Monday, October 22, 2018

2018 RPA Hot Vendors

Aragon research has a series of hot vendor reports for 2018 that you can access by clicking here , but there is one report that I'd like to point out on RPA. As you know automation is a hot digital topic and RPA has been making a lot of noise around it's potential for automation assistance today plus shows great promise for the future. The attraction of RPA is that it translates to cost savings pretty easily, but there is much more potential as RPA becomes smarter and used in combination with other technologies that are also aimed at process improvement. If you are interested in the future of RPA, please click here. The 2018 RPA Hot Vendor report can be accessed by clicking here




The 2018 Hot Vendors are as Follows: 


Another Monday
Contextor
Jacada
Kryon


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Top Five Mistakes Impacting Customer Experience Efforts

Many organizations think that creating easier to use and prettier user interfaces across many channels will suffice for a better customer experience. Others believe that having more data to leverage and an inside out experience driven by a Customer Relation Management (CRM) system that is filled with rigid transactions will do it. While these are helpful, they don't seem to be having much an effect as needed to make a dent into this problem. Why are customers still so dissatisfied?  What's needed is efforts that take "outside-in" view with better customers journeys that leverage design thinking to deliver great experiences linked to better processes.



Ignoring the Impact of a Bad Experience

The numbers are scary. 80 percent of  organizations think they provide superior service, but only 8% of their customers think that they are getting superior service. It's worse than that in that most customers do not like their service at almost all the organizations they deal with in an ongoing fashion. It gets exasperated by surveys that are designed to bury the issue and reward managers despite the poor results in the customers eyes. 86 of customers that leave organizations leave because of poor customer service. What's worse is that 95% of those customers tell others of their bad experience and won't even tell the organization they leave. They will tell between 10 and 15 others about their bad experience though. This is not a pretty picture, but it is real.  

Not Understanding the Upside of a Great Experience 

86% of customers say they would pay more for a superior experience, This translates to around a 10% increase in revenue and 20% reduction in ongoing operating costs. The real benefits come form looking at the economics of the cost of gaining a customer as it is six times as expensive as taking care of your customers. The cost of getting a customer back after they leave is probably a much more shocking number. Investing in a new business model that is based on a great experience might just open up some bigger numbers.  

Thinking that Just Drawing Journeys Delivers

Many organizations go through creating customer journeys either that reflect their existing journeys that represent common paths of service, but not necessarily "happy paths" Others create a target journey that ends up being a highly marketed target. The best efforts consider both and design a migration path from the current to the target usually in an incremental fashion. The best organizations tie these journeys to their processes in new and inventive ways. 

Not Considering the Organization and the Employees Supporting the Journey

If organizations consider only the customers view point without looking at the skill silos in organizations and the employees that support the customer journeys, there will be only short term improvements. This will be at the expense of the end to end customer journey, driven by the customers compound goals. Since happy employees can make a significant difference, their journeys should be considered too in the context of the customers journey. 

Thinking that Customer Improvements are One and Done



The is a common belief that customer experience efforts tend to happen in a big bang fashion and its time the move onto other efforts. Even if there is a slow roll out of a new experience, you are never done. The customer experience is a living, breathing and changing asset that needs constant attention. New channels and new technologies are one thing, but how customer expectations are morphing over time also need to be considered. 

Net; Net

Organizations will be competing on customer experience over time, so avoiding common pitfalls is crucial. Keeping customers happy over time is much better than losing them to a new business model not anticipated. Your competitors are looking for every advantage to steal your customers by leveraging better products and services, but the customer experience is their next target. 



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Art for 3Q 2018

I was asked to paint a dinosaur by my granddaughter in Austin. Specifically she want a Carnotaurus, so I worked the Internet to find a good starting point. Of course I did my own thing, so it may not be scientific. The emphasis on this painting is the creature coming out of the mist. I've also included last quarters digital pieces that were just fun :) Please see my other pieces at www.james-sinur.com







                                                              Fossils


                                                                Lit Sky


                                                          Color Blizzard 


                                         

Monday, September 10, 2018

Driving Momentum on Your Digital Efforts

I'll be doing a free webinar on "How Business and IT Leaders Can Drive Transformation Momentum" on Sept 14th at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. Hear about the Strategies and Tactic that are linked and working to drive success with real examples laced through out the presentation. One organization changed it's positioning from last to first in it's industry.

