Jenny Victor

Jenny Victor
Jenny leads the Business Process Management product marketing for OpenText. including messaging, go-to-market, thought leadership, and product launches for OpenText Process Suite.

Is Your Application Development Getting Lost in Translation?

application development

More and more companies are changing their approach to application development, focusing instead on the information they need to create and manage instead of on the business process itself. Which makes sense, as people typically ask themselves what needs to happen, before they determine how it should happen. (You wouldn’t decide how you were going to get to a particular store, if you didn’t yet know what you wanted to buy..…….would you?) The biggest challenge with this situation is that the business experts who determine what is needed, rarely speak the same ‘language’ as the IT specialists, who figure out how to make it happen. Unfortunately, this ‘lost in translation’ scenario typically leads to significant delays during the development and deployment of new process or case applications. Bringing these key stakeholders together and providing them with a common language has long been a goal for BPM solutions, and now it is a reality, with an application development environment that meets both of their needs. Process Suite 16 removes this ‘language’ barrier, providing an intuitive application development approach that enables business experts to directly engage in development effort via a drag and drop user interface. And when IT support is required, developers work in the same environment as the business experts, streamlining communication and speeding the time and success of application delivery. OpenText has enabled this business process collaboration with an innovative, low-code application development approach that delivers case management capabilities. It supports ‘information-driven’ design, enabling the person building the application to start with the information or asset that needs to be managed, instead of how the process needs to flow. By enabling business experts, who prefer this approach, to be directly involved in the development of the application, there are fewer communication errors throughout the development process – which means less time and fewer resources are wasted. And by keeping the amount of complex (and expensive) code to a minimum, overall application costs are reduced. The result is an application development platform that speeds the time-to-market for new applications, simplifies the efforts required to modify and update processes, allows for experimentation and creates a common language that can be ‘spoken’ by both business and IT. Interested in learning more about how Process Suite 16 can help keep your application development from getting lost in translation? Read more about entity modeling in this whitepaper from Digital Clarity Group.

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Transforming Your Business Processes

business processes

Many people think of digital transformation as nothing more than the act of going paperless. However, at OpenText, we believe it is much more than this. In fact, we consider digital transformation to be ongoing business processes – a journey instead of a destination. Going digital radically redefines how we innovate, regardless of industry. It accelerates the pace and scale of a business, and creates opportunities for new ecosystems to thrive. With this in mind, business processes need to do more, use more and change more. They need to better adapt to manage routine and non-routine work, and support structured and unstructured processes. And all these processes require content, from forms and documents to images and many other types of media. As this content moves through the business via various processes, the two – content and processes – need to be tightly connected. This is where OpenText™ Process Suite 16 together with enterprise content management (ECM) and customer experience management (CEM) delivers the solutions that support digital transformation. With Release 16, Process Suite supports tight integration between content and processes to connect the right person, system or thing with the content it needs – at the right time. We call this ‘information-driven’ design: it focuses on how your information assets need to be managed and then allows you to build the right processes to manage them. By connecting your business processes with your content, you’re able to create context: your users can stay in the flow of work, uploading and sharing content as needed while the content management transparently happens behind the scenes, applying metadata to content, enriching its contextual value. This enhances your business processes and gives you the opportunity to ensure the right information is acted on at the right step in the process, providing the context so that action can be taken to move forward. To learn more about how OpenText Process Suite 16 and how it can help you create context for your business process, check out the Process Suite Executive Overview.

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Introducing Process Suite 16

Process Suite 16

Real-world business processes can be messy, inefficient and downright painful – we know! We have listened to your feedback, identified your key pain points, and now, are pleased to announce the solution to your business process problems: OpenText™ Process Suite 16. Our new OpenText Process Suite 16 Platform (Process Platform) delivers the power and flexibility you need to digitize, automate and integrate your business processes across functions, systems, machines, and clouds. Process Platform facilitates the process-flow of information throughout your business in human-to-human, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions. And most importantly, these processes can be either structured or unstructured – providing you with the ultimate control to optimize and expand your business performance. The Process Suite 16 Platform was built to simplify the effort it takes to get to a business solution. At a high level, here are some of the new features that will help businesses achieve their desired business outcomes more quickly and easily: One Platform, Two Approaches: Most processes that span a business are at times structured (process), and at other times ad hoc (case). Process Suite 16 enables you to use a single system to easily manage these processes as they transition from structured to case and back again, which better supports the reality of your day-to-day business. Simplified Application Development: Process Suite 16 introduces a new low-code application development approach that provides an alternative to process-centric design. Instead of following a process-driven design, you can build a process application based on how the information needs to be processed. This is more intuitive for business experts and enables them to be directly involved in development. When IT support is required, developers work within the same environment to streamline communication and speed the time and success of delivery. Content Rich Processes: Content is managed with processes, and processes need content – whether it’s a form, document, media or voice file. Process Suite 16 allows you to bring everything together (including both structured and unstructured processes) easily, effectively and at the right time, which increases productivity within and across your teams and processes. Greater Integration Capabilities: Integrations that deepen the information exchange between Process Suite and OpenText Content, Analytics and Experience Suites as well as with external systems and applications. OpenText Process Suite 16 also includes many other new features including improved user experience, new pre-built applications and new mobile app development support. Visit Process Intelligence or read the Process Suite 16 Executive Brief to find out more.

