Tuesday, March 31, 2015

bpmNext 2015: The State of the Union

The aim of bpmNext is to get the key players in the BPM arena to share ideas and push each other forward. This is an event where participants can let express directions and opinions without punishment. We were welcomed by Bruce Silver and he challenged the crowd of about 80 to ponder three large canyons that he was seeing in BPM. There are large gaps between Enterprise Architecture and BPM, between process and decision models and finally between BPM and Case. These were going to be the themes of some of the vendor sessions. He then talked about where BPM was expanding it's horizons via the internet of things (IoT), cognitive computing and optimization focused process mining.

Nathaniel Palmer then gave his vision for BPM 2020 and stated that we needed to change from BPM today where the processes are just data driven, intelligent and adaptive only to a BPM tomorrow where processes that also give credence to robots, rules and relationships.

Next Clay Richardson talked about the importance of reinventing BPM for the new age of the customer where he indicated that customers would be more demanding and capable of switching organizations that service them better in a blink of an eye. Clay backed this up with tons of survey data.

After a panel on growing BPM bigger, Neil Ward-Dutton then talked about the size of the BPM market and growth rates at the single digit rate. While the audience pushed back on the conservative rate of growth, Neil did lay down the challenge to link BPM to transformation to accelerate that growth.

Remy Glaisner of Myria then talked about the relationship between BPM and the growing number of specialized robots in the non-manufacturing sectors. He challenged the BPM folks in include robots and cognitive bots in their processes as resources.

Ignite Demos: We then kicked off 30 minute fast demos after a brief context setting for each vendor:

Thee first two were by SAP & W4 that included the IoT. SAP demonstrated a oil pipeline problem with a dispatched service person with the proper pump replacement. The visual approach here was done very well. W4 then demoed a fall sensing capability for managing folks who are living alone without help.

WhiteStein/Living Systems then demoed a goal driven approach that used changing goals based on an emerging case. I followed up with a presentation on goal directed and swarming processes where any of the resources can become part of the processes dynamically.

Trisontech & Comindware then demonstrated their tools that more highly linked enterprise. architecture with processes. I really liked the neighborhood approach and linked tasks/entities pictured below:

Sapiens & Signavio demoed their ability to manage and model rules

Kofax & IBM then dueled on mobile content scanning and cleansing; both did a good job.

Robert Shapiro from Process Analytica demonstrated his ability to mine and understand process related logs in the heath care industry for patient care.

Net; Net: 

While all the sessions are not complete, this bpmNext is a great improvement over the past. I look forward to the next one :) The state of the process union is good and progressing. All is well, but we all want it better.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blog Activity for 1Q 2015

I thought you might find it interesting what folks are interested in reading about process related topics on my blog. It is interesting to me to see what gets hit the hardest, so I can plan future postings for you. First are the top ten blog posts to date.  The up and coming subjects were around delighting customers, the health of BPM and the digital transformation facing us. 

Where in the world are the hits coming from?  The US is always number one by a wide margin and is not shown here. There is no surprise that France, Russia & Germany are at the top, but I am surprised that Japan is off the chart and China is a new comer. UK & India are sliding while the Ukraine and Canada are rising. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Art Projects for the First Quarter 2015

By the way, I have received a number of encouraging remarks about my art and I just wanted to thank all those folks who took the time to give me courage to move onto more art challenges. THANKS  :)  I started out the year by creating a tribute to my oldest son who did not make it through 2014. Portraits are very difficult and take anywhere from 6 months or more to complete. This time I was very focused on finishing faster for Andy's kids. The original will hang in my house, but I am creating copies for them. At the same time I was commissioned to do another fall scene, so I just finished "Autumn Road". It was adapted from a photo of a local road where the leaves turn yellow only. I also completed a painting that basically was hanging around as a background project. Sorry for the quality of the photos, but the originals are be scanned as we speak. I also worked out a couple of new fun fractals.

For more information on Andy see the following blog posts:


For more of my art see my website:
http://www.james-sinur.com/paintings/  for traditional paintings
http://www.james-sinur.com/digital-art/  for digital art

Andrew James Sinur  Jan 6, 1975 - July 9, 2014

Autumn Road 

Mysterious Mesa

Scorpion Party

Purple Haze

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

bpmNEXT 2015 in Santa Barbara Next Week

I get to go to a number of great conferences through the year and one of my favorites is bpmNEXT. The reason is that there are so many ideas that are exchanged and discussed from some of my favorite people in the BPM sector. Of course it doesn't hurt that it is in Santa Barbara, but we will be indoors in deep concentration :)  If you can make it, I think you would find it a wonderful exchange as I do.

