Business Process Management

Guest Blog: Industry Analyst Maureen Fleming Shares Her Thoughts on BPM Trends

Guest Blog Post by Maureen Fleming, Program Vice President for IDC’s Business Process Management and Middleware 1) Generation Y aka the Millennials: The networked generation place a great importance on communicating and sharing at each stage of their decision-making processes in their personal lives, what is this generation looking for when it comes to Business Process Management? In various IDC surveys, a key difference with Millennials is their desire for convenience and use of use. They also have less devotion to privacy and view collaborating as something that happens within their networks — which typically include people inside and outside their organization. If you translate this to BPM, it means BPM has to be widely available when a Millennial needs it and on whatever specific device is at hand. Whatever device is used has to deliver consumer-level ease of use. And BPM is no longer about businesses helping employees become more productive, it becomes a way for a Millennial to include and work with partners, contractors, customers or whoever is required. In BPM parlance, people outside a Millennial’s organization are not simply a pool separated from the core process but they become active process participants. 2) What are the specific challenges with case management vs. process automation. Is there an increase in Case Structures vs process structures, and how does that affect the tools used for automation? Our dependence on end-to-end workflow is decreasing and the use of cases and case management is growing. At IDC, we don’t view process automation and case management as a religious war or even separate. We view both as process automation technology, supporting different use cases. We’ve all learned with BPM that many of our processes tend to work better when they’re more dynamic. Large, monolithic, workflow-centric models are not always the best way to operate dynamically. Additionally, many enterprises face challenges when they need to upgrade long-running instances and are learning to minimize their dependence on the monolithic model in favor of milestones, stages and actions, which are the domain of case management. Finally, BPM is moving to knowledge workers, and their needs almost exclusively fit into a case architecture. 3) How important are integrations for process automation, and can BPM be used with core apps to engage users and add flexibility and agility to an organization? If you think about total investment in BPM, a substantial percentage of projects involve integration with packaged applications. We’re actually seeing much greater sophistication around issues of integration and data access. Some of the thinking involves implementing packaged application functionality gaps using BPM rather than customizing the packaged app. Others think about standardizing and improving the processing of work related to a large set of applications. And there’s also really interesting work being done around task queues where all work across all application are managed from a central or universal work queue. SaaS is hugely important implementation choice for enterprises. One major trend we are seeing is the ability to interoperate within a cloud, across clouds and across clouds and the enterprise data centers. BPM needs to support all of these patterns of interoperability for both web and mobile apps. 4) How quickly are organizations deploying new applications to introduce new processes? And, is the deployment speed meeting expectations? This depends entirely on what the goal of the new process is and the skill of the team, which includes developers, business participants, the vendor and professional services. The more sophisticated the objective, the longer the total initiative takes. Many organizations are building incrementally, with the goal of continuous delivery of value over the life of the project. Others have to spend quite a bit of time on cultural issues and basic training about how to be involved in process improvement projects. We see problems where speed overrides good architecture, which causes problems down the line. A successful initiative often takes longer than everyone hoped, but they know it’s a success when successive next stage projects are delivered at increasingly faster speeds. That means the culture aligns with the skills, technical capabilities and architecture. Easier said than done.

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Guest Blog: Industry Analyst Jim Sinur Shares His Thoughts on BPM Trends

Guest Blog Post by Jim Sinur , noted process expert and former Gartner analyst 1) Generation Y aka the Millennials: The networked generation place a great importance on communicating and sharing at each stage of their decision-making processes in their personal lives, what is this generation looking for when it comes to Business Process Management? The experts say Generation Y is marked by an increased use of and familiarity with communications, media and digital technologies and is willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules and a better work-life balance. I think this translates to better collaboration on knowledge intensive work. This might allow organizations to leverage creative collaboration and the cognitive surplus on the Internet. Since gamification appeals, organizations could insert machine intelligence as part of this collaborative opportunity. 2) What are the specific challenges with case management vs. process automation. Is there an increase in Case Structures vs process structures, and how does that affect the tools used for automation? Traditional processes were historically dominated by structured processes (doing by design), but more of the work today is much less structured (design by doing) and aimed at customer pleasing and knowledge intensive work. This leads to more of a balanced approach to process management. Over time more collaboration between people and machines as well will tip the balance towards case management as work becomes more complex and processes expand in scope. Process models will be used more as visualizations of what really happened rather than a map to always follow. This will kick off a “better practices era” and goal driven technologies. 3) How important are integrations for process automation, and can BPM be used with core apps to engage users and add flexibility and agility to an organization? As process expand in scope (aka Big Processes), there will be a need to integrate more resources including systems resources. Since processes are being leveraged as a strategy to incrementally transform organizations by tying people engagement to systems of record, integration that can flex over time becomes essential. 4) How quickly are organizations deploying new applications to introduce new processes? And, is the deployment speed meeting expectations? Since organizations do not readily embrace “big bang” approaches, they will likely implement incrementally starting with customer pleasing approaches with high visibility for business goals. This strategy is quite successful for a good number of organizations. This way the benefits can be gleaned to fund down-stream process efforts. Incremental transformation, through agile processes, seems to be successful, but this approach puts strains on change management efforts.

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Eliminating Process Friction

The “Impedance Mismatch” In electronics, impedance is the measure of electrical resistance with an alternating current (AC). Think of it as the amount of friction in a circuit. Impedance matching is the practice of adjusting the friction and current flow of an electrical load (your lights, toaster, etc.) to match the impedance with the corresponding power source (wall socket) to “maximize the power transfer” and “minimize signal reflection.” So, right now, you are wondering what impedance matching has to do with BPM… Let’s talk for a second about the needs of a business. An organization needs speed and agility to deal with new product or service launches, growth mandates, or competitive plays. Process automation solutions can fuel this agility, and businesses need a free flow of new solutions, changes to existing solutions, and new capabilities such as social and mobile interfaces. Think of these needs as the “load” that requires less friction when it comes to rolling out process automation solutions. IT is often the source to design and develop these solutions. When the business and IT have an impedance match, the business is getting the solutions they need, when they need them. To stick our analogy, they’ve “maximized power transfer” (the value and impact of the solution to the business) and “minimized signal reflection” (delivering solutions that more closely match what the business really needs). But the backlog of IT projects, overhead of maintaining cores systems, and inflexibility of core systems causes a higher impedance and greater friction in deploying needed process solutions. Forrester Research, Inc. published a survey of IT professionals in 2011 where 75% said their “IT budgets were absorbed by maintenance and updates,” and another 79% said “inflexibility of core systems limits changes to process.” This creates an impedance mismatch, and means while the business needs new solutions in 1-4 months, IT groups are delivering in 6 to 12 months. We’ve heard many times that when a solution takes longer than 9 months to deploy, the needs of the business have changed enough in that time that the solution is only a partial fit. Introducing the OpenText Process Suite 10.5 The OpenText Process Suite, launched today, allows companies to do impedance matching. It consists of a cloud-enabled platform, apps and add-ons to ensure organizations can build the right solutions for their particular needs. It is a flexible and agile solution that can “wrap” core applications and create systems of engagement that touch users inside and outside the organization with social and mobile interfaces, content, process guidance, and collaboration in a way that can adjust and change with their needs. Check out the diagram of the Process Suite below. The Process Component Library A key part of the Process Suite 10.5 is the Process Component Library (PCL), which is a pre-built set of services and composing environment that allows organizations to develop various types of solutions, from investigative, to service request, to incident related, to process oriented solutions in literally weeks, instead of months or years. The out-of-the-box components that come with the PCL include user interfaces, SLA management, task management, escalations, document handling, packaged reporting, as well as many others, and are assembled, not developed, in the composing environment to create a solution. These are coarse grained components that include compound functions, and are not single autonomous services. The Process Component Library, along with other aspects of the Process Suite that I will cover in subsequent blog postings, enable us to deliver industry-leading speed and agility in deploying process automation and case management solutions. Think of the Process Suite, and the Process Component Library in particular as the impedance matching of the flow of solutions from IT to the needs of the business, with the result of increasing the “power transfer” of their solutions to the business, and reducing the “power reflection” by delivering solution that truly meet their rapidly changing needs. Want to learn more about the Process Component Library? Visit us here.

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How Business Process Management adds Value in Financial Services

Jim Sinur, Gartner Emeritus, shared his thoughts on BPM at our most recent EnterpriseWorld gathering. Jim is an accomplished author and independent thought leader in applying business process management to innovative and intelligent business operations. He brings a distinctive perspective to the world of process having been both a technology practitioner and a former Research VP. Here are just a few of the highlights I captured from Jim’s session. Which came first, the methods or the tools? The Financial Services sector was early to business process management (BPM). They have been involved since the beginning. While no one is actually “all in” with BPM, because BPM in many ways is still ahead of the market, the financial industry has been significant in delivering benefits to their customers, employees and partners. And they’ve done it quite well. I personally have experience in the sector, working for American Express and Northwestern Mutual Life, trying to apply business process methods before many of the tools were ready. I wish I would have had in the early days the tools you have at your fingertips today. Where is BPM being applied to drive improved results? The good news is that BPM is a very benefit rich environment. You see the results in everything from revenue lift, to time-to-market, to innovation and visibility. And of course, part of visibility is the ability to stay compliant. With compliance you can be reactive or you can be proactive. Process management helps you to be more proactive. Risk management for example with underwriting was an early area of interest, as was client onboarding. Now there is a new wave of interest in client onboarding from banks who are trying to bring on new customers and new products faster. CEOs have said their number one priority is revenue lift, and so onboarding is getting a second and third wind, along with the infusion of upsell and cross-sell demands. Customer service, Insurance claims and payouts, are all important areas for BPM as well. Financial Services is also early to the second generation of intelligent BPM. Intelligent processes are involved in picking up patterns for example; you see this in market trading. You also see intelligent BPM where you have decisions being made by processes, either driven by pre-planned scenarios or limited by constraints or rules. The processes are getting more complex, and more adaptable, to the point where we are going to see mana ging complexity as THE challenge going forward. Insurance Case Study: Starting a new company Starting a new insurance company is a daunting task. There are a number of established giants to compete with in a day to day basis. There is also the challenge of building a significant reserve pool necessary to back risk exposure. Mix this set of challenges with a strategy that calls for aggressive growth plus low risk and one can anticipate a difficult balancing act. This situation turned out to be an ideal situation for BPM. By leveraging simulation and scenario planning, this company is able to plot out likely outcomes and measure for threats and opportunities on a growth journey. As of last contact, the growth continues at an aggressive pace despite the economy. Obviously a well-designed set of insurance products was a significant corner stone, but BPM is enabling and watching the progress toward these goals on a real time basis. Because BPM enables flexibility, this organization can adapt quickly to changing conditions. Resource Allocation Case Study: Delivering better customer service Companies across the financial services industry have the problem of a complex set of incoming work that has to be handled in real time. BPM helps in managing that work with the proper resources. Assuring that your resources are being fully utilized, measured by revenue per hour work, and not overwhelmed is the goal. This is where a “next best resource” scenario can be applied – for example, a first look at resources in the “A class” and then if not available looking to the “B class.” The benefit of BPM resource allocation implementations can be seen in many companies, and are highly scalable – one particular case study is from a mega global company in 150 countries. P&C Claims Case Study: Using case management for speed to settlement There are a number of examples where case management technology and approach is used to improve claims handling. In fact the company in this case study did such a great job that they became best in class, and these practices won them the ability to become an outsourcer processing claims for other companies. Case provided better visibility for exception handling, and enabled knowledge worker collaboration. They had rules that could be tweaked by the business people that allowed for fast adjustments, and automated discovery that found improvements that could be implemented. It required a conversion to adopt this new approach but the rate of return – 225% – more than paid for the project. Not a bad ROI, better than the stock market! They became business innovators and really invented a whole new part of their company. What does the future hold for business process management? I see goal directed processes as the future. There will be an upsurge of agent-oriented process management, where the machine is the agent. Machine intelligence, artificial intelligence, is coming back and coming back with a vengeance. The trick will be to dynamically balance human and machine intelligence based on the situation. A good example is portfolio management and trader workbench applications. The actual trader might be a human, to hold someone accountable, but you’ll have agents like a situational analysis market agent, a communication agent, a forecasting agent, a risk assessment agent, and a trading rules agent to take care of the compliance rules issue. And there will also be opportunities to look for patterns for compliance purposes, but also look at navigating patterns and patterns of collaboration. This is where organizations will be looking for and finding future improvements. You can find more of Jim’s insights on his Blog and follow him on Twitter @JimSinur. For more articles on BPM and case management, including one featuring Jim’s keynote at EnterpriseWorld, check out our Process Matters Blog. 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The Four Biggest Trends Changing BPM

