BonitaSoft Updates from Last Month: BonitaBPM 6

Scott Francis
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Like Theo and Neil, I’ve been following Bonitasoft for some time now – as well as other open source projects.  The interesting thing about Bonitasoft, to me, is how it skirts the line between a commercial operation and an open source offering.  This type of business model is no longer new, but there’s only one company with that model in BPM, so it is still novel in our space.  I’m a little bit late to the commentary here, but I’ve been meaning to publish this post for a while, and no time like the present.

From Theo’s blog, Where the open source rubber hits the BPM road:

The product line has now been renamed as BonitaBPM with a new tagline of “be efficient” and this runs with the simulation capabilities that they’ve aligned with Lean and Six Sigma. Release 6 represents the biggest upgrade to the suite in 3 years. Mac made the definitive statement that ‘they are a BPMS, not a business application platform’ and went insofar as to say that eventually BPM will eat Case Management. Contentious indeed.

One of the interesting bullet points was the claim that BonitaBPM 6 runs 4x faster than the previous version.  That’s an impressive improvement in performance.  Another was the addition of ad-hoc “subtasks” which can be added to an instance on the fly by a user.  A good first step toward adding more case management style features to a BPM Suite.

Neil Ward-Dutton reports that it is a completely new runtime engine (Completely new in a version 6 product always worries me a bit, but hopefully they’ve had time to work out the kinks):

Bonita|BPM 6 represents a substantial rewrite of the platform and tooling – something that the company didn’t undertake lightly. There’s a completely new runtime engine that Bonitasoft claims is significantly faster (I think 4x was mentioned, but I need to double-check that). But just as importantly, the new engine’s service-based architecture means that it’s possible to do quite a lot of reconfiguration of an application without having to redeploy it, or restart any servers – you can make organisational model and connector changes, for example.

Also, reported by both of them:

As Theo says, the Bonita project has now had well over 2m downloads, and there are over 600 customers paying Bonitasoft for enterprise subscriptions. I don’t have revenue figures to hand, but I do know it signed around 900 contracts in 2012; and of the 550 customers it had at the start of 2013, nearly half of these were new customers in 2012.

Very curious how customers translate to revenue for Bonitasoft.  I don’t know how Bonitasoft charges for support, service, etc. – and I haven’t seen any published numbers from them yet.

They’re the leader, commercially speaking, in open source BPM.  They claim to be the best-capitalized BPM startup (I don’t know how their funding compares to Appian’s however), and they have a mission that includes making BPM business-friendly enough to be adopted by the business.   All of these are ingredients that should keep things exciting in the BPM space.

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