Company officials say the goal is not to compete with partners SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, but to augment white spaces.
Scheer, which has made its living building business process modeling software,
is developing its own execution engine.
But company officials acknowledge that they have a fine line to walk in
creating the execution engine while not endangering the partnerships they have
with some of the world's largest software makers, including SAP,
Oracle, Microsoft and IBM.
The strategy, according to the company's founder and Director August-Wilhelm
Scheer, is not to compete with the likes of SAP,
which is about 60 percent of IDS Scheer's process modeling business, but to
augment the white spaces that SAP and the
others do not cover.
"What we are doing in the moment is working on a system as part of our BPM
[business process modeling] suite, for our own applications for business
process management," Scheer said in an interview with eWEEK at the company's
annual ProcessWorld user conference here. "In this sense, we are also an
applications vendor, and the application is business process management. As an
applications vendor, we need a workflow engine. We are in the moment on the way
to develop this. And there is just a small step also to go to the execution
when we have this workflow engine as part of our BPM suite."
IDS Scheer's software helps companies create process models. It then pushes
those software models down to execution engines in transaction systems such as SAP's
ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, where the model is executed in IT
systems. Because it provides the model and not the engine, IDS Scheer is able
to maintain a neutral partnership with companies that compete fiercely in the
applications and middleware sectors.
In his keynote address at the conference, Wolfram Jost, executive board
member responsible for products at IDS Scheer and head of the Aris product line
that is embedded in SAP and utilized by
Oracle, Microsoft and IBM, said the
company's road map for 2008 is to develop a process execution engine for the
governance of business processes.
"We also have to think what's going further in the next one or two years, so
we decided to develop an Aris governance engine to support the process
execution engine," Jost said. "With this engine, which is execution, we are
able to automate governance [of processes]."
What the development of a governance engine means internally is that Aris
applications will be service-enabled by the end of the year, Jost said. The
idea is that IDS Scheer customers will be able to start a model, publish the
information, optimize the process and then automatically execute the process
models. "There is no transformation," he said. "It's the same repository, the
same process model."
Jost said the key is that IDS Scheer as the process modeling vendor has
access to the Aris suite of applications that include functionality for process
performance, publishing, document management, a rules engine, human interaction
in a workflow, performance measurement and performance management. "It's in the
same repository, the same model," he said. "That means you will have one
integrated stack, based on a Meta model and one
repository. That means you can do modeling, execution, measurement to results
and dash-boarding." IDS Scheer's objective, Jost said, is to have the
first version of the process governance execution engine by the end of this