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Transcending Application Creation

BPM capabilities have gone through a radical transformation as a result of Case and Dynamic Case Management (DCM) concepts. The Case type concepts were intended to help people wrap their heads around the business applicability of BPM which was desperately needed since “core BPM” is often considered to be nothing more than another development type language. The natural outcome has been millions of transient (short, specific, temporary) BPM transactions; such as order processing, back ground checks, cases and escalations. The key question is how does one get past each of these BPM records from being simple transactions? If you are familiar with the intersect of BPM, Case, DCM, Content, Agile, system and data federation– skip down. If you’re not, here’s a little background. Case and Dynamic Case Management placed BPM in language of the common user – made it tangible, understandable and configurable. They include pre-built capabilities such as escalations, dynamic assignments, deadline calculations, etc., essentially creating functional “building blocks” that simplify application construction. Core BPM stitches these functional blocks together. You can rapidly change or restructure them – facilitating agile thinking, enablement and managing them through completion. The functional blocks are typically accessible to both core BPM and Case. This capability library is used to build horizontal utilities and vertical specific applications – delivering on the intended business enablement mission. Process Orchestration is a key mandate of BPM; pulling together multiple human steps, departments, systems and data into an end-to-end, orchestrated and managed set of activities. The real core BPM value is the in place utilization of ERP type data – i.e. read, written, reported on from the system that owns the data – this includes systems like SAP, store management, inventory, asset management, contract systems, content management, etc. Now add digital transformation as it has significantly increased the demand for “content” (files, documents, media files, blogs, etc) to become a pivotal and contextually relevant part of the process. This must happen without replicating the content, instead maximizing the media, files and content in place with capabilities such as media editing, document creation, etc. If you skipped down, here’s where you can rejoin… All of these concepts – BPM, Case, DCM, etc. – have been driven by traditional process and procedural type thinking (step 1, step 2, step 3) – call this waterfall, agile, sprints, process definition, or application design. It is the power of these concepts that made it phenomenally simple for the lay-business user to construct personalized use cases, apps, processes and systems with no concern about BPM, Case or DCM. The glitch is that it also has resulted in isolated transient [BPM] transactions that cannot be tied to other business directives, objectives, or outcomes without a significant amount of “Master Data Management” type effort to glue information together that should not ever have been created in isolation. This transaction isolation is the result of limited inter-project collaboration despite everyone having great intentions. There is not much BPM can do to drive human dynamics here – people will build within their domain, confines and areas of control. People will follow natural behavior and protect themselves, teams and budgets – no type of BPM technology introduced will change this. What we can do is benefit from this behavior, give people the tools to do what they want to do within the individual projects. This challenge will continue to get more significant as BPM becomes more and more simple and closer to the hands of the “Citizen User”. The next major hurdle for BPM is to facilitate the “Citizen User” while ensuring that silo construction efforts become enterprise, business relevant capabilities – and allow companies to look at transactions within context of the revenue and operational demands and expectations. The most logical path to facilitate relevancy is to allow the business to understand the assets, documents, buildings, constructions sites, etc – the “stuff” that drive processes and revenue. This “stuff” can be anything – from a contract to a building to a truck fleet to computer hardware. These items typically exist in a company for long periods of time, up to decades and end up being persistent records (records that hang around and are usable and relevant for extended periods of time). Take an oil rig for example, it is persistent within BPM and there are several processes that it drives. From drilling to ordering to construction to auditing to oil pumping to helicopter flights to staffing, etc. Plus, an oil rig has a lot related “stuff” such as pumping stations, contracts, helicopters etc. Each of these have their own individual lifecycle with processes attached to those elements BPM must bring those transient and persistent transactions together with content – in the manner and pace at which a business thinks and executes. This means configuring and building an enterprise application, asset and organizational change framework without any formal project around it. This means that all of the “stuff” and the related processes can be glued together and can systematically and progressively become an orchestrated BPM solution without breaking agility – by multiple, isolated, non-collaborative projects. The ability to create persistent BPM records surrounded by transient records that drive revenue and operations transcends BPM today. Instead of trying to construct all permutations of step 1, step 2, step 3 so that the process is managed, the persistent record (aka the oil rig) can be the center of the multiple processes. This allows for an oil rig to be defined as it is used. Once the oil rig record (or the idea of the oil rig) has been initiated (to any initial level of initial maturity) one can start mapping processes and procedures around it using BPM, Case or DCM concepts. Now, you are able to construct the progressive and relevant activities around “stuff” that drives the business. You can create linkages with contextually relevant content while evolving the maturity and sourcing of information. This allows for clear business definition of the “stuff” that impacts the business – including information hosted in external systems. OpenText call this approach Information-Driven Design. The “stuff” or persistent records are called entities. Entities have lifecycles and associated tasks. It is the objective to place the power of agile, rapid, isolated capabilities, corporately leveraged, contextually relevant configurability in the hands of the “Citizen User”. We are excited about this approach and how it can deliver greater BPM success for our customers. Come to the Process Suite booth at Enterprise World for a peek at current abilities – and make sure you schedule time to get to the Innovation booth to have a look at what’s coming.