PLEASE SIGN UP HERE:    LIVE Q&A WILL BE ENCOURAGED !!! 




How can you mitigate Digital Transformation stalling?
While many businesses have taken initial planning steps towards transformation, it's challenging to ensure that progress continues. Join Jim Sinur, VP Research and Aragon Fellow, for a webinar on how to use a Digital Business Platform to initiate transformation, measure progress, and accelerate your digital business goals.
This webinar will cover:
  • The current state of Digital Business transformation
  • How a Digital Business Platform accelerates business transformation
  • What to look for in choosing a Digital Business Platform provider

Thursday, September 6, 2018

TIBCO NOW 2018: Innovation at the Edge

TIBCO held its user conference in Las Vegas this week and TIBCO delivered to it's theme. TIBCO is serious about providing innovation assists with it software assets and an offer to collaborate together with clients and prospects in a lab environment of it's own. This is a pretty unique offering in the days of intense digital pressure to transform. While TIBCO is a leader in the Aragon Globe for Digital Business Platforms (DBP), TIBCO shines in the areas Augmented Intelligence and Interconnected Everything (resources of data, systems, services and people). For a quick overview of the TIBCO platform, please see the honeycomb chart in Figure 1. While many of the pieces work together seamlessly now, each can be leveraged in usable clusters.

Innovation:





                                           TIBCO Offers a Lab for Innovation 


                                Figure 1: TIBCO's Digital Business Platform (DBP)


The Edge:

At the edge, TIBCO is doubling down it's efforts with Flogo and adds it's ability to sense event streams and aggregate them into patterns by leveraging rules. All of this is at the edge with a tiny footprint and superb performance. To this end TIBCO and JABIL announced an important IoT partnership that will support all kinds of devices and boards at the edge including telematics for the insurance industries. JABIL is one of these best kept secret companies that provides manufacturing support services and products. This will put AI at the edge over time and help with predicting down time and sensing important activity at the edge.



Intelligence:

TIBCO announced a new version of Spotfire that is aimed at analytics in an accelerated fashion by leveraging NLP and even more advanced dynamic behavior. TIBCO also announced a New Data Science Offering exclusive to AWS market place. This approach mimics their rich offering to TIBCO's client base. See Figure 2 for TIBCO's overall  vision for it's Data Science Offering





                                Figure 2  TIBCO's Data Science Platform Vision

Rapid Development & Low Code:

TIBCO also unveiled their approach to citizen development with Live Apps leveraging starter kits. There were numerous sessions dealing with citizen development which is needed to keep up with the new digital pace. In the case of lighter applications that need integrated resources, collaboration between citizen developers and IT professionals are encouraged in Live Apps. One of the demos used NLP with a light weight process to the point of impressing Amazon


Net; Net:

TIBCO is focusing it's strong resources in an ever improving fashion towards their customer's challenge of Digital Transformation while transforming itself into a more potent offering in their areas of strength. More to come on customer proof points and case studies in my next post.

Friday, August 31, 2018

BoxWorks 2018: Morphing into a Bigger BOX

Attending BoxWorks 2018 this week, there were some new and compelling themes for organizations on their digital journeys. There were over 7000+ participants, a big leap from my last BoxWorks two years ago. Since 2016 Box has grown in size and ability to help organizations with content, to be the "Switzerland of  Content" that is open to all streams of content including image, voice and video. Well Box is not satisfied and is moving to add intelligence and context to support a wide range of digital challenges.



Defining a Huge Box: 

Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, laid out some ambitious goals for his organization to become not just a content platform, but a platform the can support both the Digital Work Place which according to Aragon Research requires a Digital Work Hub  and Digital Business which according to Aragon requires a Digital Business Platform (DBP). While Box can certainly expand it's impact to both, but this is going to require a significant evolution of Box and it's supporting technologies and partners. Since Box is extreme in it's openness and is investing north of 20% of it's revenues in R&D, there is a a good chance this can happen. Aaron painted the Digital Challenge well and unveiled some if the aggressive steps Box was taking with some proof points to came later in the show with many enthusiastic clients on stage.

