Ok, so does that boil down to your own
internal development of an execution environment?
I wouldn't say it's really an execution engine. What we are doing in the
moment is working on a system as a part of our BPM suite, for our own
applications for business process management. 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
[layer] when we have this workflow engine as part of our BPM suite, and we can
use it for customer situations. If the customer says we have already modeled
many, many processes with ARIS, and there
are some that are not supported with SAP or
Oracle or others, then, OK, we can do a lean generation of this application and
all the functionality of our BPM suite is available for this application. OK,
this is our advantage.
If you are [providing] the process mapping
for Oracle's Fusion, for Microsoft, for SAP,
does it at some point enable customers to have interoperability between
services, based on the ARIS
process repository? Do you play that critical role, or do you plan to play that
role in the future?
Yes, we do it already. We have big customers from the automotive industry and
others, where they use processes on top of our business process management and
they use ARIS; then we have IBM
with WebSphere and others, and also SAP for
the applications around the definition of the processes, and we have interfaces
for IBM for the development tools of IBM
and also to SAP, so we have exactly this
kind of [thing] architected and they use it for their internal understanding of
To clarify, I ask
that question in the context of SOA, and the goals of SOA for interoperable processes...
This is not our problem. We could do it. We have this BPEL
[Business Process Execution Language] interface, so we could go with BPEL to IBM
and to SAP. But the question you should ask
to IBM and to SAP
is whether they open their SOA architecture and make their services
interoperable. That is the point. In this case, the advantage, when it is
possible, would be on the side of IBM-that IBM
would call and assemble SAP services. But
this is more a problem between these vendors-it's not our problem. From our
perspective it's not the point. We have these standardized interfaces, we go to
them. But how these software vendors really will open their services that they
can work together-this is the point in the moment. I think it's not really
SAP talks about having the most services
available of any vendor. You're saying those services aren't really open to
I am not saying they are not open, but it is not that easy
that they can be used by other platforms. The other thing is, [whether or not]
the user really wants it, that he will take services from different vendors,
because at the end of the day he has to follow compliance and governance
ideals. And who, at the end of the day, would guarantee the solution that is
assembled from different vendors? Will it really have a quality seal on it,
that somebody guarantees the solution as a whole?
When you compare it with other developments, it is
comparable 10 years ago with the database discussion. At that time all the
databases were proprietary. IBM had its own
database and the customers didn't want any longer these proprietary systems.
Then the discussion came up that OpenSQL as an interface [might be a better
option]. But at the end of the day the new openness was Oracle. Everybody took
Oracle and the user didn't want to mix different databases, even when they were
based on the same standard, SQL. Because when they mixed databases, they had
different education and training requirements for the people, so there was a
higher degree of complexity.
At the end of the day I think that companies will not pick
services from different companies and from the Internet, because then they don't
know if there are guarantees for the development and maintenance [of composite
applications]. I think the user will ask for simple solutions.