Effektif: Spelling it is Harder than Using it
Not too long ago, Tom Baeyens gave demonstrations of Effektif to myself and several other bloggers and analysts. Sandy Kemsley and Neil Ward-Dutton did such a good job covering the release that I didn’t jump on the bandwagon right away.
Sandy covers familiar ground (Tom and I had a similar discussion) regarding inspirations for Effektif:
We talked about his design inspirations: IFTTT and zapier, which handle data mappings transparently and perform the simplest form of integration workflow; Box and Dropbox, which provide easy content sharing; Trello and Asana, which enable micro-collaboration around individual tasks; and Wufoo, which allows anyone to build online forms. As IFTT has demonstrated, smaller-grained services and APIs are available from a number of cloud services to more easily enable integration. If you bring together ideas about workflow, ad hoc tasks, collaboration, content, forms and integration, you have the core of a BPMS; if you’re inspired by innovative startups that specialize in each of those, you have the foundation for a new generation of cloud BPM. All of this with a relatively small seed investment by Signavio and a very lean development team.
Sandy goes on to provide a good walk-through of how you define and run processes. Interestingly, I think Effektif pretty well lays to rest the idea that ACM is different from BPM. For, while it is clearly “BPM”… it is also clearly “ACM”. BPMN isn’t required to represent a process, but it isn’t excluded either.
I’m not sure if any single offering demonstrates this convergence better, and publicly at that, than Effektif.
We also talked about pricing approaches, and while I won’t steal his thunder, it seemed to me that Tom had a good angle on when to switch over from free to paid, without that cheapening or nickel-and-diming the customer experience.
Neil Ward-Dutton’s coverage takes a different angle:
In advance of that, though – is Effektif just another BPM technology in an already crowded marketplace? Let’s face it; many pundits believe the BPM technology marketplace is already pretty mature and has maybe even stagnated. Is there a real opportunity for Effektif?
Neil’s answer is “yes” – the market is crowded, but that there is also a real opportunity for Effektif. He then outlines four reasons why:
- Comparisons to Asana, IFTTT, Zapier and others.
- Tom Baeyens as a BPM guru to be reckoned with
- Clear design goals around the 5 minute experience
- Signavio as a backing investor, with customers to tap into
Alexander Samarin wrote a quick review of Effektif as well, and points out some of the interesting features from process fragments to project management.
I think the most difficult point for Effektif, and the tools it is inspired by, is adoption by mainstream businesses. Not because it is too hard, per se. But even for tools like Zapier, when you get out of startup mode and into enterprise mode (even as a single user within the enterprise) there are rules for what kind of data can be transported from one cloud environment to another. I may not be allowed to use my personal Salesforce credentials to expedite transiting data from Salesforce to some other cloud-based tooling. Enterprise IT gets involve,d HIPAA comes into play.
So how to bridge the gap between the startup or personal users, and the enterprise user? Traditionally, this is where consulting partners come in. And the biggest challenge I see to the business models of such firms is the lack of a business model that supports implementation partners. Implementation partners can help create successful references, build out a pipeline of new customers, and innovate on top of the platform. But there has to be a path to making a living, or those implementation partners won’t show up.
So, if the business model doesn’t throw off enough cash for partners to make a living, these firms will have to invent growth and sustaining business models that don’t require such servicing, support, and evangelism.
Whatever happens, Effektif is another example of innovation, alive and well, in the BPM sphere. There will be naysayers, and proponents, but ultimately it will be up to Tom and company to find the MVP that sells customers on the concept.