IDS Scheer's Place in the Software World

Dr. August-Wilhelm Scheer puts his company, IDS Scheer, at the center of the software world.

Maybe IDS Scheer is the hidden jewel of the software world. Maybe it is the hidden champion of the overall enterprise (and service-oriented architecture) infrastructure. Maybe it is not a bad thing to have more on the back than you have on the front.

So says Dr. August-Wilhelm Scheer, founder, chairman and chief technology advisor of IDS Scheer, a business process modeling software and services company based in Saarbr??cken, Germany. Scheer developed the ARIS concept at the Institut f??r Wirtschaftsinformatik (Institute for Information Systems), followed by the ARIS software, which helps diagram business processes. The process documents are created in ARISand then turned over to another vendor-IDS Scheer has partnerships with SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Tibco Software and Hewlett-Packard, among others-for translation into IT systems. Yet few people actually know the company's name.

During a recent conversation with eWEEK Senior Writer Renee Boucher Ferguson at IDS Scheer's ProcessWorld user conference Feb. 13 to 15 in Orlando, Fla., Scheer made a case for his company's place at the center of the software world.

Maybe we are the hidden champion. Maybe it is not a bad thing to have more on the back than you have on the front. But you are right; we have big customers, big names, like Boeing. For a small company that's not bad to have these customers. But in many cases we are not as well known as we wish. That's true. Also in some cases the customers do not really understand how these partnerships with these big companies work. Do we support each other, or is there overlap between them, or is there some competition between them? So sometimes it's very difficult for the customers to understand.

But our position is very clear. That we do not go to the level of execution in the sense that we want to run our business software like SAP or like Oracle. Our philosophy is to be on top of these systems. Our BPM [business process modeling] suite helps customers to optimize the BPM process and then they can implement the processes with these just-mentioned software packages.

On the other hand with our BPM suite we see that we more and more [we must] go to the execution layer, but in a different sense. You see many customers have some issues which are not covered by SAP, which are not covered by Oracle, and so I think in the future-the future is not in the next month, maybe in a year-it will be possible that we can directly use our process models for deriving software based on SOA architectures so that you can directly, from our models, also derive the execution layer for very lean applications. I think this is our chance.

Is it the partnership with E2E or another vendor that will get you to the point of having an execution engine, or are you developing internally?

There are several of our partners with which we have this link to the execution layer. There are workflow vendors like Tibco and others, and also E2E, this is another solution. And they have understood the philosophy to bring the process models alive-that's very good and we partner with them. But for specific applications we are also free to follow our own way. We will not compete directly with them but we have to think about our own strategy, our own architecture.