                                                        THE BIG BOX GOAL


                                                               

                                                                BOX TODAY



 Efforts to Expand Box:


Box is leveraging it's growing metadata around content to find new and exciting uses in tagging,  visualizing and enabling action from those tags including finding objects in videos in context. By adding machine learning (ML) the skill level of Box rises to learn, tag and categorize all forms of content for various uses downstream. This is called Skills and there are basic and custom skills for identified metadata tags. (see the turtle picture below)  Box will use various ML and AI partners starting with the normal known players of Google, IBM and Microsoft.



Box is also expanding it's notification of the presence of specific content and events through feeds. Box is also expanding it's ability to automate tasks in and around content and making those automation patterns available for reuse. While Box has some process definition and execution of processes inside, they plan to partner with others for production processes on operational data. Today they work with Nintex and Pegasystems mostly, but are open to working with others.

Net; Net: 

Many of the Box case studies on stage were around sharing and securing masses of heterogeneous sources of content.  There were glimpses of use for the new capabilities, but it is early. Box is gaining momentum and wants to be the "Switzerland of AI and Process" to help expand the scope of digital efforts, it's clients are dealing with and only develop features that the market doesn't support or can do better than it's partners. This is ambitious, but doable if they exercise a great level of wisdom and discipline in developing only what they do best. I was encouraged with the strategy and initial steps taken. Time will tell how far this will carry Box forward.






Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Up Coming Events for Collaboration: Second Half 2018

There is strong momentum around tactical topics like RPA, Low Code, Workflow and DML, but there are also some strong themes around strategic use of Customer Journeys, AI, Blockchain, Industry 4.0, Edge Computing and Digital Business Platforms (DBP). There are many things to talk about and would love to catch up with others in a number of up coming events. See below


                    Art Work Entitled "Apple of My Eye" More Sinur Art Here

EVENTS

Date           City                Sponsor                 Content

8/29      San Francisco   Boxworks              Digital First 
9/4-6     Las Vegas          Tibco Now             Innovation at the Edge
9/14      Online Webinar  Aragon                  Digital Momentum 10:00 AM PST
10/24    New York            Aragon                  One on One Meetings  (still openings)
10/25    Boston                Aragon                  One on One Meetings  (still openings)
11/7-8   San Antonio       BBC                       Decision Management
12/6      San Francisco    Aragon                  Smart RPA & Awards Ceremony


These are exciting times of better customer interaction, improved business operations and new business models. Efforts are emerging and transforming to take advantage of the new digital world.  I am excited to interact with folks the rest of the year. See you soon. 



Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Making Digital Delicious


Today some organizations have a sour taste in their mouth on digital and for good reason. There are those large consultancy firms that make one feel that they hold the recipes for digital and if you are willing to part with millions, they can make you a master chef. Your IT department, backed by deep research from high priced research firms, can also create and appetite and provide some teasing tasting plates of various digital technologies to choose from for the future. These approaches have created a bad taste in many organizations mouths. We would suggest that your organization is already digital and could be more digital with some practical steps unless your industry is under duress to create a new business model. Here are three practical approaches to create the “Digital Donuts” (Figure 1):




                                                        Figure 1 Digital Donuts

Create a Better Customer Experience:

Today the customer experience is crucial for customer loyalty and attracting new customers. This doesn’t mean that your business model is broken, however it means your organization should make it easier to do businesses with now and in the future. There are a number of efforts that can supercharge the customer experience. Of course making things mobile, aggregating data from legacy systems and eliminating unnecessary keying through automation are no brainer efforts. Mapping and measuring customer journeys are a next step to remove friction in the processes and point out opportunities for more automation, chat bots and digital assistants. If your organization is bogged down with legacy overburden, significant wrapping may be required to create processes and customer journeys

Pick a Business Optimization Opportunity:

While business optimization has been an ongoing drive for most organizations, these efforts can be supercharged by process mining leveraging time lines, predictive analytics, machine learning, and various forms of process automation. There is also a new emphasis on resource optimization and assistance through knowledge assistance for human and software bots. More straight through processing and assisted exceptions are growing in popularity which requires a more precise closed loop approach to decision management assisted by no code decision approaches.

Pick a Business Differentiation Approach:

In parallel to investments in the customer experience and optimizations, organizations can sandbox new business approaches by trying new processes in a fail-safe environment. When time to market makes a difference, buying additional companies that represent a great jump start to a new business model is typical for digitally savvy organizations. 

