Thursday, March 27, 2014

bpmNext Had Something for Everybody

This was my first bpmNext and I came away impressed with the level of honest interchange. I was fortunate enough to land the keynote slot, but the real benefit was to see the depth and breadth to the process related technologies and activities (BPM). There were a number of key themes including lowering the barriers to entry plus expanding to new and exciting movements leveraging the new digital assets and form factors. There were interesting sessions for all levels of BPM maturity and types of BPM efforts. There were sessions aimed at expanding the BPM biosphere, making BPM efforts more consistent and expanding the reach of BPM

                   Demo of a SAP Hana driven dashboard for a transportation hub

Expanding the BPM Biosphere:

There were several sessions that showed how the barriers to entry for BPM could be lowered for an expansion of BPM for lower complexity processes. Almost all of the sessions here leveraged social, mobile and or the cloud. These sessions were presented by Colosa, Interneer, BP3, Effektif, Bonitasoft, BPLogix, Camunda and Inswit. The goal for these vendors are to easily handle process creation and execution. Each vendor had their unique way to attract newbies to the process work. The highlight for me was W4s approach that allowed developers to start at the process model, data definitions or UI experience.

Making BPM Efforts More Consistent:

There were several encouraging presentations on making BPMN more consistent through new and resilient methods/guidelines even enforced by a rule driven macro generator. Also there were several sessions demonstrating the interchange of BPMN models between BPM vendors. I was most impressed with the session that aggregated snippets of process models that were created by a geo-diverse set of authors. All of this makes BPMN more stable, consistent and useful. IBM showed possible new approaches for extending BPMN for event condition and patterns combining event management, decisions and processes. Camunda is experimenting with a collaboration environment for checking BPMN diagrams leveraging the collective.

               Whitestein shows an intelligent goal driven AO BPM approach to logistics                        

Expanding the Reach of BPM:

There were a number of themes that showed the delivery smarter processes. There were several sessions on linking architecture to processes (Signavio & Vision Waves). There were several sessions on Agent Oriented BPM besides my opening keynote. Kofax/Kapow presented on data agents and how to leverage them for business results. Enterpriseweb and WhiteStein showed goal driven AO BPM with some impressive presentations. SAP presented the combination of goal mining, analytics, rules and process driven approaches to keeping logistics on track. Keith Swenson of Fujitsu suggested we call agents personal assistants and showed a medical example for sharing information around patient testing using federating sandboxes.

 James Taylor demonstrated his brilliant decision modeling capability that assists in delivering better decisions inside or outside the context of processes. Robert Shapiro of Process Analytica demonstrated his powerful process mining and  process optimization technology.

Net: Net:

There was plenty of evidence that the BPM industry is alive and well. There is something in BPM for everyone and bpmNEXT represented this theme in an exceptional way. I was in learning mode throughout the sessions. Even though the BPM GURUs and key BPM vendors were there, there was plenty of intellectual food for even us normal folks.

Funny Quote of the Week from Jacob Freund of Camunda:

 "BPM is like a roach; it gets everywhere and you can't kill it"