Here is the exciting agenda for you:


Here is where to register:


Monday, March 23, 2015

Digital Transformation: Just Blow Up the Current Processes?

What is the value of current practices and infrastructure as they operate in processes & systems today to support the target digital models? The value really depends on the nature of your transformation. If when you established you target business and technical architectures there were radical departures from what is being done today, then the current architecture becomes more important. If the target architecture is a quite different and shows great innovation or there is desperation to move away from an old business model, then the current architecture becomes only a reference to check for making sure the target architecture doesn't miss important ingredients.

See http://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2015/03/targeting-your-new-digital-presence.html for some important targets to hit in the new emerging digital world.

When the Current State is Imperative:

If your organization has invested heavily in legacy purchased or bespoke processes/systems and there is not a significant threat in your industry, then salvaging the current processes/systems is important. You can still enter the digital world by changing the customer experience with creative mobile uses, supercharging decisions with big data analytic approaches and cutting costs with cloud based cognitive computing. One can employ and incremental transformation approach to getting to a better digital business over time.

When the Current State is Advisory:

If your organization is currently or expected to be under competitive duress from up-start or current competitors, or governance demands are dictating radical solutions or your executives anticipate new opportunities/threats, then the emphasis in on getting to the target digital platform quickly. In these situations the current processes/systems have a diminished value and should be used as a reference model to determine important missing pieces, policies or practices. It might be fine to then blow up the current processes afterwards, but at a minimum conservative organizations like to run in parallel for a period of time.

Net; Net:

There is great danger in over valuing the current state in that you can cut off real innovation and find an excuse to aimlessly evolve. There is also a great danger in throwing out the investments and experience from the past and receive the hard knock lumps all over again. There us a real balance to strike here. I have lived through both versions of these mistakes, but we always arrived at the right answer over time. The problem is that today's business environment does not allow for that time to steer back to the right course unless incremental approaches are employed. Balance is the watch word, but keep in mind that the resistance to change will bias towards current state.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Targeting Your New Digital Presence

Organizations know they need to have a digital presence that will be different than "business as usual"  See  http://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2015/03/do-digital-or-die-21st-century-mandate.html ,if you need a reason to start your digital journey. There are a number of activities that will help you move forward. One activity that really helps organizations is to develop a target business model and a supporting set of processes, systems, resources, emerging technologies, and data lakes. Along with the set of target crisp models, organizations will also target soft models of new skills, and change management approaches. Listed below are the typical targets to set or update when going digital.

Multiple Targets to Hit

Business Models:

If you are a start up or your industry is under duress, creating a new business model is the absolute starting point that will result in a business plan that could be supported quickly without the deep infrastructural supports and multitudes of support staff as digital levels the playing field.

If you have an established business model and there is some evidence that change needs to occur (customer journey maps, competitive comparisons, new entrants), then an update to the target business model would be in order, skipping this step is risky unless you are in a safe harbor with little chance for competition or customer rebellion. The business model should include alternative scenarios, goal packets and governance constraints that can have significant impact on the outcomes.

Processes & Systems:

Once there is a target business model, then a portfolio of processes, linked partner/customer processes and support systems can be modeled and mapped. This target can be accelerated and enhanced by cloud based modeling software from either the enterprise architecture or process modeling technical categories. This step will be more valuable and accurate if customer journey maps are available.


The resulting target processes and systems will likely have resources supporting and changing them. A target set of people, machines, on premise and cloud based services/apps. With the advent of the internet of things (IoT) and cognitive computing, there may be more devices and smart personal assistants/agents.

New Technologies:

The target business models, scenarios, goals and governance constraints plus their associated processes/systems and resources will give hints as to what new technologies are likely to be included as targets. If they point to a better customer experience, there will be a collection of likely technologies. If they point to faster speed or higher levels of complete decision and prediction, then another set of technologies will be beneficial. Keep in mind that the target models could point to a large number of new technologies for your organization and plans will have to be laid to obviate the risk of each individually or in concert.

Data Lakes:

There is a big demand for more data implied with all of the above and new data sources must be planned to support the new targets. There are new forms of data emerging particularly when new patterns or shifting goals are a key ingredient in the new targets. Since data fuels opportunities, there may be a need to capture more data than the target indicate. Some of the new technologies generate new and large streams of data and emerging discovery will beget the need for more data to gather rapidly.


