BPM Product Trends to watch for in 2012


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The year 2012 is going to bring in new possibilities for all businesses. I have tried to compile a list of areas BPM Projects Mangers and Implementors should focus their attention as well as evaluation criteria in the year. These efforts would definitely be complimented by the BPM Vendors trying to incorporate these features in their product itself. User Friendliness User friendliness is going to be on top of the list. Forms, Interfaces and task screens all need to be made as simple as an email screen. Tasks should come as mails come in inbox. Migration from paper forms to Electronic forms should be seamless for the ends users. Products like Savvion Business Manager allowing customization of user interface will see better acceptance than those which have plain blunt interfaces. Another trend that is going to be important is an Excel Kind of Table layout. Users dealing with Bulk data would prefer a tabular form for entering multiple requests together rather than opening and filling information one form at a time. Products that allow multiple items out of the box will score better than the ones with plain single forms. Mobile BPM With Mobile Field-force becoming more powerful and Smartphones becoming cheaper, a lot of businesses would prefer making applications mobile friendly. Claim processing, Incident reporting workflows would be more useful when “mobified”. With iPad and Tablets become popular as well, Senior management would prefer seeing the dashboards on their devices. In this sphere technologies like HTML5 and Phonegap/Titanium will be very prominent given the diversity in mobile platforms. Blackberries are far more popular in corporate world but soon iPhones and Androids will become popular. Customers, suppliers and Employees all need to be made part of the business process. Mobile would be the right approach to enable an end to end automation. Complex Event Processing Complex event processing is now becoming the buzzword and gaining popularity in the BPM Space as well. Processes need to be smarter responding to events. While BPM Space already had some event support, CEP will open up new areas and definitely should be tried out as a complete solution. Out of the Box Features Products that provide out of the box features will see more interest. This would specially be for highly integrated applications. Noteworthy would be to see how companies like BonitaSoft that provide a huge inventory of adapters would gain more popularity. While Customization would still be required, being a project manager focus should be to reduce as much custom development as possible. Responsive Reporting Reporting and Business Activity Monitoring should see lot of interest as well. Products like Progress RPM which help you look ahead rather than look back will be very useful. While basic reporting would still see lot of use, the more actionable your dashboards become the better. Lot of BPM products are now either embedding a BAM product within them or providing adapters for others. The trick in selecting the right product would be to determine what level of reporting you want without compromising the simplicity of BPM Product. Very frankly I would give more points in my evaluation to those products who keep BPM and BAM separate yet integrated. Social Social BPM saw lot of focus in last couple of years and will continue to see it this year as well. While we are still learning how to make processes social without just mimicking a “Scrapbook” kind of interface, products that make it very easy to work through cases will see good results. Products like IBM Blueworks live which are changing that way Businesses deal with processes would definitely be worth checking out. Data Centric Complex data management from your processes should also be focused this year. A lot of BPM Products are integrating with ERP systems like SAP and want processes to deal with Complex Data like Material Masters, Customer masters. While it will be challenging and Costly to try and built the same screens on your BPM Products, approvals and data cleaning activities will become more process centric. Business to Business B2B processes involving customers, vendors, suppliers will become very popular. The Entire supply needs to be bought to the BPM Platform and products which allow secure connectivity and collaboration will be very popular. Project Managers should try to extend their current BPM Capabilities using out of the box or custom application development. Complete Solutions What SAP did a few years back of creating domain specific solutions is going to see focus this year. A process stack for Finance, Logistics which is available out of the box and still allows you to customize will see good focus this year. Products like PEGA who already do this are going to grow even more in this space. There is also quite a possibility of marketplaces providing domain processes for various products to evolve and flourish Hope the insights are helpful. Comments and suggestions are welcome.