Upgrades Extend BPM to New Users

IBM and Intalio ease process management.

IBM and Intalio Inc. each are readying product upgrades designed to make it easier to put business process modeling and management tools into the hands of less experienced users.

IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., this fall will roll out software updates that more tightly integrate the Modeler and Monitor tool components of its WebSphere Business Integration suite. This will enable some of the same common data sets used to create and monitor processes to be reused; it will also let end users jump between development and process-management environments.

A business analyst using the Modeler upgrade can set down key attributes to run "what-if" scenarios and then determine what to monitor.

To aid business-process monitoring, IBM is using model-driven development technology from its Rational Software Corp. acquisition to extend its process dashboard. With a dashboard that incorporates business-process integration across the range of activities from modeling to management to monitoring, users can apply analytics to more intelligently build future integrations, officials said.

Separately, Intalio looks to solve user interface, standards implementation and data-mapping issues with Version 2.5 of its Intalio/n3 business-process management platform, code-named Neo.

The Director and Designer modules in Neo will provide a simplified user interface, said Intalio officials, in San Mateo, Calif. Director will be enhanced with a new library of about 35 to 40 so-called Widgets that aggregate the building blocks of a user interface, making it easier for users to implement form elements and data tables. Designers user interface will get a Windows XP look and feel.

On the process-monitoring side, Intalio has added an Audit Trail Interface that connects its process server to business intelligence tools. Intalio also is adding a user interface for real-time monitoring that includes about 25 pre-built charts.

"Weve been looking for [Intalios Designer tool] to be a bit more user-friendly," said Terry Williams, senior program manager at LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier plc. The Dayton, Ohio, company uses n3 to manage business processes involving order taking, verification and fulfillment. "We knew over a period of time it would become more intuitive," said Williams.