We're Ready to Make an Impact

Scott Francis
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[Note: this is a repost of a guest post on the IBM Impact Blog – thankyou to Shaku Selvakumar for inviting me to share on the blog!]

Why We’re Excited about Impact

Last year we went to IBM Impact and really got a lot out of it.  Even though I probably won’t have the good fortune to get free tickets to the Penn & Teller show for a second year in a row, I’m really looking forward to Impact again this year. As a business partner, Sunday was a great time to catch up with some IBM colleagues, and other partner firms that we occasionally do business with, before all the customers arrive. A couple of the real highlights for me last year – Katie Linendoll was a great host of the main tent sessions. The Caterpillar talk was truly impressive in the depth of their relationship with IBM over 80 years. The Lincoln Trust sessions were great – and got great reviews from the folks who made it to their sessions – I won’t be surprised if their sessions this year are just as good. This year I’m looking forward to Walter Isaacson on day 1.  On Day 2 I’m looking forward to getting IBM’s vision for BPM and ODM.  Specifically Phil Gilbert and Steve Mills – last year those did an impressive tour de force on all of the software assets that IBM brings to bear for its customers (and BPM in particular), and they were my two favorite IBM speakers of the event.  We had a gratifying response to our Keeping the Business in BPM session as well – it was a packed house and the Q&A was the best part.

Trends in BPM

We’re seeing some trends building that we hope we’re in position to capitalize on as a company, but mostly we hope we’re in a position to provide our customers what they need to be successful.  The trend toward cloud computing seems inexorable.  As a result we’ve put our own spin on deploying IBM BPM’s Process Center in the cloud. It has already transformed how we do our own work. Similarly, the influence of mobile on what we do is growing by the day.  We’ve been investing in a mobile product offering that shows where we can go with mobile when we marry it up to real BPM.  We’re announcing our offering at Impact, and we’re calling it BPMobility.  It represents bringing all of our BPM experience to the mobile experience – and should give customers an idea of the kind of engaging, compelling mobile apps they could be putting in the hands of their employees.  Mobile is going to change your business, figure out how to make the change rather than wait for it to happen to you. Finally, the BPM tide is coming in.  Everywhere we look our customers are doing more and more with BPM.  And more customers are approaching us about really deep BPM projects that affect their core business.  We’re investing in growing out team to meet this wave of demand that is coming – I’ve never had more visibility to BPM pipeline projects than I do right now.

So What Is BP3 Doing at Impact?

First, we’re participating in a session on IBM BPM and Mobile Development.  The session title is “2738 What’s New: IBM BPM for Mobile Application Development“.  We’ll be presenting essentially three approaches to mobile- packaged app, custom native app, and custom hybrid mobile app – all made possible by new REST APIs IBM released on version 7.5.1.  We’re going to talk about the different approaches and tradeoffs and what new things like WorkLight bring to the mix. Second, we’re sponsoring a pedestal (E14) at the expo, under the BP Mobility banner. Expect us to be there for the duration, ready to demonstrate a native iPad application that shows just how engaging a mobile BPM app could be.  We’ll also be prepared to talk about the BP Mobility framework that the demo was built with, and the modules that expose BPM essentials to your mobile app efforts.  But what we want most is to hear your stories – what kinds of mobile apps do you need to make your business run more effectively?  How can we help you to connect your field teams to your processes more effectively?  We want to hear it, and we want to understand how we can help you do it. Third, we’re sponsoring a Birds-of-a-Feather session on Mobile BPM (timing TBD).  In it, we’ll reprise our pedestal demonstration and take questions about our approach and where we see things going in mobile, and how that impacts our BPM efforts.

A Time for Reflection, and Launching Something New

We had such a great year in 2011, and there are so many changes unfolding for us in 2012 as we grow, that we’ve embarked on a re-branding effort for BP3.  You’ll see it reflected in our new branding for BP Mobility, and our new BP3 logo.  Our site refresh is coming just days before Impact.  We think the new branding reflects where we’re going with BP3 for the next 5-10 years.  And Impact is a great way to launch a new product and a new brand – so we’ve set our sights on this target for all the work we’ve done over the last year to get ready for this moment.  We can’t wait to unveil. So in this context, it was pretty gratifying to be named an IBM Champion for Websphere.  I have to thank Mihnea Galeteanu for nominating me – something I wasn’t even aware I would qualify for.  Obviously we put a lot of effort into our blogging and into the BPM community, and it is quite nice to be recognized for doing what I enjoy doing in any case.  Here’s to an even better 2012 for IBM BPM, Websphere, and the ecosystem. If you’ve read this far, please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself at Impact – I’d love to meet with as many IBM BPM practitioners and users and customers as possible.