Business Process Management (BPM) is evolving faster than ever lately. Which is good considering how rapidly business needs and requirements change every day. In a recent Vanson Bourne Survey, 96 percent of leading business and IT decision makers stated that one of their biggest priorities is to improve and progress their business operations. However business and technology change cycles are on very different schedules. Business users’ requirements can change as quickly as every quarter, while IT updates core apps on a six to ten year change cycle. This can create a discrepancy that is seemingly hard to rectify. Businesses have to be able to change faster than IT can keep up, and to do so, they need some of the latest trends in BPM to do so. Four of the biggest changes to hit BPM recently have been the need to engage the workforce any way and anywhere they want to be active. That’s why BPM has seen the rise of cloud offerings, the increase of mobile device options, the need for social collaboration, and perhaps most importantly: the ability of apps to be rapidly developed without the lag time of traditional process solutions. The Cloud Implementing BPM in the cloud gives your businesses a faster and more cost-effective way to get started with BPM. Offered as a subscription service and generally with a lower price point than traditional solutions, the cloud allows your business to have an ongoing fixed operating expense instead of a hefty capital one that’s often difficult to justify. The cloud also takes away the need for you to buy the hardware, database software, and download the app servers, as well as removing the onus on IT to build the infrastructure and fine tune it. Instead, utilizing BPM in the cloud lets you quickly turn on pre-tuned and loaded BPM solutions and rapidly get up to speed with process efficiency faster. Mobile With the rise of bringing your own device (BYOD), mobile has never been more important. It has become the default way in which business users and customers alike interact with applications and services. To improve your business processes, enterprises need to take the approach of “mobile first.” As BPM continues to evolve into composite applications, it is uniquely positioned to help businesses meet the needs of both their users and customers, but also address improving business operations, corporate governance, and compliance. Social As employees continue to spread out geographically, the ability to easily collaborate together presents an interesting challenge. Additionally with the consumerization of corporate software, users want a work experience that mimics the way they interact, engage and connect with others on platforms like Twitter and Facebook in their personal lives. With social BPM options, you can bring consumer software to the enterprise. Workers can connect and collaborate with their colleagues, subscribe to streams about certain cases to keep up to date, and search directories for talents and skills to find the best person to collaborate with, all in real time whether they’re working in the same office or across the globe. App Development With the rise of mobile and app stores, the next generation of BPM has to be composite and process centric. This means that the applications and services you need to be able to deliver rapidly don’t have to be developed from scratch, but rather are composites of a BPM solution that you can piece together to meet your immediate needs. Now you can have a richer and faster way to create a variety of complex solutions without having to wait months to build the basic foundation of process that you may already have. The dynamics that are evolving BPM are also involving the ways organizations deploy apps to make them faster, more compelling, and more intuitive. This will be the fuel that powers the next generation of BPM. To learn more about the future of BPM, download our OpenText BPM overview white paper and visit us at http://www.opentext.com/evolutionofbpm .

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OK < EXCELLENT = $$$

Recently I had an opportunity to join Marci Maddox, our VP of Marketing for Customer Experience Management here at OpenText for a webinar focused on the evolving role of the CIO and, specifically, what today’s CIOs need to know about the drivers, challenges and goals of their peers and customers within their companies. Axient, a long standing OpenText partner in Australia and New Zealand, with a strong focus on Customer Experience for the Banking and Financial services markets, is sponsoring a series of webinars to educate and assist their customers in improving business communications, helping them to reach the next level in exceeding customer expectations. Three themes dominated the session: Consumers EXPECT to have a personal rapport with their service providers and REQUIRE that each interaction reflects that customer’s needs and preferences, particularly for mobile and online engagements. The marketplace for all financial services is undergoing a seismic shift with businesses providing new products in unprecedented volumes. At the same time government regulations and safeguards are expanding, creating a double challenge for customers and providers. Aging, disparate and IT-centric systems need to be replaced to meet these demands & opportunities. Systems that push technology to the back and experience to the fore, to enable customer-facing personnel to exercise their skills, will win and retain customers. These points were based on recent research gleaned from industry analysts like Forrester, Gartner and InfoTrends, and have been validated in a series of customer interviews conducted by OpenText. Although many older customers still expect paper-based communications, their experience is anchored in the personal relationships that were established and nurtured over the years by direct engagement between consumer and business. These exchanges not only provide information but also serve to reinforce the relationship. For younger, more mobile and more Internet-engaged customers, a personal relationship is no less important. Developing the trust and faith that anchors the relationship is built not in a face-to-face manner, but from the establishment of a multitude of indirect, online and offline engagements, which incrementally deepens and broadens the relationship. Again, nowhere is this more critical than in finance and banking. As the research shows, Customer Communications Management (CCM) is at the heart of this context-rich, adaptive omni-channel experience. What distinguishes this next generation of CCM is not merely the outlets through which communications travel, but that it seamlessly combines analytics with business process management while utilizing a dynamic media management system to insure that information is delivered as active communications provided with consistency, persistence and common branding. Until recently this vision for “Excellent Experience” may have been viewed as aspirational, however today it has become a business imperative. The challenge for CIOs therefore is to cost-effectively begin the replacement of legacy and specialized systems with applications that span their business needs, empower Line of Business owners and meet corporations’ guidelines and governmental regulations. Done properly, evidence confirms that these solutions provide both immediate cost savings and long-term business growth. This is where companies like Axient and OpenText have partnered to bring together the systems and expertise to meet these challenges. To hear the webinar in its entirety go to: http://www.axient.com.au/form-builder/form/index/form/2178 And to learn more about Customer Communications Management from OpenText visit us at: http://makeastatement.opentext.com

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OpenText in the Spotlight: TSX and Innovation

On Thursday, October 31, I joined Ungad Chadda, Senior Vice President of the Toronto Stock Exchange, in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District to open the market in celebration of 15 years as a TSX-listed company. On hand were a number of my OpenText colleagues including: our Chairman of the Board, Tom Jenkins; Chief Financial Officer, Paul McFeeters; Chief Legal Officer, Gordan Davies; and Board members Steve Sadler and Mike Slaunwhite. ‘; if (cc_cookie == ‘yes’ || cc_ineu == ‘no’ || cc.approved[‘advertising’] == ‘yes’) { $(selector).append(html); } else {var noCookieDomain = ”; noCookieDomain = ‘www.youtube-nocookie.com’; if (noCookieDomain == ”) {var altHtml = ”; altHtml = $(‘ ‘).addClass(‘notice euCookieMessage’).html(‘This page element sets advertising cookies. Change your cookie settings to allow cookies and show this content.’); if (altHtml != ”) { $(selector).append(altHtml); } } else { html = html.replace(/(]+src=”(?:https?:)?\/\/)[^\/]+(\/)/ig, ‘$1’ + noCookieDomain + ‘$2’); $(selector).append(html); } } $(selector).replaceWith($(selector).html());} euCookieProtect_8c2ccab19acc41b8b49c731b455c3543(); }); }); OpenText began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on June 26, 1998. As the leading provider of Enterprise Information Management (EIM), we have come a long way since 1998. Today our global footprint spans six continents with 60 offices worldwide and we are now ranked as the largest software vendor in Canada. In 1998, our annual revenues were roughly $45.3M and we completed last year at $1.3 billion in revenues. We lead with value. We invest for growth. We call this strategy Intelligent Growth. Our future never looked brighter. Our BPM business was strengthened by our Cordys acquisition. Our IX business will grow stronger with GXS. Our overall EIM strategy will grow stronger with our much-anticipated software release, which will be unveiled during my keynote address at our upcoming Enterprise World user conference. This release features big new functional blocks, deeper integration, and the ability to streamline information flows across functional departments of the enterprise. The software release will enable CIOs to drive an agenda of innovation and growth to accelerate time-to-compete in the Information Economy. For more details about GXS, read the press release: OpenText Enters Into Agreement to Acquire GXS.