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Enabling the ‘Citizen Developer’ with BPM at Enterprise World

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You’ve heard it before—employees must do more with less, productivity is critical to results, multitasking now pays dividends later. But in reality, it’s difficult to juggle existing tasks much less a modern workload without the use of eight arms or a time machine. Luckily, your organization’s bottom line does not have to suffer. Business Process Management (BPM) is an incredibly effective way to help improve business results. Putting systems in place to streamline and optimize business operations is always a good idea. When you manage and control those business processes, you reduce costs while gaining opportunities (more customers, more revenue, more partners, etc.). So what’s new? Businesses are going digital. This means processes need to do more, use more and change more. Now, business processes need to adapt to manage routine and non-routine work. Simply put, they need a better way to work – better innovation, better insight and better productivity. But this can overwhelm IT so everyday workers need to transform into a so-called Citizen Developers. How much productivity? Citizen Developers may be the key for business looking to speed the time to market. Gartner’s “Citizen Development is Fundamental to the Digital Workplace” August 2015 report found nearly two-thirds of those surveyed took less than two weeks to develop an app; most of those surveyed had little or no developer software training. So what does this mean? Process management needs to include both structured and un-structured ad hoc processes. Typical processes still need to be managed (claims, service requests, etc.) and ad-hoc process (those processes that are more collaborative and less structured) must be supported via process applications (case management, for example). This requires the ability to build and modify process applications much more easily. And the best way to do that is to get the user involved—it’s faster and results are quickly evaluated and adjustments can be made. It all comes down to speed and simplicity—speed to deploy, evaluate and optimize. Know if your process will deliver or it needs to be adjusted is key to your success. You simply can’t wait months to find out. When the market changes or customer needs change, you need to adapt quickly so nothing is missed. Achieving this new standard for business process management is what we will be talking about at this year’s Enterprise World. We can’t wait. New Innovations in Process Suite We are excited to reveal the latest from the OpenText Process Suite in Las Vegas in a few weeks. Building applications quickly to manage processes is at the core our innovation strategy. We are working to empower the Citizen Developer to ease the burden on IT and give the business the control and access to solve issues directly and effectively. These new capabilities will come to market along with key improvements in the Process Intelligence component along with several new and updated pre-built applications. We hear from many of our customers that the priority is to gain the flexibility and ability to customize and evolve their process application quickly. This includes greater flexibility in what you can do on mobile devices and how you can leverage the cloud. We are excited to share all the new news with you at Enterprise World. Join us in Vegas We will be showcasing new capabilities with Process Platform, new process applications and more in Las Vegas. You will have the opportunity to meet with the experts behind the innovation and talk to customers who are benefitting from the platform today. Check out information on this and all the breakout sessions at Enterprise World 2015 online at http://www.opentext.com/campaigns/enterprise-world-2015/program/sessions.

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