Neil Ward-Dutton on IBM BPM v8

Scott Francis
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Neil Ward-Dutton of MWD Advisors weighs in on Impact and IBM BPM v8.  I’ll share a few of my thoughts here as well…

So it’s a couple of weeks now since IMPACT (at least for me – I was only there for 48 hours) and the second day was when things got interesting. Whereas Day 1 ranged across a variety of topics – even featuring the unveiling of a PureApplication System box on stage (I can’t remember if dry ice was involved, but for the full ’80s effect there should certainly have been) – Day 2′s keynote focused exclusively on ‘Process Innovation’.

Not sure if it was a fog machine or dry ice… but it wasn’t your imagination.  The unveiling of the black PureSystem box reminded me a bit of the monolith in 2001, or Stonehenge from Spinal Tap… It is just hard to unveil a server and make it look cool!  I just watched a video of a helicopter unveiling recently – lots of cool graphics and video leading up to the unveiling – but once the curtain came up it was… a helicopter.  They’re not quite as interesting when they’re not moving.

This past year IBM’s Phil Gilbert has been focused on further simplifying and integrating IBM’s portfolio here, and his keynote (and other sessions at IMPACT) showcased the work that’s been done – largely in v8 of Business Process Manager, but also in version 8 of WebSphere Operational Decision Management.

I think the focus on simplification is *exactly* what IBM needed.  I was pleased to see IBM apply the same approach to ODM as they did to BPM.  Neil listed a few highlights that precede their in-depth June report, the key items that jumped out to me were the focus on collaborative work (excellent summation), and the focus on mobile:

Foundation for mobile process work. A published REST API for the BPM runtime environment makes it relatively straightforward to create custom native mobile applications for carrying out tasks in the context of processes.

I think most people thought Worklight was the key enabler of Mobile for BPM – but the foundational support actually starts with a good REST API from the BPM product – without which, Worklight and all other mobile technologies would be unable to leverage BPM sufficiently.  This is what led BP3 to produce the BP Mobility framework – because our customers are going to need help filling in the white space between BPM and Mobile and how they play together, and that’s where BP3’s expertise comes to bear.