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BPM is Bigger and Better this year at Enterprise World

Wow, Enterprise World 2013 is really shaping up nicely and I am very happy with the speakers we have secured, to not only share how BPM is evolving in the market, but also at OpenText. First, we have a great keynote session with Jim Sinur, Gartner emeritus and expert in the field of Business Process Management. He is going to talk about how BPM is evolving in order to survive, and hopefully your organization is as well. Don’t miss this session and the great insights from Jim. Keynote: BPM is Evolving in Order to Survive: Are you? Join Gartner emeritus Jim Sinur as this insightful, thought-provokingleader offers his lively and practical views on attaining success in theevolving world of BPM. Jim shares his experiences from working with vendors, users, and analysts for over 30 years.Sometimes contentious, but always insightful and thought provoking, Jimis certain to provide a lively and practical view on how we can all bemore successful if we think differently. Breakout Sessions We have a great list of speakers who will be sharing their real-world successes from implementing our BPM technology. And their stories are very impressive! I am very pleased to announce that we will have PSCU joining us to share their story, which was recently selected for a Global Award for Excellence in BPM and Workflow from the WfMC and bpm.com– way to go PSCU! Wewill also hear from Mercer, Allergan, Farm Credit Services of America,ParsonsBrinkerhoff, Getronics, CIZ, and Whitlock InfrastructureSolutions. Join our BPM experts from R&D, Product Management, and Product Marketing as they discuss: What’s New with OpenText BPM? – Looking Ahead 12 Months Getting Started with Smart Process Applications Real-Time Process Intelligence with managerView BPM Everywhere: The Social App for BPM and CaseManagement Assure for Digital Supply Chain Management: StreamlineAsset Creation and Campaign Execution to Drive Revenue Innovation Lab Interested in a sneak peek at our latest UI innovation and providing feedback in how we can make it even better? Join us at the innovation lab. In the Innovation Lab at Enterprise World 2013, you will get to try out new and exciting products, and collaborate with OpenText user experience designers and researchers to shape the future of our products. Business Process Management (BPM) Unified User Experience Help us shape the next generation of BPM products by providing feedback on our new modern look and feel, layout designer, and HTML 5 controls. Your participation will help us create a more engaging, robust, and intuitive experience for end users, partners and customers. Techie Tuesday Sessions You have asked for more technical sessions and we listened. Join us on Tuesday, for an in-depth look and technical focus on: Building Smart Process Applications Cloud Provisioning and Integration: Lessons Learnedfrom Enterprise Deployments Practical Model Driven Development Expo Hall See the latest releases of MBPM, Case360, Process360 and Cordys live and talk with our solution experts in the expo hall. The Expo hall is a great place to get quality time with the product experts! Networking and Executive Meetings And if all that wasn’t enough, Enterprise World is a great opportunity to network with your peers and your OpenText team. Take advantage of every opportunity to meet with us. Whether you are a customer, prospective customer, or partner, we look forward to the chance to meet with you at this event. We learn from every meeting and this helps us to better understand your business. You are going to have a great time in Orlando and I can’t wait to see you there! Register Now.

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How Knowledge Workers are Engaging with Information

By: Brian Wick, Director BPM Product Marketing, OpenText The way people engage with processes is changing. People are shifting toward increased usage of social media techniques and rich media to make business decisions, and this is evident in numerous service delivery workflows that span both inside and outside an organization. This can add efficiency and productivity to getting work done. But there is a downside. When workers collaborate across multiple communication mediums, making decisions, and working through issues, the organization often doesn’t have a record of this information, which is inefficient and makes it extremely hard to ensure it is meeting regulatory requirements and internal information governance mandates. Organizations are working hard to set up environments where the process workarounds (untamed spreadsheets and Access databases) are reduced, and communication mechanisms are provided within a controlled environment. The new process automation and case management solutions provide these capabilities by offering integration with information sources, virtual workspaces, and collaboration and communication tools to give knowledge workers what they need to do their jobs. They also capture instant messaging, email, and content sharing within the context of a process or case, and manage that information so that it can be retained and retrieved in accordance with the organization’s retention policies. In addition to this, there is now a variety of new devices being used to access information in a way that was not possible before. The current generation of knowledge workers is likely to be very connected, and wants to engage with their work across PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, whenever they want. So organizations are working hard to create multi-channel on-ramps and off-ramps to capture and present information in the way users want to see it. Finally, this current generation of knowledge workers is far more self-sufficient in accessing information over the web than previous workers, and gravitates to self-help as they can often find a resolution how they want, when they want, and on the device they want. So in many workflows, especially those engaging customers or other third parties, organizations are providing more knowledge-base, FAQ, and self-help capabilities to make it easier for users to search and find information on their own. Now organizations must expand how they engage with users, inside and outside the firewall with multi-channel and multi-device solutions, and capture and retain information across all channels. The new generation of BPM solution vendors are responding with new solutions to make this far less complicated and far more cost-effective than before.

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Finding Our Way with Digital Asset Management

by John Price [This article was also published in CMS Wire, 10/9/2013.] In one sense DAM is all over the map. There are subway style route maps to help you find your way and any number of “journeys” (or at least the “5 Best Ways…”) leading to that digital asset management / customer experience nirvana. With all the consultants, reports, vendors and products out there “enabling” and “empowering” us, how come it feels like we’re stuck in a “Where’s Waldo?” world? [Full disclosure, I work for a vendor, OpenText doing marketing stuff for DAM and Customer Experience Management, CEM.] We all can see how technology and digitization are transforming organizations, even changing societies and cultures. Digital Asset Management has morphed as well. Organizations are recognizing the need for DAM due to the tremendous increase in the amount of digital media in the organization. Back in the day, many organizations could get by with shared drives and the institutional knowledge stored by Earl in graphics. Earl retired, and, after a few website re-launches and brand makeovers, consensus was that there must be a better way. Fast forward to now and in many organizations it’s not which DAM you have but how many DAMs. Marketing, business units, regional and international teams went out to get the DAM tailored for their specific needs. The original problem DAM was supposed to solve was recreated; too many disconnected repositories and silos, and no central repository storing the single source of truth. Add to that the pressure of marketing to many new channels – the omni-channel customer experience – which has created its own challenges. “Mobile is hot, we need to have a mobile customer experience”; “We’re putting up kiosks all around the country we need to produce the content”; “let’s put some links and images in the email campaign”; “How can we get these videos on our Facebook page”. Each new channel needs creation, production, operations and delivery – usually another team to make, manage and move the digital assets. Do We Need DAM? In asking the question it implies there is an alternative, or we take the Luddite approach and go back to file folders, phone calls and couriers. Yes, we still need DAM, in all its wonderful array of many-colored solutions. Despite the market cacophony of products, features and specialized deployments (MAM, PAM, MRM, PIM, PCM, SaaS…), DAM is helping companies be more successful. There are great stories of how DAM has transformed organizations – you likely see it whenever you go online, all those images branding and videos are created, managed and stored, maybe in a DAM. It begins with organizations asking that question, do we need a DAM, do we have the right DAM? Taking on this endeavor, the DAM Champion (DAM Hero?) has a lot of work ahead. It requires understanding the process from initiation, creation, management of the assets, publishing, distribution and metrics. Documenting how things work, who does the work, how different departments are involved, the amount of time and effort for each task, the cost of lost time, duplicated effort, lost opportunity, all of this is critical to start building a business case. In many organizations to get the budget, overcome organizational inertia and resistance to change requires a compelling case to justify the change. Below are some key things that will lead to a successful outcome. Keep these in mind to help find your way: A purposeful strategic vision for digital media in the organization Commitment and buy-in from the organization A partnership with the vendor and integrator for mutually assured success Structured, phased approach Relentless user-adoption, celebrating success Knowing what done looks like Enterprise DAM and Platforms Digital Media workflows and DAM are critical for enterprises and high value brands, allowing them to accomplish their goals in eBusiness and Customer Experience transformation. Every department and business unit has rich media assets and the amount and size of those assets continue to grow. Some rich media, such as video or high definition imagery, are bandwidth intensive. It can also be difficult to find and reuse media if it isn’t properly tagged or archived. By centralizing all of your rich media assets in a common media management repository, the entire organization can repurpose digital assets across multiple channels at a lower cost. As enterprises are stretched to take on more types of media production and distribute into more customer experiences, it requires investment in best-in-class solutions across the digital media value chain. This means continuing to advance the core features of the DAM, as well as to integrate related capabilities. Enterprise DAM, e-DAM, as a platform is not a one-size-fits-all proposition; it implies the flexibility to be purpose-built for the enterprise. DAM is the centralized repository, single source of truth for digital assets, storing all the rich media for the enterprise. E-DAM is a core infrastructure with capabilities to “media-enable” the entire enterprise, especially digital marketing. The rich media assets in e-DAM are delivered to Customer Experience touchpoints adapting to the workflow and conforming the content for consumption. Inside and outside the firewall, e-DAM manages control and access to the final, approved digital assets to be used and consumed. On the other end e-DAM integrates with different creative environments such as video production, graphics, photo and images; each having unique workflows, formats and requirements. E-DAM integrated across creative teams allows collaboration, review and approve processes, extensive search and discover, file check in and out. This is the Create to Consume Information Flow, an integrated stream incorporating the People, Processes and Technology to serve the purpose and goals of the organization. As the velocity of digital marketing increases, information silos and disconnected processes become bottlenecks in the information flow. Interoperability and integration are keys to customer experience transformation. This becomes more important as the amount of data, what is known about the customer, continues to grow. Knowing purchase history and patterns, web analytics, demographics and other data sources provides actionable information to target, segment and personalize communications across experiences. Extending e-DAM using business process management for an orchestrated information flow, integrated with enterprise ERP and CRM systems, provides the intelligence layer for delivering timely, rich and compelling customer experiences. DAM delivers the consistent messaging and branding across channels, contextualized and conformed on-the-fly, increasing engagement and ultimately driving revenue. This is the aspiration of an enterprise DAM ecosystem: multiple media-enabled environments, integrated, interconnected with shared data, and automated data-driven processes supporting the enterprise the Create to Consume Information Flow. It’s a Strategy, Waldo DAM is a great technology solution. It saves time, reduces frustration, increases productivity and provides consistent branding. As it continues to mature, it is asked to do more and more. New features and functionality are bolted on as vendors are compared against checklists. Seeking a technical solution results in requirements, features, functionality and getting more for less – and it’s all over the map. Enterprise DAM is more than just a technology solution. As a platform it takes care of the DAM 1.0 requirements but more importantly it sets a foundation for the future. Enterprises are crafting digital media and marketing strategies taking into account their unique purpose and core competencies to fit together and understand all the pieces in a complex ecosystem. As media permeates all areas of an enterprise, agile, adaptable, and interoperable will be the important features for an Enterprise DAM.

