IBM Launches New Business Process Management Software and Services

IBM announced a set of new Business Process Management (BPM) products and services, including the IBM Business Process Manager, at the IBM Impact 2011 conference in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS -- IBM delivered new software and services aimed at helping organizations transform their business processes to increase efficiency, reduce costs and find new ways to grow their businesses.

At the IBM Impact 2011 conference here, IBM delivered a new unified Business Process Management (BPM) platform, IBM Business Process Manager, which gives clients visibility into key business operations so they can model, automate, monitor and adjust plans instantly. In an interview with eWEEK, Paul Brunet, vice president of WebSphere and BPM product marketing said the new software enables companies to continuously improving business processes, such as those found in product development, customer service and finance departments.

"With the Business Process Manager we're leveraging a lot of the capability we got when we acquired Lombardi," Brunet said

At Impact 2011, IBM announced more than 60 new and enhanced products, several of which related to Business Process Management in one way or another.

"IBM Business Process Manager integrates the simplicity of Lombardi with the power, integration and scalability of WebSphere Process Server," said Marie Wieck, general manager of application and integration middleware in IBM Software Group.

IBM officials said the new software builds on the company's leadership in the BPM space. According to the Gartner market research firm, BPM spending jumped 9.2 percent in 2010, and Gartner ranked IBM as the top vendor with more than double the market share of any other company.

In addition to the IBM Business Process Manager, IBM also introduced a range of new and enhanced products and services designed to help businesses transform their processes to increase efficiencies. These offerings included IBM Blueworks Live, a Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud-based offering that accelerates business processes by allowing better visibility and communication across an organization. The IBM Business Monitor increases an organization's real-time operational visibility through integrated Cognos Business Intelligence analysis and reporting. And the IBM BPM Industry Packs are designed to accelerate and enhance the delivery of standards-based industry solutions for banking, healthcare and telecommunications.

Moreover, with this announcement, IBM officials said the company is focusing on three of the key areas that clients and business leaders worldwide have identified as key to their success: Gaining effective insight into their markets; tuning their business processes to take advantage of these insights; and enhancing their infrastructures to execute these new business processes.

IBM said Nationwide Insurance, one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S., is just one example of how companies are transforming their business processes to boost efficiency.

"Using IBM business process management technology, we have been able to boost the efficiency and accuracy of our financial reporting system, which pulls information from more than 300 independent subsidiaries," said Tammy Craig, Nationwide's vice president of Information Technology, in a statement. "With all data going through one central business rules management system, we have streamlined complex processes, allowing us to focus even greater attention on serving the needs of our customers."

"We look to partner with market leaders and IBM Business Process Manager will help enable process excellence across our organization and for our customers," said Jurgen Rudolph, an IT specialist at Versicherungskammer Bayern Insurance (VKB), a leading German insurer, in a statement.

Lincoln Trust Company, a leading independent U.S. provider of self-directed IRA accounts, uses IBM's BPM software and services and has seen cost savings of between $3 million and $4 million, ongoing annual savings of $325,000, a reduction in document processing times -- in some cases from hours to minutes, increased revenue resulting from better customer service, and reductions in financial risk posed by mistakes

"Our business process transformation has differentiated Lincoln Trust in the marketplace," said Helen Cousins, executive vice president and CIO of Lincoln Trust, in a statement. "Through automation and process simplification, we've leapfrogged larger competitors in terms of our superior ability to on-board and service customers."

Meanwhile, as part its BPM announcement, IBM also announced the creation of a global consulting and services delivery organization that will enable customers to improve the performance of core business processes such as marketing, human resources and finance, as well as industry specific processes such as insurance claims, campaign management and compliance.