Net; Net:

Don’t let others make your organization feel digitally unsavory. There are many great digital recipes. Your organization is probably digital already, but now is the time to make choices to become more digital leveraging the best business direction possible. Since digital allows for better outcomes in a speedy and agile fashion, some directions can be corrected in flight with today’s digital approaches leveraging decision management, more automation and no/low code approaches.  Many of these flexible digital technologies are embedded in Digital Business Platforms (DBPs)

Additional Reading:







Wednesday, July 18, 2018

What's the Future of RPA?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been a sector on fire. In order to carry momentum in the coming months and years some things need to change and unfold while delivering on tactical benefits. The will be a shift from a reduction of labor exclusively to more of a business outcome driven approach. Listed below are the changes I see coming in RPAs future. Make no mistake that automation will continue to be a big theme, but additional factors are needed to keep the momentum at a fever pitch.




RPA Must Target Multiple Business Outcomes: 

Traditionally RPA has made a great living reducing labor costs while adding accuracy and moving dull labor to automated bots. Mimicking human actions will continue, but there are other business outcomes that need servicing by RPA.  As Bots grow in capability, it can act as a listening post for patterns of interest, bid on available work and assist as a digital assistant to customers. Bots need to be goal driven as well to adjust to changing business needs.

RPA Market Places Must Emerge:

Today bots are built and will continue to be, but businesses will want to buy or rent bots to shorten time to results. This will probably happen vendor by vendor, but eventually these bots will have to be supportive across vendor lines as standards and universal catalogs emerge.

RPA Must Get Smarter:

Bots today are rather simple and single function in orientation. Over time these bots will leverage algorithms, statistical models, and multiple forms of AI and extend their functional impact and reach. As they get smarter they will become more autonomous and start to bid on tasks.

RPA Has to be Governed on the Edge:

Autonomous bots will live on the edge and act with high levels of freedom. This brings the challenge of setting up governance boundaries and constraints. Swarming agents/bots will likely be goal driven and bidding to win business, so dynamic governance will rise in importance

RPA Must Increase its Scope of Impact:

While RPA can replace humans on happy paths to create straight through processes, but there is much more to address. Bots must grow from structured screens and data to knowledge rich cases or dynamic processes that are emergent in nature.  Bots should be able to sense events and recognize patterns,  assist decisions and suggest or take actions.

RPA Must Assist the Human Experience:

Bots should not only assist employees and other labor focused resources, bots should assist customers. These bots should sense the personas and behave in context to assist people on either their work or consumer journeys.

RPA Needs to Embrace Adjacent Technologies:

RPA vendors should seek to partner with process vendors, process mining vendors and digital assistant providers at a minimum. Additionally RPA providers should leverage and partner AI and algorithm providers to expand their future.

Net; Net:

RPA is great, but it needs to set it's sights on a broader and deeper set of impacts. To keep this roaring fire of momentum going, I expect many of the seven categories above to be leveraged. It is a big set of tasks for these vendors, but the outcomes will be valuable to all.

Read More Here:

The Four Dimensions of RPA
Process Automation
Unleash The Bots
Bots n BPM
The Elastic Workforce








Monday, July 9, 2018

Art for 2Q 2018

After moving away from people portraits and creature paintings for a bit, I'm back at it this quarter with my frog painting. This is a commission job. I've also included last quarters turtle portrait, now that is has been scanned in for my website. This time trying something very detailed with acrylics (I usually use oil paint for these kinds of paintings).  I have no name for the frog yet, so I would like some suggestions please :)  www.james-sinur.com


                                                                 Night  Frog




                                                                     Island Sunset




                                                                    Mr Turtle 



                                                        
                                             

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Process Automation vs Process Management

There is a lot of buzz around Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and there are those that would try to convince you that RPA replaces Business Process Management (BPM). There are others that would have you believe that BPM can be leveraged to do what RPA does in most cases. Let's examine this issue. Right now RPA works on specific tasks and BPM works on orchestrating all kinds of tasks that involve RPA or not while dynamically delivering changing business outcomes. Over time they will have more overlap as both leverage more intelligence through AI and Algorithms.





What Does BPM Do?