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Submitted by Michelle Dufty on October 2, 2013 Are you actively looking for a BPM solution? Just learning about BPM and want to know what solutions are available? Interested in learning how organizations have successfully implemented BPM? Then join us, Wednesday, October 9th at 12:00pm Eastern, at the BPM Open House to learn how to make the most of your BPM investment and deliver real and sustainable results back to the business. Join us as we present how PSCU, one of the largest credit union service organizations in the US, improved their customer service score by more than 100% with the same amount of staff, and realized a $300K savings by implementing BPM. Prior to implementing OpenText Assure, PSCU suffered from a very manual, paper-based customer service process and a lack of visibility into the status of service requests. Customer information was re-keyed into multiple application silos and there was no single view of customer interactions. In order to stay competitive in the market, PSCU needed flexible process-based applications to enable them to provide exceptional customer services. Attendees will also see a demo of the Assure for Customer Service solution, including the self-service portal that customers at PSCU use to enter and track service requests and the work center where CSR’s process requests faster and more accurately with effective case management and collaboration tools. Also, don’t forget to attend Enterprise World in November, to hear directly from Dani Hollis, BPM Manager at PSCU, share her success with BPM. Hope to talk to you on the 9th!

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Information Right from the Source

Providing high degrees of customer service, while managing costs is a balancing act that is extremely difficult. Customers expect higher degrees of service, across multiple channels, and want to have it 24×7. Meanwhile organizations are under pressure to increase efficiencies and reduce agent and infrastructure costs. Your customers like self-service, but want high touch options immediately if they can’t find what they are looking for. Off-shoring and IVR systems have been tried, but have sometimes resulted in unhappy customers. Unfortunately, now those unhappy customers will go to Yelp or Twitter to talk about their experience, so it is critical to get the balance right. The head of Customer Service must often rely on technology to help them deal with these opposing forces. So in preparation for our launch of Assure for Customer Service, we decided to engage IMTS (Integrated Marketing Services) to help us better understand how customer service professionals use technology to solve their customer services challenges – and get this information right from the source. IMTS contacted 150 customer service leaders at large organizations, and using live interviews, found out some very interesting things. First, they discovered that almost 53 percent of respondents used specialized, in-house developed software to manage their customer service delivery. The rest are using a mix of CRM, BPM, manual (paper or Excel and email), or outsourcing the entire process. The 53 percent was a surprise as the costs of developing specialized applications in-house is typically far greater than buying a solution from a vendor. For those applications, the biggest burden is the maintenance and upgrades. When the business needs the software modified to meet the changing needs of the business it goes to IT for assessment, scoping, prioritizing, developing, testing, deployment and training, and that is usually completed right when business requirements have changed again, and new enhancements are needed. The survey also pointed out that 31 percent of the companies frequently need to go outside of their current system to access information to accommodate the needs of their customers.This means the agents are doing “swivel-chair” customer service, with multiple screens and systems to get all the information needed to manage customer requests. Integrations are expensive and painful with traditional systems, but this puts a serious burden on agents to understand and work across multiple systems in the heat of a customer exchange. Also of interest is that respondents using CRM systems reported various degrees of challenges when escalating service issues, getting access to order information, and supporting internal collaboration to solve customers’ problems. This is not totally unexpected as CRM systems were designed as “systems of record” for customer information, and while they provide significant benefits in information leverage, they were not designed to be strong case management tools, process tools, support broad integrations, or to be real-time collaboration systems. Some are bolting these on now, but they still have a lot of work to do. The need for multi-channel (or “omnichannel”) communications is becoming mandatory, and includes the support for phone, email, chat, SMS, and web portal interchangeably. The survey showed that only 21 percent of the respondents indicated their systems as being extremely flexible to accommodate new and innovative channels of communication. Other notable takeaways from the survey were that a little over a third of respondents felt extremely confident that their customer service system helped them meet all their internal information governance requirements (secure information retention and management), and almost half of the respondents indicated that a “top goal” was to create systems to allow customers to directly submit requests and receive status updates automatically. Details of the survey can be found here, and while it confirmed much of what we intuitively knew, it was great to hear it directly from the mouths of customer service professionals.Assure for Customer Service provides effective ways to deal with all of these challenges, which is why we’re seeing more and more companies deploying it to achieve their objectives of lowering costs and improving customer service delivery.It helps customer service executives find that delicate balance, and sleep a little better at night.

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The Value of Deployment Options

Submitted by Brian Wick on August 16, 2013 By Bernadette Nixon and Isam Alyousfi The announcement today that OpenText has acquired Netherlands-based Cordys will provide significant value to customers, partners, and prospects. Not only does it give them many new capabilities, but it also gives them a host of new options for deployment. This kind of power and flexibility is what we strive for at OpenText, and this acquisition takes us to a whole new level. The new capabilities of the Cordys platform mean that we can offer on-prem, SaaS and PaaS BPM and Case Management solutions all in the same platform, which adds convenience, efficiency, and value for our customers. The Cordys platform also includes a built-in ESB, RIA (Rich Internet Applications) framework, master data management, rules engine, business activity monitoring, and cloud orchestration capabilities. Cordys has also created a composite applications framework (CAF) with mash-up capabilities, so our customers will be able to build custom applications quickly, and integrate them to their backend systems, all from an intuitive interface that is really usable by business analysts. The CAF will be a nice complement to our Assure platform, which provides pre-built service delivery-focused processes and user interfaces, and together they redefine the term “time-to-value” for our customers. The acquisition also brings a new level of flexibility in development and deployment. Many customers and partners are looking to the cloud to ease the burden of managing hardware and infrastructure, and the Cordys platform can take them there. The platform was built from the ground up for the cloud, and is a true multi-tenant solution that offers a complete middleware Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution, with cloud orchestration for BPM / case management and the underlying infrastructure. This includes app development, app integration, and enterprise mobility, from an on-premise deployment, 100% cloud deployment, or with a hybrid cloud model. While many of our customers will continue to deploy Assure, MBPM, and Case & Process 360-based solutions on-premise, we know others will choose to deploy with OpenText in the cloud. That’s true flexibility, and flexibility increases value. Also important about the acquisition is that we now have a very compelling offering for OpenText partners, including ISVs, SIs, and Managed Service Providers to develop and deploy their own process automation solutions to a much broader set of customers than we could reach alone. These might be horizontal, vertical, or custom solutions that will bring specific functionality to meet specific business needs in new markets. So we couldn’t be happier with the news. We now have a very comprehensive set of products that cover the application development needs of even the largest global organizations. When we add the capabilities of the broader OpenText EIM platform, which includes content management and customer engagement management – all from a single vendor – we have an extremely compelling and competitive offering that’s going to be very hard to beat.

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Dr. Seuss and the Internet of Things

This is a cmswire cross-post by Deb Miller. What ever happened to the Internet as a social phenomenon? You know the Internet where peopleare connecting, investigating, collaborating, envisioning and creating. Oh that’s so yesterday. Now what’s trending is the Internet of Things(IoT), with machines talking to machines. Here is my take on the IoT and how it will impact the world of enterprise information management. In the spirit of Dr. Seuss, we’ll look at ‘what a CIO should do if a CIO only knew’ to get things under control. Our World is becoming an information system TheInternet of Things is very much in the news these days and seems tohave captured the imagination of academics, consultants, businessleaders, technologists and investors alike. I too am intrigued by theIoT and, it won’t surprise readers of my CMSWire article series, particularly interested in what it might mean to CIOs and information management professionals. Tofully appreciate what the IoT is all about, it’s important to considerboth its history and its context in today’s technology ecosystem. The term itself was coined in 1999 and there is a fascinating IoT timeline that runs all the way from the era of the Victorian Internet(telegraph) to the recent creation of the IoT-GSI (Global StandardsInitiative). Gartner describes IoT as “the network of physical objectsthat contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interactwith their internal states or the external environment.” A moreaspirational view comes from McKinsey who tell us that with the IoT,“the world becomes a type of information system through sensors andactuators embedded in physical objects and linked through wired andwireless networks via the Internet Protocol.” Gartner has the IoT approaching the peak in their hype cycle for emerging technologies, but according to market watchers like Matt Turck, the IoT is quite real and not just an over-hyped concept destined to fade with time. In fact, the IoT is already being applied; examples range from whimsical to global impact. There are creative applications from Makey Makey like “Cloud Server BLT”(not a typo – check out the video) that have the serious purpose ofmaking everyone experience what it means to be an engineer. At the otherend of the spectrum, GE envisions the IoT as the next industrialrevolution,a new Industrial Internetwhere the major industries save more than $270 billion over the next 15years by improving their efficiency by just one percent: “By connectingintelligent machines to each other and ultimately to people to changethe way the world works.” I like to think of the IoT as “seriousfun,” the kind that promises exciting possibilities if we know how toget it under control. From Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hatwe learn, “It is fun to have fun but you have to know how.” So with anod to two of my favorite Dr. Seuss characters Thing 1 and Thing 2, whoare “released from the box” to wreak havoc until brought back undercontrol, here are my “Thing 1” and “Thing 2”. That is, two things Ithink will be important for CIOs to get under control if they plan toeffectively deal with the IoT in the future. THING 1: With the IoT, information and physical flows will be inextricably tied together Withthe Internet of Things, physical devices and flows are inextricablyunited with their information. As Dr. Seuss would say, “This may notseem very important, I know, but it is, so I’m bothering telling youso.” It turns out that this tight coupling, along with a concomitantconvergence of operational and business systems, raises some very biggovernance and risk challenges for those in the enterprise concernedwith information management. We have certainly had to learn todeal with and orchestrate multiple flows (materials, financials andinformation) over our supply chains for some time. With the IoT or“fourth industrial revolution,” there will be a new sets of informationgenerated in new ways that must become a part of the enterprisegovernance plan. Imagine the somewhat futuristic scenario that is sharedin McKinsey’s “Internet of Things and the future of manufacturing”: “Mostcompanies think of physical flows—meaning the flow of materialcomponents through the supply chain—as separate from information flowsand then consider how and where to coordinate and synchronize them.After the fourth industrial revolution, there will no longer be adifference between information and materials, because products will beinextricably linked to “their” information. For example, unfinishedmaterial already knows for which customer it is intended and carrieswith it all the information about where and when it will be processed.Once the material is in the machine, the material itself records anydeviations from the standard process, determines when it’s “done,” andknows how to get to its customer.“ Future scenarios like this willrequire a platform for information governance much like the enterpriseinformation management (EIM) technologies that I work with today. Aplatform that can combine structured and unstructured data – includingdata from the IoT and its related systems – with a content managementconstruct to capture all the information for regulatory and auditcompliance and for archiving governance. The CIO is going to need toensure that this platform is implemented across the enterprise toachieve an effective customer-centric information approach that can be used in context for critical business decisions. Inaddition, CIOs are going to need to be especially attuned to theconvergence aspects of the IoT that raise critical infrastructureprotection requirements. I did some early work around cyber securitychallenges with the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC)that provides the President with advice on the security of the criticalinfrastructure sectors and their information systems. At the time, our Convergence of Physical and Cyber Technologiesreport looked at the emerging trend of critical physical infrastructurecontrol systems being interconnected with business systems and therisks this presented. By way of background, industrial control systemslike SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems haveevolved through at least three generations. At first, these systems werehighly independent with no connectivity to other systems. Then systemprocessing was distributed across multiple stations which were connectedthrough a LAN and they shared information in real time with networkprotocols that were still mostly proprietary. Today the systemsare being integrated and also interconnected with business systems usingInternet protocols. We hear from engineers like Johnny Doin about the evolution of standalone embedded systemsinto “massive and powerful networks of devices that deliverunprecedented amounts of data over the Internet.” As this reaches acritical mass stage, new applications will emerge like monitoring ofmicro-weather and seismic activity from data extracted from sensorsdistributed across multiple industrial grids. As we move thenfrom relatively disconnected grids to a highly interconnectedinfrastructure, new IoT enabled applications will raise the stakes forCIOs. To get things under control, best to begin now with an informationmanagement strategy that considers all data in its purview forgovernance, risk management and compliance. THING 2: With the IoT business processes will change in revolutionary waysNetworkinggiant CISCO sees an “Internet of Everything” that is not only aboutdevices and infrastructure, but also about how to change businessprocesses related to those connected devices and linked to humans. The Cisco visionforesees this change will drive trillions in cost savings and revenueover the coming decade through better automation based on informationderived from those sensors. As Dr. Seuss tells us, “It’s not aboutwhat it is, it’s about what it can become.” In this new world ofinternet-enabled devices that can sense their environment andcommunicate with each other and with us, we will need both informationmanagement and process improvement professionals to realize the fullpotential. CIOs will need to ensure that the discipline and technology of business process management is a part of their strategic view of the enterprise. And where do humans figure in this narrative? It turns out that people are alive and well in the Internet of Things. The very notion of ‘embedded’ is really a continuum that tracks from wearable devicesto human machine interfaces. Further, we have learned that the purposeof process improvement is not only automation where humans are removedfrom the process. Itis also about human machine collaborationwhere CIOs can employ an adaptive case management construct andtechnology to drive the productivity of the knowledge workers andcustomers involved in those processes. The sky may be the limit in this aspect of the IoT, but will we need to beware? In his recent, excellent post “How the Internet of Things will Think,” Brian Proffitt considers what might happen when devices can talk to each other: “Thevision of a machine-learning knowledge fabric is a compelling one… solong as machines don’t learn too much and form their owntoo-clever-by-half ideas about what to do with these humans runningaround the planet. As economist Andrew McAfee noted sardonically in a recent Ted talk … I’m going to start worrying about those the day my computer becomes aware of my printer.” You’re off to great places, so get on your way Thoughthere certainly will be technical, business, and yes even ethicalchallenges ahead for the Internet of Things, I see mostly excitingpossibilities for the future. One question that CIOs must face is whowill be responsible for the IoT within the enterprise. In her recentpost, Stacey Higginbotham aptly comments: “Even as the internet of things is being driven by marketingdepartments who in turn are working with product engineers, it’s alsocreating another headache inside companies. When enterprises deploysensors in cars and workplaces, or when executives bring their ownconnected devices (BYOIoT anyone?), IT departments are called on tosupport them.” In my view, not only will IT need to support theIoT, strategic CIOs will want to be a part of leveraging the technologyfor enterprise innovation, efficiency, and growth. So just when CIOsthought they were perhaps getting a handle on putting the Internet towork as a collaborative human network and social phenomena, there arenew IoT challenges and exciting opportunities emerging. My advice to theCIO is to embrace this. Gain inspiration from Dr. Seuss who in hisfinal book issues the challenge: “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So . . . get on your way!”