The new targets will imply new skills that will need to be added to existing personnel as well as skills needed to be on-boarded with new people. New skills are especially a needed for new resources and technologies. You may have to temporarily augment your staff with outside skills until a learning curve can be absorbed. Quite often outside change agents can be helpful as hires or rentals.

Change Management:

We all know that the more is communicated about the targets areas, the better the result. Understanding how much change is needed in each area of your organization will have to be assessed and different approaches may have to applied to ease the inevitable imagined pain of change. The real pain can be softened by applying different change techniques including education, training and communication methods.

Net; Net: 

Going digital is a great opportunity for organizational introspection even if there are few resulting changes. I think it is highly unlikely that this digital presence wave will leave things the same for most organizations. This is as big of a change that I could imagine for surviving organizations.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Up Coming Events for Collaboration / 2Q 2015

There was strong momentum for organizations to start mapping their transformation to the new digital world in the first quarter. I suspect this will be a trend for the rest of 2015. I expect that there is a lot to talk about in a number of up coming events. I hope to have some interesting conversations on going digital and the role of BPM & Case Management.


Date           City                Sponsor                 Content

3/31      Webinar              Kofax                    E-Signature Gateway to Digital
4/1        Santa Barbara   BPM Next             Defining the Next Gen Process
6/8        Orlando              Pegasystems       Pegaworld Conference
6/22      DC                       BPM.COM            BPM & Case Management

Net; Net:

These are exciting times and new business models are emerging and transforming to take advantage of the new digital world. I am just thrilled to have a seat to watch what organizations so with their opportunity to create new services or products and extend existing business models. See you on the other side of transformation.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Do Digital or Die: The 21st Century Mandate

Most organizations have digital systems that they rely on to support their basic operations, but there is a movement to double down on digital in "The New Digital Era" to differentiate and stay competitive. This means digitizing tactical and strategic actions will also be included in this new push. We are in the middle of a renaissance of the use of technology to create new or modify existing business models. There is a perfect storm brewing that includes shifting global / economic trends, a more digital savvy customer and several waves of emerging technologies. Organizations that stay in their comfort zone and wait to embrace digital might find themselves at a great disadvantage or worse.

Beginners Focus on Customer Experience: 

If your organization is not trying to raise the bar to create a better customer experience with your organization, you are not only shutting yourself off from new revenue opportunities, you are taking a risk that you customer will leave you for another competitor. Enlightened companies are mapping customer journeys from the customers perspective to create new touch points interfaces and processes that reflect the true want and needs of their customers. This plenty of benefits in these efforts and they will buy time for additional efforts to emerge to take on more speed and intelligence. These efforts are enhanced by journey mapping, process discovery and mapping, social, mobile and cloud technologies that offer ways to share maps and surround operational systems with customer pleasing touch points and interfaces on their mobile devices.

Intermediate Types Focus on Increased Speed:

While there can be an increase in overall speed to resolution by focusing on the customer, there is a need for increased speed to recognize emerging patterns, make better decisions and produce better actions and outcomes. These can occur in sub-second time frames in machine driven cases or over a longer period time when human collaboration is necessary to combine diverse skills, knowledge and goals. Not only is there a premium for speed to goals and milestones, there is a premium on speed to change. This ranges to near real time adjustments to explicit rules, goals and flows to speed to the acceptance to change in your internal organization and partners behaviors. These efforts are enhanced by big data, internet of things(IoT), case management,  advanced analytic capabilities and agile methods.

Advanced Types Focus on Optimization with Super-Charged Intelligence:

While happy customers and better speed to market are great outcomes, the competition will not abate without optimizing the efforts needed to deliver condensed knowledge delivered at the point of interface just in time to react or ahead of time to intercept issues before they happen. To be proactive, there may be the need to have responses planned, practiced and waiting in the wings that were created with advanced simulations. To assist knowledge workers to be trained and handle complicated situations, the workers may have to have alternative better practices presented to them that were mined, analyzed and inventoried for contextual application. Perhaps these same knowledge workers or processes will be assisted by cognitive computing agent available in the cloud to ascertain better decisions leading to better actions and outcomes. These efforts are enhanced mining, complex events, poly-analytics, robotics, adaptive case management, agents and cognitive computing.

Net; Net: 

There is no reason why an organization can't have efforts in all three of these categories, but most organizations can't devote the kind of large effort to take on all three at once unless it is focused on a smaller scoped piece of the business. One this is for sure. If your organization is not planning it's transformation to digital, it is at serious risk of great loss. We are at a point in time where maintaining position without change is nearly impossible. It is going to take serious efforts to win against your competition and gain a large mass of lifetime customers.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Kofax Transform 2015 Lives Up to It's Name

Kofax has been steadily transforming itself from a capture only company to a full coverage smart process company that delivers high levels of analytic capabilities and the agility to adapt to changing needs over time. On top of this process and full life cycle content architecture, Kofax and their partner networks are building smart process applications (SPA). Now Kofax wants it's customer base to transform themselves thereby igniting customer engagement with Kofax Total Agility.

