Oracle is announcing Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g, a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware that combines business-process administration and collaboration tools onto a single platform. The company touts the offering's combination of middleware platform and social networking as an industry first, although its rivals have been engaged in integrating a "social" aspect into business software for some time.
"Today, critical business processes span disparate systems across the enterprise, making it difficult to model, monitor or manage them," David Shaffer, vice president of product management for Oracle Fusion Middleware, wrote in a July 14 statement. "Built on a unified process foundation, Oracle business Process Management Suite 11g enables organizations to engage both businesses and IT users more easily in the management of core business processes and simplify the complete business process lifecycle. Now, businesses can innovate more easily and improve the processes that are critical to their organizations."
Business Process Management 11g includes a "unified process engine" for executing BPEL and BPMN processes, as well as human workflow and rules, and allows for end-to-end management of business processes. It also features BPM Studio, for role-based modeling and design, as well as a Process Composter for Web-based process modeling and deployment, as well as capabilities for process analysis and reporting.
Oracle executives have highlighted the platform's "user-centric" design, with tools tailor-fitted to the requirements of its users and administrators; in addition, its social components allow users to collaborate through wikis and blogs, establish customized "team spaces," and dynamically add and delegate to new team participants.
Oracle has maintained a steady drumbeat of new releases throughout 2010, part of the company's larger plan to become the largest and most mission-critical IT systems vendor in the world. On June 8, Oracle announced the availability of Oracle Enterprise Content Management Suite 11g, also a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware, which combines a number of the company's backend offerings, including process and records management, into a complete system. The platform is designed to be a scalable solution for image, Web, document and records administration.
That followed on the heels of the company's April 22 rollout of Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g, a platform for consolidating various systems management and support tools with an integrated interface. Enterprise Manager 11g includes increased support for the management of Fusion Middleware 11g, with provision for large-scale SOA Suite and WebLogic Server environments, as well as Database 11g Release 2. It leverages Oracle's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, by allowing an IT administrator to manage the life cycle of physical and virtual Sun environments and Solaris containers.
"We've already beaten IBM in software ... Now we want to beat them in systems," Oracle CEO and founder Larry Ellison told an audience during a September 2009 appearance at the Churchill Club in San Jose, Calif. "We have a deep interest in the systems business. Great systems vendors ship a hardware-software combination that allows them to be instrumental in the acceleration of the Internet."