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Injecting Some Youth in Aging Applications: Insurance Case Study

Submitted by Michelle Dufty on August 13, 2013 As I engage more with customers in the FSI space, I realize that many lack a comprehensive view of business performance.Most have been dependent on aging legacy systems that don’t integrate information across their business operations. Consequently, these companies do not have an end-to-end view of their customers and aren’t truly customer-centric. Fortunately if you’ve read my blog on “Putting the Super in QSuper”, you’ll know that Smart Process Applications exist not only to solve these types of problems, but to also modernize your application infrastructure with BPM solutions that can be up and running in as little as 30 days. A recent case study we did with AIA Australia illustrates the capabilities of BPM and the potential it offers. AIA Australia is the largest group insurer in Australia, and operates in two business areas: superannuation and individual life insurance. They were reliant on disparate systems, including aging content management and work-flow systems across their policy administration, claims management, and new business underwriting processes. They grew quickly through acquisition, which resulted in many application silos that left management with a poor view into their business performance. In need of a change, AIA decided to replace their lagging technology and migrate to a new platform, choosing the OpenText Smart Process Application for Insurance. The solution not only modernized their processes, but it also gave them the customer-centricity they were lacking. OpenText Client Management for Insurance now runs 100 percent of retail new business, policy services, and group-oriented tasks. Management can now view operational performance across the business in real-time with automated data collection, compilation, and reporting. Furthermore, AIA was able to improve their customer experience and retention by being able to prioritize processes and identify trends impacting service levels. Along with this, there have been significant cost and time reductions that burdened management in the past. AIA Australia has not only been able to revitalize their business processes, but they’ve also been able to recognize value across all of their business operations. An injection of youth was all they needed to gain a 360-degree view of their business to enable growth. To learn more about AIA and OpenText’s Smart Process Applications built on BPM, visit us at Enterprise World in November.

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Domain meta models and its influence on the future of back office (process) applications

Blog post by Theodoor van Donge (@Cordys) In the previous blogseries, I have discussed James Staten’s2013 predictions, made in Forbes.com in the context of ‘Agility toERP’. I was delighted to see many views on the blogposts. In the next blog series, Iwould like to discuss the influence ofdomain meta models on the future of Back Office (process) applicationsin a series of blogs. This includes: How Cordys Business Operations Platform (BOP) supports Argility in implementing the ARTS Model for Commerce solutions The importance of Customer Order Decoupling Point (to what extent does an organization influence) and the impact on Information models Software trends transitioning from the Departmental applications towards the Enterprise-wide applications and towards the Business Service applications that are centered around a domain(CRM, HR, Finance, Commerce, etc) What makes a domain model so appealing? The Cordys approach. In this blog, let us lookat the first element as to how Cordys Business Operations Platform (BOP)supports Argility in implementing the ARTS Model for Commerce solutions. Cordys’ partner Argilitydelivers a Commerce solution for Retail operations which is also suitable forother industries as it is basedon the Cordys BOP platform. Their solutionportfolio is on an expansionspree with new Commerce modules. There are twothings that intriguedme in their approach to building the solution. One is theuse of the ARTS model andthe other is the platform approach of Argility’s Commerce Solution Platform. I would like to dwell a little on both theseapproaches. Let’s look at the firstapproach, which involves using the ARTSModel for building the solution. The Association for Retail TechnologyStandards (ARTS) is an internationalstandards organization dedicatedto reducing the costs of technology throughstandards. Since 1993, ARTShas been delivering application standardsexclusively to the retail industry. Argility Commerce Framework has a complete Retail Specific Data Structure that is validated across the retail sector. The data structure conforms to the ARTS Data Model, which is a widely acknowledgedstandard in theindustry. ARTS Data Model is an enabler forIntegration, Master Data Managementand Transactional Processes. Thecomprehensive nature of all master recordsfacilitates a swiftmigration to a single view of the enterprise andimplementation ofMaster Data Management. As you can see, all theaspects of Commerce are covered in thesolution offered by Argility to optimizeyour commerce operation. Theteam has efficiently used the ARTS Data Model tocreate an Industrystandards based solution. This provides a great advantage tothe usersof this system as it has Integration, (master) Data definitions and Processes according to the required specifications. What’s good about thismodel is that it is thought out properly bythe experts of the Retail industry.This Commerce model is in contrastto the ERP systems approach. ERP systems combine themeta models of many industries into onesystem. This creates confusion when youare implementing, customizingand deploying those systems to make them fit foruse by your businessoperations. With the adoption of ARTS by Argility, I seean early birdmaking a breach in the ‘normal’ approach by adopting an Industrymodelin all aspects of system design. I see a great opportunity for many more Industries. Other models that are very promising to be used inCordys-basedProcess applications are: SCOR (Supply Chain domain) VRM (Manufacturing domain) BIAN (Banking domain) eTOM (Telecommunication domain) ACORD (Insurance domain) Now, we will focus a littlemore on the ARTS Data Model. The ARTS Model has fourstandards: The Standard Relational Data Model The ARTSOperational Data Model and the ARTS Data WarehouseModel provideretailers and vendors a mature foundation fordeveloping retail businesssolutions. The ARTS Operational DataModelrepresents a relational transaction-oriented view of the retailenterprise data. It is normalized and designed to support the day-to-daytransactional functions performed by a retail enterprise. The ARTS Data WarehouseModel (DWM)supports business reporting and analysis. The DWM is designed around a star schema approach that supports end-user data query, reporting and analysis. UnifiedPOS UnifiedPOS isthe acronym for Unified Point of Service andversion 1.13 is the currentstandard. It is an architecturalspecification for application interfaces to point-of-servicedevices that are used in the retail environment. Thisstandard,which has been in existence for several years, is bothoperatingsystem-independent and language neutral. ARTS XML ARTS XML hasdeveloped numerous standard xml schemas. ARTSXML builds on the ARTS DataModel to develop standard XML schemasand message sets to ease Application to Application (A to A)integration within a retail enterprise. ARTS Business Process Modeling When retailersset out to define their business strategy, atthe most basic level theydecide on what they want to sell and towhom they wish to sell it. At the end of the day, they need tobe able to execute their strategy betterthan their competitors. Business ProcessModeling (BPM) is about how a retailer chooses to do business, and it’s atool that can help you identify strengths and weaknesses in how youmanage your businessand your strategy. It is a division ofthe National Retail Federation. These standardsenable the rapid implementationof technology within the retailindustry by developing standards to easeintegration of softwareapplications and hardware devices. Manyleading retailers and vendors worldwide contribute in shapingthe ARTS DataModel. The ARTS Data Model is known as the informationstandard in the retailindustry and provides a comprehensive designdocument containing all data elements and definitions required tosupport retail applications. Schematic overview of The ARTS StandardRelational Data Model: More detail can be find: http://www.nrf-arts.org/content/arts-operational-data-model-overview The ARTS community isworking right now on the aspects of Processdefinitions. At the highest level, i.e.,Level 0, the Retail ReferenceModel provides a collection of domain areas and capabilities todescribe the retail enterprise as a whole. The Retail ReferenceModelis divided into several domains: Serve Customers Operate Channels & Shopping Experience Market Goods/Services Manage Merchandising Manage Supply Chain Source Goods/Services Support Enterprise In future releases, ARTS will start populating Level 2, LogicalBusinessProcesses, that take each of the groups identified in Level 1and provides presentation of the logical part of these end-to-endbusiness processes. Level3, the Physical Business Processes, representsthe activities and tasks thatare executed by an actor and system tocomplete a process defined in Level 2. The overview of The ARTSBusiness Process Modeling is modeled in theCordys VDML business modeling technology, using the Capability librarydesigner. My friend,Fred Cummens, has written many posts about the Agile Enterprise and VDML. VDML is an active OMG project for standardization.My colleague, Henk de Man, is one of the main contributors tothisspecification; he is working very close with Fred Cummens, Arne Berreand many others to get this new innovation ready for our Industry. Forthis project, we got the support of the European Commission andworkedvery close with other partners in a joint project called Neffics. Have a look at their website as well. What does all this mean to you? When you need a Commerce Solution,there is one available that is basedon an ARTS model-driven approach. Thatmeans it is ready toparticipate in your business and IT ecosystem. It also means that youbenefit from the work of all smart Retail domain architects thathavecreated the ARTS meta model and you continue to do so with new updates. Industrialization of domain knowledge by productizing this CommerceSolution, is getting to the next levelto accelerate adoption of bestpractices that will result in a betteroperation.What has been donewith the ARTS meta model, can be done with other domainmodels as well. I’m looking forward to talk to innovative ISVs that would like totake this new challenge forward! In my next blog, I would like to dig deeper intothe influence of domain models.

