Teasers for BPM in the Cloud

Scott Francis
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Dennis Byron has a post up on the BPM in Action blog about technology for BPM in the Cloud, in which Dennis even drops the bomb that he is now convinced by his research (converted, as he put it) into the opinion that the cloud is not just SaaS redux.  There are a couple of good links off of this article for background reading as well… There’s an even more amusing read from Forrester’s BPM Blog by Robert Richardson.  He notes just how many cloud announcements (or SaaS announcements – unlike Dennis, he doesn’t clearly delineate which is which in his post).  The announcements are proof that not only is BPM a robust market, but that there will be no shortage of either new entrants, rebranded entrants, or simply companies that hadn’t hit my radar before.  He points out that Singularity, Cordys, IBM, Vitria, Appian, and Software AG have all put out SaaS or Cloud announcements for their BPM software.  If you add in Lomardi’s recent announcement of the Spring 2009 Blueprint Release, you’ve got yet another announcement, all in roughly 2 months. I have to admit that for me, some of these companies have a lot to prove before I believe the press releases (I need to see it to believe it) because of past history of either management or the company.  Some companies have a history of promising without delivering in this space.  Appian and Lombardi have both BPM credibility and good SaaS credibility due to their respective offerings (Vitria, for example, is clearly more known for integration, and so is Software AG, and for that matter IBM).  Alignspace is still in beta (I’ve applied but you can’t just “get in”), but is the most “BPM-like” thing I’ve seen from Software AG yet. I think its a good play for most of these firms, at least from a marketing point of view (not knowing how much their investing I can’t evaluate whether it is a good R&D investment): firstly, they potentially get to change the conversation to one centered on the SaaS-ness of the offering, rather than the BPM-ness of the offering; and secondly, they get a round of press about the SaaS or Cloud aspects of what they’re doing rather than just the BPM buzzword which is, no doubt, a little harder to excite journalists and bloggers with!