A raft of business process management upgrades from IDS Scheer AG, Intalio Inc. and IBM should aid corporations looking to map and integrate business processes at the department level.
IDS Scheer, of Saarbrücken, Germany, and Intalio, of San Mateo, Calif., next month will announce new versions of their respective BPM software suites. Separately, IBM last week announced the commercialization of BPM capabilities it gained with its acquisition of Holosofx Inc. in September. The Armonk, N.Y., company next year will add those capabilities to its WebSphere integration offerings.
BPM software in the ideal state lets users model business processes with graphical tools, map improved processes and integrate those new processes across existing enterprise applications. But few tools live up to that promise in every situation. By modeling and mapping at the department level, enterprises can move the process closer to the end users who are most familiar with the processes.
IDS Scheers Aris 6 Collaborative Business Suite has four major enhancements, including Matrix Modeler, which allows companies to pull out business processes from a model to be analyzed, modified or optimized. The idea is that the process, from a departmental, enterprise, supplier or partner level, can be plugged in to any matrix for study and inserted back into the model to determine performance gains.
In addition, IDS Scheer will announce technical integration with BPM software from Intalio and ArchStyler Corp. With the partnerships, the Aris 6.0 process modeling environment becomes part of the software infrastructure from each vendor.
John Wheeler, senior vice president and CIO at Nova Chemicals Inc. and an Aris user, has used Microsoft Corp.s Visio and even whiteboards to document processes but found them to be merely one-use options.
"Aris is a lot deeper. It allows you to visualize your process and flows; it provides a structure and approach to looking at an organization," said Wheeler, in Pittsburgh. "If you can tie [the model] to your IT tools, to your organization, to the data involved and to key performance indicators, its a much more fulsome approach."
Separately, Intalio said it hopes to ease the implementation phase of BPM with its forthcoming Intalio/n3. The platform can import BPM models and graphically map them to the relevant systems in an enterprises back office, said Ismael Ghalimi, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Intalio. "There is no code written in order to transform those models," Ghalimi said.
The platform does this by "introspecting" the back-end system to discover on the fly the applicable APIs. It then wraps them as XML interfaces. A graphical XML-to-XML mapping tool enables users to bind APIs together.
Intalio is also announcing Version 2.0 of its Business Process Management System platform, which will bring in two new components: Italio n3/Director brings a workflow element to process management, and Intalio n3/Designer enhances the way users can model executable processes.
For its part, IBM last week announced the expansion of its WebSphere Business Integration portfolio with the introduction of three products. One of them, Holosofx Workbench, helps business managers and analysts model, analyze, simulate and validate business processes.
Within the first half of next year, IBM will further integrate the products into its integration portfolio and rename the three products rolled out last week.