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Supply Chain Symphony: Three Trends, One Prediction

This is a CMSWire cross-post. Eachyear at this time, supply chain geeks (and I use this term with greatregard and affection) eagerly await publication of the annual Top 25list. I have been following this list since its inception in 2004 by AMRResearch, now Gartner, and along the way have drawn some conclusionsabout the processes and technologies it takes to be the best inorchestrating the supply chain. Here is my take on key trends asinspired by this year’s leaders, plus one emerging strategy I predict isthe new “must have.” Let’s see if you agree. Best Practices for Orchestrating the Supply ChainWhenGartner releases its annual Supply Chain list, it is always interestingand fun to see who made the leaders cut on this part achievement, partpopularity contest that is the Top 25. I have written about the list in the past in my CMSWire article series and shared my observations about companies competing on the basis of their supply chain. Asa technologist and a business process improvement practitioner, I amfascinated by the value that a best in class supply chain can deliver toa company and in awe of the Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) and teamof people who can make that happen. In case you are not familiarwith the Top 25, Gartner uses a 50/50 overall weighting for an opinioncomponent and a financial component of the ranking, with the financialsfocused on three metrics: ROA, inventory turns and revenue growth. Whilethe methodology and the Top 25 list itself have changed over the years, it has always been about sharing best practices that have honed theleaders’ supply chains. Of course best practices by their very nature evolve over the years. There was a time when we talked about managingthe supply chain. The CSCO worried about streamlining their supplychain, reducing the number of strategic partners and driving results forthe business by taking costs out of the supply chain. Top of mind wereshrinking inventories, offshoring and outsourcing. While much ofthat is still important, companies are now facing increased complexityand risk in the supply chain, as well as heightened expectations forsupply chain contribution to top line growth. So today’s supply chainleaders find themselves caring more about orchestrating the supply chain, listening and collaborating with partners and customers, while at thesame time finding innovative ways to increase both revenue andsustainability, with engaged and talented teams. This is reflected inthe best practices I see as trending from this year’s Top 25: High performing supply chains collaborate in new ways Leading supply chains pursue performance with purpose Supply chain leaders partner to drive innovation Ithink all three of these must be present to be a Top 25 in the future,just as all parts of a symphony orchestra must be present, workingharmoniously to create the best sound. Trend 1: High performing supply chains collaborate in new waysCollaborationis certainly a strong underlying Top 25 theme. I am excited bycompanies who are looking to collaborate in new ways, especially usingsocial techniques. Using our supply chain symphony analogy, socialcollaboration can be likened to that of the percussion section as ittaps into the pulse of the people, amplifying the beat to create aunified sound. Including these social elements means new ways of sensing and acting upon your supply chain data. Aresponsive supply chain is all about sensing and being demand driven,and supply chain leaders are learning to do this in harmony with the new dynamicsof customer engagement. According to the 2013 Financial PerformanceReport by the GMA and PwC US, “leading CPG companies and retailersbenefit from responding to the speed of the connected digital consumer;top-performing companies see success by engaging with their customers,using digital channels, mobile and direct-to-consumer approaches.” One stand out in the Top 25 is McDonald’s, with “a recent re-emphasis on a strong customer experience, advanceddemand sensing and forecasting capabilities across geographies, and animpressive supplier collaboration framework.” Ray Kroc’s philosophy was, “None of us is as good as all of us.” These days, crowdsourcingand social media are a way to better sense and understand customersthroughout their journey, and these conversations need to be included inthe collaboration for a complete view of your supply chain. Companiesknow they must gain visibility at the boundaries and touch points of thesupply chain flow, and not only in their transaction stream, but alsoin the conversation stream that surrounds these activities. Supply chain teams were some of the first to realize that it was timeto stop talking to employees, partners and customers and instead startlistening to and collaborating with them. The earliest teams found thatthe technology to help them do this was lagging, but that has begun tochange. This year’s number four on the Top 25, Unilever, has undertaken some forward-looking initiatives with crowdsourcing andcollaboration. Crowdsourcing enables a company to broadcast an issue to adiverse audience and ask them to contribute ideas to solve the problem:”The idea is not just to create better solutions but to driveconcerted, cross-sector change.” Unilever adopted a crowdsourcingapproach, inviting all stakeholders to take part in the effort to findways to meet its goals, and unveiled a new Open Innovation websiteplatform to gather and assess ideas from external resources, inviting“anyone who has a fresh, serious approach to new thinking” to pitch in. Aberdeentells us that increasing information visibility is a critical strategyfor complex and multi-tiered global supply-demand networks. They foundthat companies have turned to social listening tools to uncovermeaningful insights hidden among the noise of the social sphere. Infact, data from Aberdeen Group’s Omni-Channel Customer Experience surveysuggests that 48% of companies have deployed social media monitoringand that an additional 38% plan to implement these tools. With the helpof this technology, companies can use the voice of the customer to makecritical adjustments and find issues related to inventory allocation,order management, returns management, cost, overall service satisfactionand beyond. At the same time companies are suffering from information overload. So while effective listening is the first step in a new way to drivevisibility, the next step must be to integrate and synthesize thatinformation with other data and put the results to work in context forthe business. Here too technology has advanced to enable orchestrationcapabilities that include social. The enterprise informationmanagement (EIM) technologies that I work with provide web, social,sharing and integration capabilities to include collaborativeinformation from conversations, emails, social discussions andcrowdsourcing in the discussion that surrounds supply chain processes,partners and customers. Perhaps most importantly they also provide theenterprise content management and case management construct to applythis information to the case or activity at hand, while capturing it forregulatory and audit compliance and for archiving governance. Trend 2: Leading supply chains pursue performance with purposePerhapsthe single strongest theme in the Top 25 narrative this year issustainability. It appears in almost every company ranking description,but quite interestingly not in a vacuum but rather combined with thepursuit of performance excellence across the board. Here again I thinkmy symphony analogy applies well. Just as trumpets and clarinetsmust be blended with the strings in an orchestra to help create theproper sound, so can the pursuit of supply chain operational efficiencybe combined with sustainability to create value for the company. To dothis effectively though, the elements must be carefully orchestrated, asin these examples from Nike, PepsiCo and Chiquita. Nike is citedby Gartner on the Top 25 list for investment in platforms and tools forits suppliers, contract manufacturers and logistics providers, includingsupplier assessment tools that incorporate sustainability-relatedmetrics. Nikehas focused on a number of aspects of sustainability for a decade ormore. Like many leading companies, Nike’s earliest response tosustainability included “going green,” removing paper to improveperformance, and achieving greater straight-through processing in thecase of their financial supply chain. I am familiar with andimpressed by Nike’s case study on using BPM (Business ProcessManagement) apps to improve processes and reduce paper in pursuit of“perfect order” performance — orders delivered in full, on time, everytime — and for improved exception handling when inevitably ordersencounter errors. Paper remains to this day a significant challenge inthe supply chain and finance cash-to-cash cycle, and removing paper isone way to not only improve productivity but also serve sustainabilityobjectives. On the list every year since the Top 25 ranking started, PepsiCois noted this year by Gartner for strengths that include“route-to-market capabilities, strong consumer insights linked to itssupply chain capabilities and an open innovation platform.” Gartner alsohighlights PepsiCo as an early mover in sustainability. I had a front row seat to see the beginnings of the current sustainability trend when I participated in the Supply Leadersin Action (SCLA) council several years ago. Top 25 companies likePepsiCo who are on the council were already showing the way, leveragingtheir supply chain for profitable growth. And that’s not all they weredoing. PepsiCo among others on the SCLA were combining efficiency withgrowth AND sustainability initiatives. PepsiCo coined the phrase“performance with purpose,” which promotes finding innovative ways toreduce the use of energy, water and packaging, and more. They won anSCLA award in 2011 for work in this area. While not on the Top 25 list, Chiquita Brandsreceived their SCLA award in 2009 for excellence in global supply chainmanagement and carbon foot-printing. Earlier this year, one of theirdivisions Chiquita Fruit Solutions demonstrated how they combine acontinuing commitment to sustainability with finding new innovativegrowth applications. Fruit Solutions began as a waste managementstream for bananas that lacked retail-ready appeal. They traditionallymade banana puree but found they couldn’t use the peel and some of thefibrous material left over. They used to just dispose of it by movingthe sludge off-site but then asked themselves, “What else can we do withthat?” The question presented an opportunity to enhance the company’ssustainability efforts. Chiquita began using the material to generateelectricity in another one of its plants. Maurice Morange, their generalmanager, highlights, “With the pressure on the world for carbon releasein the environment, we see this as another way that Chiquita willcontribute and take a leadership role not only in terms of the cost todeliver to consumers but the mechanism and manner in which we operateour facilities day in and day out.” Now a recent new product ideais resulting from that same Fruit Solutions initiative, a ready-to-eatsnack product for retail, crunchy banana, pineapple and mango chipsproduced with patent-pending technology that involves no added sugar,oil or preservatives. In my view, both PepsiCo and Chiquita aregreat examples of bringing a brand to life in meaningful new ways. AsGartner recommends in their Top 25 report for companies, they “setaspirational goals and connect the dots between the work people do everyday in supply chain and its contribution to the societies within whichthey live, building engaged supply chain talent that can lead businessgrowth.” Trend 3: Supply chain leaders partner to drive innovationEveryorchestra needs its conductor and that is the role that the best of thebest Chief Supply Chain Officers play in our supply chain symphony. Butincreasingly they are working in concert with a new set of marketingrock stars to partner on a new product idea-to-launch. Starbucks is a perfect example on the Top 25. Gartnernotes that Starbucks “puts the notion of an outside-in orientation intopractice, measuring the success of its supply chain from the storeback. Its focus on strong integration between supply chain and newproduct launch is evidenced by the success of the Starbucks K-Cup, citedas one of the top 10 food and beverage launches in 2012.” I think it is very telling that one of the most impressive, market oriented and innovative supply chain leaders that I met at the SCLA from Chiquita is now joining Starbucks to head up their global supply chain initiatives. PwC’sAnnual Global CEO Survey found that CEOs see innovation as the vehiclebest suited to put them on the road for growth. In the survey, 79% ofCEOs expect their innovation developments will drive efficiencies andcreate competitive advantages, alongside the 78% who expect innovationto generate significant new sources of revenue over the next threeyears. “Part of [being smarter] about growth is partnership across thebusiness. Leading high-tech and CP companies, for instance, areapproaching new markets with cross-functional teams that include sales,marketing, operations and IT to holistically design a synchronized entrystrategy — starting with the customer and designing the right product,pricing, margin targets, service levels, and supply chain network designand trade-offs that will all work together to achieve the goal.” The best companies in the world have customer-centric supply chainsTheTop 25 remind us that the best companies in the world have highperforming customer-oriented supply chains and supply chain teams. Wealso see that the best companies are increasingly finding new ways tocompete by leveraging innovations that are informed by new customerdata, which is being collected in new ways, and in turn made possibleand practical by their high performing supply chains. Here then is boththe opportunity and the danger ahead. The voice of the customerhas been around for quite some time, Multiple functions including thesupply-chain have paid close attention to the value of activities thatcan amplify and clarify through that voice. Today though there are newways of reaching out to customers, partners, and employees. Marketinghas been first to experiment with and understand both the technology andthe results of outreach activities like crowdsourcing for the business. In his recent Forbes article, Dan Woods discusses how the rise in CMO led technology investments is creating a siloof potentially valuable information and points to the importance of theCIO in implementing a platform to share and integrate this kind of datathroughout the business. Dan notes that the signals found in socialmedia and other marketing analysis can contain valuable information thatcan be used by many different parts of the company. While he doesn’tspecifically call out the supply chain, I will. We know thatcompanies have traditionally employed sales and operations planning(S&OP) to achieve focus, alignment and synchronization across theorganization. Done well, the S&OP process can help enable highlyeffective supply chain management. Sales integration has long been afocus for demand driven supply chains. But disconnected S&OP, ERP,CRM, and home grown systems are not well designed to withstand changingproducts, supplier costs and pressures, regulations and customer demandsthat exist today. Now there is a whole new set of data criticalto both innovation and a responsive supply chain that is being generatedlargely through marketing-led efforts. The CIO needs to ensure that aplatform, like the enterprise information management technology that Iwork with, is implemented across the enterprise so that the supply chaincan take both the structured systems data and the unstructured datagenerated around the customer social profile, integrate it and mostimportantly use it in context for their critical business decisions. Tome, it has become very clear that both the oldest and the newestorchestration challenge for the supply chain is to work in partnershipwith an outside-in customer centric approach. That is why I believe thatmarketing is going to be the supply chain leader’s new best friendforever. What differentiates the best supply chain companies from therest is an unwavering focus across the business on the customer and, forthe future, the technology to be able to integrate and leverage thatfocus. So I predict that supply chain and marketing leaders willindeed become #BFFs, and they are going to need their CIO to make theintroductions!

