Thoughts from #bpmNEXT Day 1

Scott Francis
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[Author’s note: first draft I seem to have replaced bpmNEXT with BPMCAMP – which is the reason you should not write blog posts after midnight at a conference, as I had some planning activities for our own BPMCAMP on my mind.  bpmNEXT has been awesome so far, more to come. ]

bpmNEXT is now finished with day 2.  But these are my thoughts from Day 1. Because there’s just too much to cover to keep up with it, as Sandy seems to be able to do!

Of course, Day 1 really started the day before, when a steady rotation of arrivals kept a table warm in the restaurant off of the main lobby.  It was great to catch up with old friends.

In the morning, I walked down to Handlebar Coffee Roasters, highly recommended.

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Bruce Silver kicked off the day with an intro, and reminding people what makes bpmNEXT different.  There are the top analysts in the audience, but also top vendors, and CEOs and CTOs as well.  The experts in BPM are right here. Bruce tries, as always, to foster sharing and cooperation rather than competition.  He encouraged everyone to stay true to core values of BPM – embracing continual change, and business empowerment.

As Sandy says in her blog:

Hearing Bruce talk about the future to BPM in the context of the presentations to be given here over the next couple of days makes you realize just how much thought goes into the bpmNEXT program, and selecting presenters that provide maximum value. If this fascinates you, you should consider being here next year, as an attendee or a presenter.

Nathaniel Palmer was up next: BPM in 5 years.  He predicts a future of goal-oriented, data driven and adaptive processes.  And robots (both virtual and physical).  He used examples like Amazon’s warehouse with Kiva robots – and how they are goal oriented / seeking rather than completely planned ahead.  The challenges presented?

  • the Rules
  • the Relationships, and
  • The Robots.  yes, robots.

There were visions of swarming goal-seeking robots swimming in my head.  And a later presentation also focused on robotics (by a chief robotics officer, no less).  There does seem to be a sense that robots will be unabashedly good, but I couldn’t help but think we’ve seen a few movies where lots of robots running everything goes badly, and we see small failures in our own lives all the time.  Are we going to get swarms of graceful robots getting amazing things done, or will we get cat in a shark-suit on a Roomba?

 After Nathaniel, Clay Richardson talked about BPM and the Age of the customer. I got a couple of pictures of Clay holding forth:

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 Clay was singing to the choir for those of us from BP3.  He used examples like banking to make his point about customer service – which reminded me of what a keynote speaker at Interconnect had said earlier this year – that people need banking, not banks. So they had better focus on their customer experience.

Clay’s big call-out to the vendors was that so far, BPM hasn’t had a lot to say about customer experience, and needed to find a lever to get into that conversation with customers.  I think his thesis was that this was something that would start happening soon.  But I think the underlying issue is that many vendors in BPM – and by this I’m thinking mostly consulting vendors, who often can advise customers on the processes to tackle) don’t attack customer experience because they don’t provide a great customer experience on their own.  At BP3 we’re being invited to customer experience conversations by our customers because we ARE delivering that customer service.  If you’re already doing it yourself, it is instant credibility when a customer asks for your help.

More to come on the rest of the day 1 sessions…