Other Interesting Moments from #bpmNEXT

Scott Francis
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bpmNEXTWhile I want to avoid writing a blog post about everything at bpmNEXT, it is hard to resist commenting on a few things:

The prize for “worked for the most vendors presenting.” Looks like John Reynolds and George Barlow are in the running for this prize.  John presented on behalf of Kofax, which had just been acquired by Lexmark (does that count as two vendors?) and he presented just prior to IBM’s team… and both were presenting on capture-to-process scenarios… Meanwhile, George Barlow was there with Trisotech, and would be in the running if Appian has also presented.

Separation of Church and State.  Bonitasoft’s CEO Miguel Valdes talked about separation of UI and process.  It was a good presentation and reflects norms of MVC and other UI isolation paradigms. But it runs the risk of running afoul of one of the bits of secret sauce for BPM: integrated user interface with process.  Also: seems to me that we need to evaluate getting Brazos Portal and BrazosOpen running against Bonitasoft.

CMMN and DMN are making inroads. We had our first real demonstrations of a BPM vendor supporting CMMN well (Camunda), and of the first BPM vendor really supporting DMN well (Signavio).  I’d really be curious as to IBM, Pega, and other rules vendors’ plans to support DMN.  It seems that IBM is moving to support CMMN as well, but no word yet from Pega nor from Appian.

Some people are afraid to run a demo. We once again saw a video in place of a demo.  Only one vendor pulled this stunt this year.  Oracle, you know better.  A video is a worthwhile backup plan to a failed demo – but it should never be plan B for an audience like this.  I’m not sure whether it is worse to run a video or to not demo at all, but I’m going to go with not demo’ing being worse.

Healthcare is a big focus from here on out. Lots of the examples were healthcare.  In the peanut gallery we were discussing if there would ever be a future world where doctors have “agents” that negotiate rule sets for them.  Maybe, but only if that future world makes that technology so amazing that it is tantamount to magic. Lots of the scenarios weren’t really realistic in healthcare, but at least it is a use case that we can understand and relate to.

Why does this software exist?  When presenting, more of the presenters need to explain not just what their software does, but why it even exists in the first place.  This is the motivational story behind your software, product, or feature.  Without that context, we don’t know why we should care.

Best line for “who we are”: Living Systems/WhiteStein – “we’re not BPM guys looking to apply artificial intelligence, we’re Artificial Intelligence guys that see BPM as a path to business alignment.”  What a great statement.

Focus.  Tim Stephenson, after showing a process-for-Wordpress demonstration, quizzed about making his technique more generalizable, did a great job of gently suggesting that he solve the first problem before solving the 1000th problem…

Robots, Agents, and AI, oh my.  Yep, between SAP’s IoT, W4’s IoT+BPMN, Nathaniel Palmer’s robots, Jim Sinur’s intelligent agents, Keith Swenson’s agents, IBM’s Watson, and Whitestein’s goal-seeking intelligence, we were about as smart as you can get.  Not to worry – none of them had figured out how to eliminate people from business process yet… though Watson seems closest to making a direct appeal to just replacing people with AI.

All good stuff. Can’t wait til next year!

 

 

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