BPM manages tasks and the sequences in an end to end style while monitoring results and making necessary adaptations to keep goals and business outcomes on point. BPM is a task or event coordination/orchestration capability that makes sure the best sequencing (flows), even in parallel streams, are chosen at any point in time. BPM applies to simple or complex system and human tasks intermixed and dynamically optimized for SLAs.  Processes are great at exception handling and are often supported by decisioning capabilities (usually visual rules). Processes and process snippets (smaller sequences of tasks) are great a delivering best practises and emerging better practises recognized in cases.

What Does RPA Do?

RPA is great at automating manual tasks and stream lining some parts of an overall process. RPA, today is very task focused and operates with the boundaries of a existing process. As processes flex, this relationship may change. The scope of RPA today are much more focused and limited to single tasks. Though there may be a large number of specialized bots, their power is leveraged by the sequencing that process give them today. This may change over time.

What Can They Both Do?

They both help streamline processes for better efficiency and cost savings. They both support rapid deployment and ability to implement change in an incremental fashion. They both can start out with a low cost approach and grow to value over time. They share many of the operational improvement benefits. Over time as processes and bots increase in intelligence through AI they will both increase the customer, employee and partner experiences to create better journeys. Imagine a bot or a process Cog (AI) assisting you with your job!!

Net; Net:

BPM and RPA are better together for sure and they both will get better as they add smarts. As control moves to the edge, those tasks sequences will likely be short running and smaller in scope putting the advantage to RPA over time. Task sequencing is important in a great number of cases, so process will be there, but not as the BPM of old that many know today. In the future as the bots become more intelligent and are able to anticipate and negotiate, then maybe there will be less pre-built processes.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Is Digital Transformation Reengineering in Sheep's Clothing?

There seems to be an awful lot of parallels between business reengineering, which focused on helping companies radially restructure their organizations by focusing on the ground-up design of their business models, and the way Digital Transformation is being touted by some. There are some "Chicken Little's" out there saying the sky will fall in on you. There are some visible examples in some industries, but radical business model change won't happen all at once in every industry simultaneously. On the other hand, nobody should ignore opportunities to leverage digital opportunities. This is a bit of a tightrope walk, but a necessary one with a safety line whenever possible 





Industries Under Siege:

When your industry is being attacked by better business models that are digitally enabled, then you may forgo the safety line and play it a bit riskier. Make no mistake digital will influence most industries by providing a better customer experience that includes faster, better, cheaper with more visibility. However, rarely is it a situation that requires turn key solutions yesterday. Yes, digital will increase the pressure, but organizations do not have to get out of the business model they have successfully rode for years.  They will, however,  have to pick up the pace of change and innovation. Whenever possible industries under siege should be working with parallel solutions to keep the lights on while trying new ways of doing business (better customer journeys, dynamic value chains or new markets). 

Most Everyone Else:

If your industry is not under siege, organizations should be taking steps to leverage digital in the best way possible to enhance and leverage the strength of your existing business model. If you are in the mortgage business, you better underwrite easily in the context of what the buyer complete journey might entail. You might start with a better data collection, but might end up guiding buyers and sellers through their whole experience, not just the loan process. Incrementally adding crucial and customer pleasing capabilities while being operationally effective and efficient on top a proven business model is a beautiful and profitable thing. If your organization is not working with several proven digital methods and technologies, there is lost opportunity. If your organization is not experimenting with a digital approach that could leap-frog themselves over the competition, there is also opportunity loss .

Net; Net:

There are some who are hiding radical change under the cover of digital transformations, but it isn't always necessary at the speed they demand. It's in their best interest to scare you into working with them to guide your through the dangerous territory of digital. While it's true there are dangers, risk can be lowered and incremental can work with digital. This is why there are many paths to the top of the mountain that can be taken one base camp at a time. 




Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Timing of Customer Journey Mapping

When should organizations practice customer journey mapping? Should it be done before the customer experience is built? There is a case for mapping the actual experiences after the fact and using the lessons learned to adjust the customer experience is strong. There is an emerging possibility of using real time emotional measures to adjust the customer experience based on the customer's reaction to the customer experience so far, which may include multiple touch points over time.



The Planning Approach:

Organizations that want to understand their customer experience and plan a better approach will use customer journey methods and technologies to actively create a better customer experience. This approach really works well with new systems and planned augmentations. The trick here is not to over-analyze, but to practically involve real customers, organizational representatives with a good dose of independent thinking.

