Extending the Reach of Process Management

IBM, Savvion put more power in users' hands.

IBM and Savvion Inc. are demystifying integration of back-office systems by making it easier for business users to manage a broader range of business processes.

IBM this week will announce enhancements to its WebSphere Business Integration Monitor and Modeler tools that give users visibility into events and activities across their company. The upgrades, which lean heavily on technology gained in IBMs acquisition last year of Holosofx Inc., will include new capabilities that enable business users to lay out process models, run simulations and then link into design tools to build integrations.

Version 4.2.4 of both tools includes tighter integration with IBMs WebSphere Business Integration Message Broker to let users model and monitor Broker flow activities. Support for WebSphere Portal in the Monitor and Modeler upgrades enables users to create customizable portlets for different monitor views, said officials, in Armonk, N.Y.

Better integration in the upgrades with the Rational development tools IBM acquired this year allows users to create a model and export it to Rational Rose and Rational XDE. This lets them implement high-level process modeling tools with application design and development tools.

To attract a wider user base, IBM is also unveiling Business Integration WorkBench Entry Edition, which provides basic modeling and simulation capabilities.

"Because of how we automate it, it doesnt always become apparent the steps that go into a process, and sometimes you dont think about the inefficiencies; you just continue to integrate them," said WebSphere user Jim Haney, vice president of IT architecture at Whirlpool Corp., in Benton Harbor, Mich. "When you get a [business user] involved, you begin to streamline processes."

Meanwhile, Savvion, of Santa Clara, Calif., in early October plans to release Version 5.0 of its BusinessManager platform, which will come with five business-focused enhancements to process modeling and simulation; score cards; reports; and prebuilt, industry-specific templates.

Similar to IBMs offering, Savvions BusinessManager 5.0 includes integrated modeling and simulation tools to help business users discover and model a process, simulate an execution, and optimize process flow. At the same time, a process repository stores and manages process models for implementation by IT and for reuse as corporate best practices. Enhancements help managers delineate ownership of each process step.

Using metrics and key process indicators that link to related data sources, Version 5.0 lets business users design score cards and monitor business activity, officials said.