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Building “Mini Cooper” apps: How ISVs use BPM PaaS to build Smart Process Applications

Blog Post by Hans De Visser (@Hans_de_Visser) From my previous blog you may recall that I described how the cloud is a catalyst for innovation and differentiation by applying theprinciples of Mass Customization in IT. I used the example of the Mini Cooper which’ personalization optionsgive you that feeling like “hey… never seen this one before”, every timeyou come across one. BTW: Mini doesn’t sponsor me, and I myself drive a pretty non-descript grey MPV. The concept just intrigues me and here is why: Last week we held a webinar with John Rymer from Forrester and UdayVijayan from Excel Software about Building and Delivering the nextgeneration of cloud-enabled business solutions. John Rymer started off describing the challenge of softwaredevelopers (both at ISVs as well as in Enterprises) where 78% of themfeel that the pressure of delivering faster and 79% feel that thepressure of delivering more has made work harder. One of the key reasonswhy cloud platforms are chosen is actually to deliver fast. John continued to explain that faster time to market means twothings: Fast delivery requires possibility of customization and promptupdates & changes must be “designed in”. So if you’re building applications on a cloud platform it’s prettykey that the platform supports you with the options for continualimprovement. Here’s the bullet-list that John shared with us on thewebinar. It strikes me that these eight options are all related to thequestion in how far SaaS applications can be tailored / customized /personalized without loosing the advantages of economies of scale and lower unit cost that come with the cloud. In other words can I build “Mini Cooper” apps that have that appealand the options for customization, personalization and tailoring theuser experience at affordable cost? Needless to say that the more support you get out-of-the-box from thecloud platform, the easier it will be for an ISV or Enterprise to takeadvantage of those options at minimal cost and burden. So far the theory. Uday Viyayan, founder and CEO of Excel Softwaredelivered the second part of the webinar, and it intrigued me that theyare applying exactly these principles leveraging the Cordys platform. Excel Software are based out of India and focus on building applications for Supply Chain Management, MRP and Finance. They startedthe journey to migrate their applications to Cordys as while ago andjust recently launched one of their core applications called MedicoOnline as a SaaS application. Uday explained how they were pushing the Cordys platform to theextremes to validate whether the concept that they wanted to apply could actually stand the test. Medico Online deals with sales and distribution in thePharmaceutical, Food and FMCG industries and many of Excel Softwareclients require seamless integration of Medico Online with their ERPback-end. For example: Excel built a single transaction on Cordys thatcould write more than 72 (!) transactions into the client’s global ERPsystem without compromising on any of the system controls – in fact,adding far richer domain specific functionality to the ERP. Here’s apicture of the approach that they took: While explaining the concept using the picture above Uday unveiled apretty interesting view on the architecture of the application. Rather than choosing a “classical” 3-tier architecture, Excel Software leverages the Cordys platform to build their applications in a 5-tierlayer. The three tiers of UI, Application Logic and Database are extendedwith a Process tier and an Integration tier. The two additional tiersare used as and when relevant, so you’re not forced into astraightjacket here. The Process tier allows you to build in flexibility and collaborationby design, particularly when combined with business rules and business activity monitoring (option 3, 4, 5 & 6 from John’s list). The Integration tier supports you to establish seamless integration with other applications and or services from the cloud and on premise. From a design time perspective we offer design artifacts for all the“tiers” in one integrated andbrowser based Collaborative Workspace(CWS). The Collaborative Workspace also covers the application life cyclemanagement aspects for deployment and upgrades of applications. Here’swhere the other options (1, 2, 7 & 8 ) that John mentioned come toplay. Applications in Cordys are collections of various artifacts that aremanaged through the Cordys Application Packaging functionality in CWS.Application packages can be deployed on tenant-level or sub-tenant level(the latter are called organizations in Cordys). Cordys supports organization-level styling and customizations, on thelevel of individual design artifacts. So this gives an ISV andEnterprises all the flexibility to do application configuration andpersonalization up to the level of schema extension while leveraging thestandard application that is shared across organizations / tenants. Cordys manages the dependencies within the standard applications andbetween the standard and customized artifacts on organization level,respecting those customizations during upgrades. For Excel Software this translates to very tangible benefits. The CEOshared that Excel Software reduced TCO substantially and moreimportantly this approach has accelerated Time-to-Market by 5 times forthe implementation time of their applications. This is what I meant with the closing remark in my last blog thatwe’re seeing ISVs adopting this approach with great results. I encourageyou to watch the on-demand webinar, which is available on the Cordyssite. Click here to read more and watch the webinar. I will unveil more of the platform secrets that enable speed toproduction and continual improvement options in a next blog about CordysCloud and the benefits of multi-level multi-tenancy. Stay tuned.