The Audit Approach:

Organizations that want their analysis of the customer experience to be reality based, will use a measurement approach that gleans data from systems and people to create a near realistic view of the customer experience in context of the customers goals and persona. The challenge here is to think out of the box and imagine situations beyond the expected "happy paths" when designing a better customer experience. 

The Real Time Approach:

Organizations that want to adapt inflight, will gravitate to use technologies and techniques to measure the real time moods of the customers. This "on the fly" approach requires some newer emerging technologies such as AI enabled by emotion detection embedded in voice inflection, real time images and gestures or natural language understanding. This allows organizations to customize responses to individual customer situations in context. The challenge here is that the costs could get out of hand without creating some common responses over time.

Net; Net: 

The obvious answer is to use all three approaches, but that is easier said than done. The real time approach is still emerging and maturing. The planning approach might be too late if an organization has a legacy base that requires significant augmentation or change. Measuring what's going on might require significant instrumentation to gather the data. The answer depends on the situation at hand, but doing nothing is not an option. A customized mix is probably a solution, but this is not a "one and done" circumstance. We can't depend on getting lucky like the squirrel pictured above as we will all get wet with customer experience issues.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dawning of Digital Disappointment

We have been seeing one article after another about how organizations are getting frustrated with Digital. It boils down to setting expectations. If you fell for the "digital will change your business model overnight", then I can understand why. Not every industry can expect a wholesale business model change overnight at this point in time. If your organization took an incremental benefits and learn approach as you progress digitally, you probably are still pretty happy even though you are not quite sure what the actual end game will be with digital. It may not matter because your organization is growing skills and competencies that will bode well for better customer experiences while creating greater effectiveness.



Let's Look at Rocket Mortgage:

Did Quicken Loans expect their product name to become more popular than their organization? Do they mind laughing all the way to the bank as they drew in more business even though they didn't really transform the mortgage business model while legacy applications of old still churn away under the covers? They added a very customer compelling front end leverage the best that digital offered at that time and put their muscle behind it. Customers received speedier and more visible results, but Quicken still does loans baby. This is practical application of digital in a focused way.

Let's Look at Taxi Service:

Many of  the taxi companies inspected themselves after the dawn of Uber & Lyft. They couldn't understand why customers would take a chance with unlicensed drivers just because there was an easy and visible app that linked you with drivers where you were. Once the traditional organizations realized they were in the transportation business that needed to wrap themselves around a better customer service model, many launched successful car services. Will it be enough to survive the jump start lead that Uber and Lyft have gotten? Time will tell

Let's Look at Industry 4.0: 

While the appeal of dynamic and customer adaptable supply chains whose complexity is buffered from the customer is great, there are incremental steps for new kinds of automation that do not require redesigning it all at once. More humanity laced automation in any piece of the supply or value chain will deliver benefits. Imagine a production line that watches workers and coaches them to better performance even if they are deep in the linked Industry 4.0 adaptable supply chain. While an end to end flexible supply chain that delivers custom product to the customer in the best way possible is still the goal

Net; Net:

Let's still keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities to disrupt with digital, but let's not forget that is not all "Turn Key". There is incremental value to mini-digital journeys that deliver benefit while making progress towards the ultimate digital destination. Maybe expectations need to be changed to match emerging reality.

Read more about incremental mini journeys and digital on ramps by clicking here



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Value of a Decision Management Framework


An organization’s ability to make excellent decisions will be a huge differentiator in today’s ever changing business environment. The days of leisurely decisions are numbered because of the speed and momentum of business. Also the amount of data, information that is available for any one decision is multiplying in an exponential fashion. More and more decisions will require the assistance from data science and combinations of algorithms with AI assistance. Aragon Research introduces it's Decision Management Framework(DMF). Click Here for the Research note. The basic dimensions are below. Click here for a free webinar on May 11th, 2018 with more details. 








While organizations will depend on people to leverage their experience and intuition in the best possible decisions, more and more decisions will be leveraging automated assists for human decision making. In the new digital world more decisions will be made in an automated fashion with significant consequences. In fact some decisions will be made at the edge without central control, so learning to manage these kinds of decisions that may be happening in an instant is essential.


Another factor being introduced in the much faster and smarter digital world is the ability to decide on making changes in the operational reaction. These changes could be implemented in procedures/processes, which in turn will help humans change. The ramifications of decisions and their downstream effects require a higher level of decision management.

