Bruce’s IBM BPM Update

Scott Francis
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Although Bruce takes the update much too seriously… he has a nice writeup of the event

The core values instilled by the Lombardi takeover of IBM BPM – simplified portfolio, business-user focus, unified look and feel, team collaboration, social computing, “playback”-oriented iterative design, process-to-program, and large-scale BPM governance – remain firmly rooted, but some of the Cultural Revolution rigidity has dissipated.

Good to hear more evidence that the core values are still working their magic in the BPM and ODM portfolio.  Bruce pointed out a few additional items of note (to me):

BlueworksLive seems to be achieving its objective of introducing a culture of BPM to business users.

We’ve been noticing the same, sporadically, with customers we’ve talked to. If they give it a chance, they seem to really take to BlueworksLive as a way to capture processes and discuss (argue?) them. I think IBM should be looking at ways to make BlueworksLive even less expensive because it really does evangelize BPM well.

Through a technical initiative they call “coaches everywhere,” the technology behind BPM human tasks is being leveraged to BPM-enable other IBM products, such as MDM and ODM “decision apps”, as well as other parts of the BPM offering, such as the process portal and Process Designer.

Being more familiar with the technical approach underneath this initiative, Bruce has it basically right – the UI widgets are more reusable, and tie object data and screen and behavior together in more re-usable components.  IBM BPM v8 customers are already experiencing this.

BPM is expanding its access to content stored in any CMIS repository […] Once you have that, remind me again why I need a separate platform for content-centric BPM?

You don’t…!

Bruce concludes:

Overall, I give IBM top marks for the event, particularly in the access provided to key people in development, product management, and marketing, and their willingness to talk openly about what they are doing.  Unlike their competitors, IBM seems to be focusing less on gee-whiz bells and whistles and more on capabilities to make BPM a central part of their customers’ enterprise business fabric.

I have to agree with Bruce’s assessment.  Not that they don’t do any bells and whistles, but even when they do the focus stays squarely on how it affects the core job of BPM when they talk to us about it.  The biggest change Lombardi seems to have wrought is where IBM is looking for requirements – not in the bowels of engineering but out there in the world outside the four walls of IBM – customers and partners.  Good signs that IBM is opening up access to key people – and why not show off one of your strengths.

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