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Social BPM and Smart Process Apps Are Improving Productivity for All Process Participants

Submitted by Derek Weeks on June 6, 2013 OpenText: OpenText recently contributed a chapter “How Social Technologies Enhance the BPM Experience for all Participants” to the book “Social BPM: Work, Planning and Collaboration Under the Impact of Social Technology“. What prompted OpenText to write about Social BPM? Derek Weeks: We are excited about exploring the technology and usage models found in social applications and the results that can be achieved by mapping them to the unique characteristics, diverse participants and emerging opportunities in Business Process Management (BPM). OT: Why do you think Social applications are seeing so much success lately for the enterprise? DW: I think the recent success of social applications stems from the pioneering work that these applications have done to make it easier for people to connect with one another and to share information. As they reached critical mass, even more people embraced the technology and made it a common and familiar way for people to interact and find valuable information. As a result, social capabilities historically associated with applications like Facebook and LinkedIn are being demanded within business organizations. Social applications such as OpenText’s Tempo Social, as well as Plaxo and Yammer are specifically targeting the enterprise market. OT: What about Social BPM? Do you see that impacting the ability to improve process participant productivity, especially with unstructured work? DW: Within the business process and case management context, there are many participants who would benefit from more powerful tools that support connecting people and information sharing. BPM initiatives focus on a variety of participants including Business and Process Analysts, IT Professionals, Knowledge Workers, Management and Partners to name a few. OT: There is so much going on right now in the world of Social, it can get confusing. How would you categorize the various social technologies? DW: Given the dynamic nature of social computing, the technologies that define it are constantly evolving. I see three categories: personal networking, information sharing, and collaboration. Most successful social computing solutions draw on multiple technologies and uses them within the context of a social or business context to form a social application. As an example, Facebook draws on the technology capabilities within the social networking category but each of those sites exist to deliver a different (though clearly overlapping) application. Flickr and Picasa draw on information sharing technology to deliver social applications that enable participants to share photographs. OT: What is the most important piece of advice you would give someone who is currently considering applying social technologies for process improvement? DW: I would say that instead of starting with the process model, start with the participants within the process. Once their needs are understood, processes can be developed that support those needs, not the other way around. Social technologies exist to accelerate social conventions that people already participate in. When evaluating how participants work within a process, how they collaborate and access information should be a part of that analysis. By having social technologies as a part of the BPM toolkit, the value delivered to a participant is increased. OT: How are social capabilities being applied to non-social applications? DW: In the BPM business at OpenText, we mostly talk about applying social technologies and process automation to real people. For example, the concept of following people, which was popularized by Twitter, can be used to follow processes as well. Twitter makes it very easy to see the status of something. There is no dashboard or tabular report to understand. There is simply a single sentence that sums it all up. By using this model to convey the status of a customer’s loan application, or the current status of a service level, participants can now see information in a form that is simple, intuitive and consistent. OT: How can Social help promote collaboration? DW: Collaboration is not just about the ability to create discussion boards. It is about knowing who to collaborate with, how to structure and progress the collaboration and how to capture the collaboration so it is useful to others. Collaboration is greatly enhanced when it is combined with expert search capabilities. Having access to a network of knowledgeable people enables participants to find the most skilled resources to form a collaborative team. OT: OpenText is talking a lot about Smart Process Applications these days. How does social fit into Smart Process Apps? Many customers of our Smart Process Applications are using social and collaborative capabilities today. By providing out of the box capabilities through our smart process application factory, organizations are able to quickly and consistently introduce capabilities like instant messaging, user surveys, and knowledge management. One of these customers, Irish Life, was recently covered in a Smart Process Applications research paper by Forrester, Smart Process Apps: To Combine Social and Dynamic Case Management, where they stated, “Irish Life used social within its case management claims solution and increased productivity by 35%”. OT: What do you think is the most significant promise of Social? DW: I see tremendous potential not just in making people more productive but also making them more knowledgeable. Having access to the right information or expert at the right time has a long lasting impact on the individual doing the work. Productivity and service are also enhanced when process participants have tools like OpenText Smart Process Applications with built-in social capabilities to enable them to immediately find and connect with the people needed to keep process and case work moving. By integrating these collaborative capabilities into business applications, these collaborations can be contextual in that transaction specific information can be shared and the collaboration itself can be linked or copied into a system of record so audit trails are more complete and reconstructing how decisions were made is easily enabled. To learn more about OpenText BPM and Smart Process Applications, please visit www.opentext.com/smartprocessapplications. We also invite you to read OpenText’s contributed chapter in “Social BPM: Work, Planning and Collaboration Under the Impact of Social Technology“. Derek Weeks joined OpenText in 2009 where he leads the global product and corporate marketing team for its Business Process Management (BPM) and Enterprise Architecture (EA) portfolio. Over his 20 year career, Derek held executive and senior management positions at Systar, Hyperformix, StorageTek, and Hewlett-Packard’s OpenView software business. OpenText recently sat down with Derek to discuss BPM and social technologies.

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Cloud: the catalyst for innovation through mass customisation in IT

Blog Post by Hans De Visser (@Hans_de_Visser) Part I – How BPM platforms help enterprises to capitalise on the cloud If you believe that cloud equals cost cutting and that’s all, then you can skip this post. If you’re looking for ways to leverage the cloud for innovation at affordable cost, here’s my view on how smart manufacturing principles can now be applied in IT, thanks to a wealth of services that can be consumed from the cloud. The question is how to capitalise on this? The (short & simple) answer is: apply a BPM platform as your “cloud service assembly line”. I believe that we are going through a radical shift in our industry and it strikes me that there are a lot of similarities with how the manufacturing industry has evolved over time. Many people view the cloud as a means of just reducing the cost of IT and, while that’s definitely an important factor, there’s a far more fundamental pattern that revolves around consuming IT services and applications from the cloud, tailored to the needs of customers and end-users at affordable cost. One could say that cloud services and applications are “democratizing” IT and fostering innovation by combining various services at (relatively) low cost into tailored and personalised solutions that drive productivity and engagement through personalized experience of customers, partners and employees. In the manufacturing world this concept is called Mass Customisation, as first described by Joseph Pine 20 years ago. It’s all about postponing differentiation until as late as possible in the production process combined with lowest possible unit cost. Enterprises should take advantage of this concept and apply it in IT by: Embracing the cloud for consuming services on different XaaS levels where and whenever possible. (BTW: I have an appreciation for the fact that some systems may be kept on premise) and Making sure that they use an “assembly line” to integrate, aggregate and orchestrate these services. In my view, a BPM platform is an ideal “assembly line” as it can perfectly handle the initial provisioning, the “stitching” of the services, and the orchestration of running aggregated services. If you’re smart you’ll use BPM “as a service”. I say “should” take advantage because this opportunity of leveraging cloud and applying mass customisation will turn into a threat if ignored. I am seeing companies adopt this approach and driving innovation at a cost level that is substantially lower and at a pace that is significantly higher than the alternative of doing it on premise. As this is a pretty fundamental concept, let me share some background on the concept of Mass Customisation with you, so that you really get what I am referring to. As you may know the Cordys core team has its roots in the ERP space, working for Baan Company, one of the four players that actually shaped the ERP market in the nineties. We were particularly strong in the discrete manufacturing vertical with best of breed functionality to support multiple manufacturing principles varying from make-to-stock, engineer-to-order and assemble-to-order. Make-to-stock production is typically for commodity goods where mass production allows for lowest possible price per unit. On the contrary, engineer-to-order is typically suitable for capital-intense industrial goods like high-end machinery that is built uniquely or in small series. In between the two extremes is the assemble-to-order concept which allows companies to assemble a product with unique characteristics but built up from standard modules and assemblies that, in turn, could be make-to-stock, or produced on demand based on pre-defined specs. Assemble-to-order combines elements of make-to-stock and engineer-to-order to produce larger series at affordable cost. A smart form of mixing these concepts is the manufacturing principle called Mass Customisation. It’s described as “effectively postponing the task of differentiating a product for a specific customer until the latest possible point in the supply network. It combines the low unit costs of mass production processes with the flexibility of individual customisation”. It’s interesting that complete industries such as car manufacturing have gone through cycles when it comes to applying these manufacturing principles during their lifetime. A century ago cars were pretty much engineered-to-order. Then Henry Ford revolutionised the industry with the introduction of the Model T that could be ordered in “any colour, as long as it was black”. In the last decades car manufacturing companies have driven lean and assemble-to-order manufacturing principles to perfection, including the support of Mass Customisation more recently. One of the best examples is how BMW has turned the Mini Cooper into a personal and affordable style icon. It says that out of 100,000 new Minis only 5(!) will be exactly alike. So what does it take to apply Mass Customisation principles? In a nutshell: First of all, you need the right set of standard components, assemblies and modules as building blocks, along with the definition and routing of the operations to be performed to get the final product. Secondly you need the production / assembly line to perform the assembly tasks and operations. Last but not least the customer needs the tooling to actually configure the product within the applicable rules and constraints. You may be thinking, “This is all very nice, but how does this work for IT”? In IT, like the cycles that the car manufacturing industry went through, we started off with engineer-to-order systems and applications as the predominant model. Then the model of “commercial-off-the-shelf” software or “packaged” applications came along, a market boosted by the availability of client–server systems. The rise of the internet, followed by Web 2.0 based on the worldwide web standards, and the availability of bandwidth infrastructure has propelled the proliferation of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS offerings for both consumers and business at a pace absolutely unseen in the history of technological innovation. So we now have the building blocks on various levels of the “stack” and various levels of granularity. Think about network, storage, virtual servers, and a myriad of applications for CRM, ERP, SCM, BI, office productivity, mobile apps etc. They’re all available as services from the cloud, and the standards (Rest & SOAP) for “plug & play” integration of the services are there. The last piece that we need is the “assembly line” to create, aggregate and orchestrate the right bundles of integrated services that are tailored to the needs of the end users. A BPM platform, assuming that it’s supported by solid integration and application development capabilities, is the perfect assembly line for leveraging the Mass Customisation principle using cloud services. Let me give you an example to illustrate my point. We have replaced a Siebel CRM system at one of the leading emergency centres in The Netherlands with a BPM / Case Management application that combines core application logic built as per customer specification (engineer-to-order) with a set of standard public- and private cloud services which allow this company to handle road assistance support calls very efficiently and effectively. BPM is essentially used as the mechanism to steer the application (assemble-to-order). We mix dynamic workflow to support the call handlers with straight-through workflows calling and generating the right mix of services to coordinate all stakeholders in the value chain. One of the ways which we apply mass customisation is that, by integrating Google Maps with the application to plot salvage companies, hotels etc. in the neighborhood of an incident on the map, the call handler gets visual support for selecting the right services for the client in trouble. Similar services are called for number plate checks, insurance policy checks etc. There’s no way that we could build an equivalently rich solution at an affordable cost level that would be so tailored to the needs of the customer without leveraging these public- and private cloud services. In the case above we leverage pretty simple and straightforward cloud services. In another example, one of our strategic partners has built a full blown solution for “a 360° view on the customer” with an integrated portfolio of cloud applications for web content management (Drupal), marketing automation (Eloqua), sales-force automation (SFDC) and analytics (Adobe). This portfolio is offered as a single solution to the customer, connected to on premise systems like ERP and managed by the partner under a specific Service Level Agreement. In both enterprise customer examples, the BPM platform acts as the decoupling layer between different types of services, supports the aggregation on multiple levels of granularity, and introduces a level of flexibility to influence (Business Rules), change and replace these services at an unparalleled level of productivity. If this approach gets industrialised with “service configurators” on the front end and an assembly line that takes and personalises the right mix of services, we’ll see the birth for Mass Customisation in IT. In my next blog I’ll address how the principles of Mass Customisation are applied in the next generation of business application where we’re seeing ISVs adopt this approach with great results when it comes to productivity and application lifecycle management cost.

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