The CEO, Reynolds C. Bish, gave the 770+ attendees a Kofax growth and financial update and all the news was good. He then gave the strategy to sell vertically and horizontally with a leaning towards solutions overall. He also talked about the recent acquisition of Aria's Customer Communications Manager and how it rounded out the Kofax Total Agility(KTA) platform. He also announced a new SPA called Kofax Claims Agility. Reynolds then challenged the audience to start their transformation by offering a special KTA accelerate incentive program to encourage Kofax customers to start their incremental transformation program to light their customer engagement fuse.

Net; Net:

Kofax has successfully pulled off an incremental transformation of itself and is fully qualified with their technology, SPAs and partner network to help it's client base to pull off their own incremental and benefit rich transformations at their own pace. I will be looking forward to transformation stories emerging over time. Meanwhile, customers can take steps toward short term benefits.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Processes are Going Hybrid for the New Digital World

These days the idea of hybrid is popular in business and technology, but it has multiple implications for processes. While hybrid cars are gaining popularity and hybrid crops are a polarizing topic, hybrid for processes will be an important evolutionary step as the scope of process impact continues to grow to cross internal and external boundaries. Process creators will be combining different colors, textures and mixing mediums for the desired end to end process master pieces. The art metaphor doesn't quite hold together as processes can dynamically change to have an evolving master piece, but art gets close to the idea. Hybrid Cloud is a hot topic today, but the implications for process are more varied. I have identified five areas where processes will leverage hybrid approaches that can be put together in many combinations and permutations.

Hybrid Resources: 

Processes can leverage a myriad of skills, knowledge and system components. From a people perspective, processes can conduct, orchestrate and enhance collaborations across multiple disciplines, skill and experience levels. From a system perspective processes can do the same for process components of varies sizes on granularity as well.  Processes can manage and visualize the execution of services, APIs, snippets of processes and whole systems while delivering business outcomes. In addition, processes can enable the people machine interactions in new and evolving ways as cognitive computing emerges upon the scene. Resource management is the most common form of hybrid pattern for processes to leverage. 

Hybrid Process Styles:

There are various styles of process that have specific uses for specific problem domains, but more and more these styles are being combined as the use of process broadens in it's scope and impact. Certainly, straight through processes styles can be combined with case management to handle exceptions. When exceptions rule the day, which they may very well as we move to massively customized processes customized by each customer and their demand for a personalized experience, rule dynamic, intelligent and case management styles become more dominant. Depending on who you listen to, there are a myriad of process styles. I have seen forms driven, straight through, content collaboration, guided navigation, case management, intelligent, goal driven and agent styles employed in organizations singularly or in various combinations. 

Hybrid Speed to Smart Results:

Many of the unique process styles have implied speed expectations. straight through processes are expected to be completed in sub-seconds and cases can linger for months or longer. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), speeds have increased to nano-second responses.  Processes can handle hybrid combinations of timing goals from nano-seconds to years and everything in between, but mating these together requires deep thought to marrying the styles.  

Hybrid Business Outcomes: 

As processes expand their scope across internal and external organizational boundaries, the balancing of business outcomes desired by each organizational unit needs to be taken into account. As processes extend to enhance the customer experience, each customer will have a say in their expected outcomes. Process will have to represent the hybrid goals of all the parties and will likely shift from flow driven to goal driven based on a "best hybrid result" for all parities involved without violating goal and governance constraints. 

Hybrid Digital Technologies: 

While processes are now absorbing some of the early digital technologies to help organizations deliver adopted digital business models, there are more digital technologies on the horizon to leverage as businesses transform. Today we are now employing social, mobile and cloud and these will still offer new and growing opportunities in better customer experiences. Next in the pipeline are event/pattern detection, big data analytic capabilities, Internet of things, robotics, smart media and cognitive computing. 

Net; Net:

As processes head towards managing the "end to end" experience in the most savvy manner, hybrid behavior will become the new normal. This is an essential building block to become a significant player in the new digital world. Get ready for the opportunities, challenges and threats. The first step id to unlearn the old definition of process and get with the new and evolving hybrid definitions. They will be goal driven and act in swarming "just in time" fashion to support customer journeys.

Further Reading: