrate them all yet.

BS: Exactly. So I mean a decision service -- so there’s two ways -- business rules and decisions is important so you have a decisions service where at some point in the process you want to make a decision, say is this -- what kind of customer is this gold, silver, whatever? And so you would have a task in BPMN to say execute this decision.

And then BPMN 2.0 they are actually calling out a new -- they will be calling a new task pipe called the Decision Task to make this decision. You also have event rules, it triggers if something happens, if something goes out of a threshold then fire an event and BPMN does have the notation that lets you say if this even occurs, what to do, interrupt this activity, start this process.

The BPMN does describe ways to hook events into a process or to execute the decision but that has a place to hook in but it doesn’t define internals events of those decisions that would be external to BPMN.

BGB: Okay. Well, thank you very much, Bruce. That’s all we have time for. I would like to thank all of our attendees. Please visit the Software AG booth here that’ll you see on your screen. And those who visit all the booths will be eligible to win a new iPhone. Also, all attendees will receive the BPM for Dummies book. And I hope you’ll all stay on the line. Coming up next at the top of the hour is our panel discussion with Michael Lees, Dale Skeen, Derek Miers and Michael Dortch so please stay tuned and have a great day. Thanks.

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In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

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Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

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Quick Guide: What is BPM?

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Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More