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OperationIT’s Business Process Management (BPM)

OperationIT’s Business Process Management (BPM)

OperationIT’s Business Process Management (BPM) is a structured approach that models an enterprise's human and machine tasks and the interactions between them as processes. BPM software provides users with a dashboard interface that offers a high-level view of the operation that typically crosses departmental boundaries. The dashboard integrates with all the applications that perform processes as well as related databases. It can be used to trigger the start of a unit of work, and it provides a single interface to the end user. Evolving from document management, workflow and enterprise application integration (EAI), a BPM system can monitor and analyze tasks in real time and set off alerts when specified limits are exceeded or a response is not received within a specified time. It can also automate the often ad hoc, human-centric processes associated with responding to these alerts. A BPM system may comprise a variety of independent packages or a comprehensive business process management suite (BPMS), which includes tools for modeling and analysis, application integration, business rules, business intelligence (BI), activity monitoring and optimization. Advanced BPMSs provide a development tool for creating forms-based applications, which are often the start of many business processes. The most leading-edge BPMSs provide enterprise architecture and full-scale enterprise modeling capabilities that help align strategy with process execution. Sophisticated BMP suites provide a graphical tool for designing the processes and workflow.

BPM differs from business process re-engineering, a management approach, in that it does not aim at one-off revolutionary changes to business processes, but at their continuous evolution. In addition, BPM usually combines management methods with information technology.

OperationIT’s activities that constitute business process management can be grouped into five categories: Process Design, Process Modeling, Process Execution, Process Monitoring, and Process Optimization. Integrated suites for enterprise application integration (EAI) and business process management (BPM) are empowering non-technical, business-level users with the tools to develop composite applications. The modeling tools in EAI/BPM suites are taking advantage of the maturation of Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) or Business Process Modeling Language (BPML) specifications to generate much, if not all, of the production code. The ability to use EAI/BPM modeling tools to define and implement new business processes reflects a new level of maturity in service-oriented architecture (SOA) development.

OperationIT’s BMP experts work the products of major BPM vendors—Appian, BEA Systems, Cordys, EMC (ProActivity), Global360, HandySoft, IBM, IDS Scheer, Lombardi Software, Metastorm, Pegasystems, Savvion, Tibco Software and Ultimus—that offer suites that include modelers, asset managers, business rules engines, and process management and deployment tools. Vendors like Casewise offer dedicated modeling tools. OperationIT also recognized that several vendors, such as Siemens Medical Solutions, provide BPM-based management tools for niches like health care.

Through enterprise application integration (EAI) tools and enterprise service bus (ESB) tools, such as those from BEA, Tibco and WebMethods, OperationIT personnel increasingly deliver its BPM services. Another class of related tools focuses more narrowly on automating document and workflow processes. Major vendors in this class include Adobe Systems, EMC (Documentum), IBM (FileNet) and Interwoven.