Decision Management is an emerging discipline that needs a common base architecture, a shared methodology and a set of technologies. This research will seek to define a DMF that works for the large majority of decisions that will occur today and the foreseeable future. The resulting DMF will likely be used as a shared communication device for both business and IT professionals to describe the decision context, the decision components and the potential actions. The big reason is for better decisions consistently. 

Net; Net: 

Decision Management is an important emerging discipline so learning how to leverage a decision management framework will be well worth the effort. While decisions can’t always be purely methodological and scientific, having an organized approach is not only helpful in many situations and necessary in areas where there are lot of unknowns. This Decision Management Framework is important to keep in mind when making decisions and used as a communication device minimally. Technology markets are emerging to support these very frameworks and will be gain significant attention in the near future. 










Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Priority on AI Transparency?

Should we back off on AI to make sure it is transparent? Is there a way to balance exciting progress enabled by AI with the visibility necessary to make sure AI is not doing something wrong or immoral? AI is kind of a black box and what's happening inside is not only mystery to those using, but it is to the developers as it gets more sophisticated. Let's look at the some of the aspects of this issue.



The Case for More AI Visibility: 

How can we allow a black box to make important decisions? Can we really trust AI to make ethical decisions in a fair way? With programs, we can look at the coded logic and see the paths that can be chosen and watch the outcomes. With Decision Modeling Notation (DMN), we can see the decision and the results like programming. With AI we can't see the possible paths, reasoning and alternatives chosen from. Who can make sense of the inner workings of AI? Who do we hold responsible for the outcomes and ethics of AI? Would you trust AI with your life? AI is not flawless, so let's watch it closely.

The Case for Full Speed Ahead on AI:

Why should we slow down the benefits of AI while we wait for complete transparency? By a long shot AI algorithms are more accurate, by far, than human counter parts. AI can detect illnesses faster and can assist doctors with treatment plans. While some decisions are life impacting, there are a goodly number of decisions that are not life critical. Many AI investigations and actions can be logged and leveraged. AI should be tested like any other computer programming for a large number of possibilities. While the test beds for AI are difficult and sometimes near impossible, over time near perfection can be approached.

Net; Net:

Since AI will be involved with many decisions going forward, transparency will grow as an issue. If you want to hear more about decision management, AI driven or not, please sign up for a free webinar by clicking here  I believe that we can strike the balance by using AI to mine the audit the logs and actions generated AI activity. Let AI watch AI.

Monday, April 23, 2018

bpmNEXT 2018 Demonstrates Next Gen Processes

bpmNEXT aims to the definitive showcase of next generation processes (BPM) and it certainly did that this year. There were some interesting and intense demos of how process would change over time. We all saw process linking with decision management, customer journeys, IoT, process mining, advanced analytics, AI, RPA, Robots, Blockchain, voice and image recognition. There were many dimensions of process evolution practically demonstrated in 30 minute segments.



It was clear that process will be involved with significant innovation in the evolving digital world and that transformation is doable in increments. While most of the participants were vendors, there were notable visionary end users like Quicken Loans (the designers of customer journey called "Rocket Mortgage"). The hot topics were around decision management with DMN, linking with emerging technologies and automation of various kinds including AI, RPA, Mining and Robots. While one would expect a collegial environment surrounding the love of process, there was significant controversy with the powerful audience that bpmNEXT attracts. One was around DMN versus AI around transparency. Another was around Digital Business Platforms DBP being a market versus an architectural construct. I will take the blame for the later and will be creating a post for both controversies down the line.

The Digital Business Platform is a Destination for Digital Transformation:










Highlights:

The highlight demonstrations, for me, were the demos that showed the promise of voice and video based digital assistants tied to BPM. The best one in this category was given by Francois Bonnet of ITESOFT where he demonstrated the interaction of a Robot, BPM, Voice and Video Recognition working together somewhat seamlessly.

Another significant highlight came from Denis Gagne, from Trisotech, who not only demonstrated Decision Model and Notation (DMN) in modeling mode, but showed decisions in action with their associated test beds. This demo showed the full range of DMN in action. For a free webinar on Decision Management and DMN on May 11th, click here

The last, but not least, of my top three demos came from Pieter Van Schalkwyk of XMPRO where Pieter showed us process at work at the edge of an IoT network in place today. The demo focused on finding that important event or pattern at the edge with a critical part of a critical piece of safety equipment. The piece of equipment was crying out that it was at the end of it's life and needed an intervention. This involved looking through tremendous volume of events, most noise events, to find the key action trigger.

