If cross-enterprise communications is one of the big difficulties in developing business processes and, as a result, business process management, then this week's upgrade to Global 360's (news, site) BPM suite, which now integrates Microsoft Lync, will go a long way to solving that problem.

Global 360 has also added Workforce Manager in this upgrade, which enables enterprises to delegate enterprise tasks to appropriate people or departments, but Lync is in the spotlight again this week with the release of Office 365, of which it is one of the major components. So the integration with Lync, even if it’s not the full Office 365 suite, will attract attention.

Microsoft Lync

Lync, you may recall, was released toward the end of last year, grouping the family brand of products formerly known as Microsoft Communications Server, Microsoft Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Communicator. The brand now includes Microsoft Lync Web App and Microsoft Lync Online as well.

Add this to Global’s already substantial BPM offering and you get a process management suite that becomes more effective, even if it’s only because of its ability to connect the different workers in different places that are developing elements that make up a process.

Global 360, Lync

Of course, from a business point of view, it also makes a lot of sense for Global 360. Citing figures contained in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Report on Unified Communications for 2010, it says 75% of Fortune 100 companies are using Lync as one of their communications tools.

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Global 360 BPM Integration with MS Lync

Given that process management in companies this size can be somewhat difficult, the fact that Global 360 is offering integration with Lync out-of-the-box must be a major marketing point for the upgraded suite.

With it, companies of all sizes will be able to find people, share knowledge and capture conversations as part of a case record, and then store them for future reference, without having to leave their desks.

Workforce Manager

But let’s not forget the other major element of this upgrade, which deals with one of the other headaches within business processes: Task assignment.

With Workforce Manager, workers will be assigned tasks based on backlogs and knowledge worker availability.

Taking profiles from SharePoint and schedules from Outlook, managers will be able to simulate task goals and achievements and ensure that clients’ needs are met, and this across enterprises that can have thousands of knowledge workers spread across numerous geographical locations.

This should be a substantial addition to Global 360’s suite as it aims to enable enterprises to combine structured and unstructured processes that require a high level of knowledge worker involvement and collaboration.

By being able to assign workers based on their abilities, skillsets and availability, it will tighten the link between structured processes implemented automatically, and those that need supervision -- in all, a far more effective way of approaching two kinds of processes.