Business process management technology is continuing to evolve, with new functionality in the works from pure-play vendors Fuego Inc., HandySoft Global Corp. and IDS Scheer AG.
Fuego is working on new technology, dubbed Neural Network, which will enable the companys BPM engine to suggest certain behaviors within a business process. Neural Network, expected in beta format in November with a full release next spring, uses a logic engine to optimize long-running processes, giving users higher-level BPM capabilities, Fuego officials said.
"Our idea is that if you have these processes running for a long time and 95 percent of the time a person makes the same decision, do you want it to become automatic?" said John Lauck, CEO of Fuego. "Were looking at the next stage. I dont know in 2006 how many customers will actually use it, but we believe it will be one of those advantages for us down the road."
Neural Network works through a decision activity capability that lets users define a set of variables that can be analyzed for process improvement, according to Rick Mattock, vice president of product strategy at Fuego, in Plano, Texas. Neural Network takes that set of variables and builds a learning activity set that can monitor decisions and suggest behavior to improve the process.
"For BPM as Fuego defines it, with this layer we are going to be able to see things, to have objective information about the operations of a company similar to, or on the same level as, information you get from financial systems," said Mattock.
For Robert Salazar, vice president of process management at First Horizon Home Loans Corp., in Irving, Texas, the Neural Network technology is intriguing but not essential at this point.
"[BPM vendors] have all built capabilities to build simulation so you can try to get an answer before you do the work. Neural Network is just the next level," said Salazar, who is using Fuegos BPM engine to automate his companys processes. "The key is having the understanding of what the process is, understanding how the process is performing and understanding the opportunities."
HandySoft, based in Vienna, Va., will announce this week interoperability of its BizFlow BPM engine with ILog Inc.s JRules via Web services. Through the integration, users will have the ability to leverage ILogs business rules engine within BizFlow to create and edit policies that manage business processes.
IDS Scheer, of Saarbrücken, Germany, meanwhile, released last month the Web-enabled version of its BPM platform, ARIS 7.0. The upgrade provides distributed organizations with the capability to manage processes from anywhere there is access to a Web browser.