Bottom Line:

If you want to see the latest and greatest that process has to offer as it plays a key role as a digital choreographer, bpmNEXT is the place. bpmNEXT is not for beginners, but maybe it should open it's offer to show process as the true collaborator for digital transformation.









Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mounting Pressure for Better Decisons

We are in a perfect storm for making great decisions and nothing less. There are converging forces that put a premium on better decisions in that organizations are being asked for more in a changing world. At the same time the number of assists that are available to boost better decision making are also emerging quickly. What are these forces and boosts to increase an organization's ability to make better at the minimum and great decisions at a maximum? The coming decision wars will be at the forefront of success going forward for organizations and individuals.

For a FREE WEBINAR on DECISION MANAGEMENT CLICK HERE





Forces Affecting Decisions:

Business Contexts Shifting Faster

Organizations are being swamped by the increasing number of factors that can affect them. While operational pressure persist and are intensifying, other factors such as governance, shortages, political storms and economic shifts are increasing simultaneously. This puts a premium on scenario planning like never before.

More Data Available Than Ever

The amount of data available for organizations to leverage is mind boggling and increasing by the second. All organizations are now information dependent and the amount of  data/information swamping them is larger than ever. This puts a premium on data mining and matching productive decision journeys with the proper data sources.

Increasing Speed of Business 

Organizational speed is increasing significantly. The idea of pondering operational adjustments is just not as feasible as it was just a few years ago. Tactical decisions have to be done quicker than ever because of customer demands and competitive pressures. The number and speed of opportunities and threats is accelerating faster than ever, so measured responses have to be done quickly.


Forces That Boost Decisions:

Increasing Intelligence

The number of intelligent coping mechanisms is growing rapidly. Traditionally algorithms have been the bastion of intelligence applied to data and this source continues to grow. Now we have miriad Machine Learning (ML) capabilities that can be used in conjunction with Deep Learning (DL) and eventually Cognitive Components (COGs) that can be assembled in combination with the aforementioned intelligent components.

Agility Features in New Software Platforms

Recently the spotlight has been on low code approaches that leverage model driven, menu driven and parameter driven code. While this is good, there are also other forms of explicit forms of rule and policy change that do not require changing of any code. A new promising form of rule agility is driven by a decision standard known as Decision Modeling and Notation (DMN).

Better Decision Reference Information

Catalogs of available helpful decision components (ML, DL. COGs, DMN, PMML, etc)  can be searched and leveraged during any decision journey. These reference catalogs also contain data sources that describe available data resources. These are one of the main ingredients in a Decision Management Platform (DMP)

Better Real Time Collaboration Work Spaces

Work Spaces have been in the headlines for a number of years now, but they have not been aimed at the decision management problem in a consistent fashion. The potential of work management spaces of decision collaboration is largely untapped

Net; Net:

The forces need to be matched by the proper boosts combined in innovative ways. This matching process should be guided by Decision Management Framework (DMF) that explains the nature of the decision(s) in a collaborative fashion. The DMF communicates both the business and technical attributes of a decision so that a good Decision Management Journey (DMJ) can be mapped out and supported by a Decision Management Platform (DMP). I will be writing more about the DMF, DMJ and the DMP in future posts, but you can attend the following free webinar.


For a FREE WEBINAR on DECISION MANAGEMENT CLICK HERE

Additional Reading:

Better Decisions with Decision Management
Decision or Data First Post
Beware of the Data
Intelligence










Monday, April 9, 2018

Art for 1Q 2018

After moving away from people portraits and creature paintings for a bit, I'm back at it this quarter with my turtle painting. This time trying something very detailed with acrylics (I usually use oil paint for these kinds of paintings).  I have no name for the turtle yet, so I would like some suggestions please :)  I have a couple of new fractals for your viewing pleasure as well. www.james-sinur.com

                                                             Mr  Turtle 


Glass Star 


                                                     
Spiral Crazy 


Throwing Star Convention 



Ice Necklace 


Loopy Monday