A final word from this year’s CeBit conference, which closed in Germany at the end of last week, comes from Software AG (news, site), which announced it has integrated two of its flagship products to produce one mega-business process management product called Enterprise BPM.

Enterprise BPM consists of the integration of Software AG’s business process analysis platform called ARIS, and its business-to-business server and SOA-based integration platform webMethods.

Process models created in the ARIS Strategy and ARIS Design platform can be executed within webMethods BPMS with minimal reworking.

With it, Software AG says, enterprises are being offered an end-to-end lifecycle process improvement platform, with which they will be able to work in a collaborative environment to build processes with input from the "business" side of an enterprise as well as the IT side.

BPM for IT, Business Users

For business people who may be more results-driven than their IT colleagues-- who will be more concerned about building the processes themselves --  the platform should give them a more tangible stake in building processes, while the IT workers with this should have a better idea of what exactly business people are trying to achieve.

In effect, it creates a more holistic approach to process development that enables a collaborative approach to defining business strategies and then building the processes required to put those strategies into practice.

Succeeding at process improvement requires the ability to execute tactical, project-based initiatives quickly with the collaborative support of all stakeholders, whether business or IT… We allow our customers to move from projects to programs with an approach that is business-driven and IT enabled,” said Dr. Wolfram Jost, CTO with Software AG.

Interestingly, though, at CeBIT, Software AG indicated that this is only “the primary integration of the ARIS and webMethods,” indicating maybe that, over the course of the coming months, or even years, there is more action to come on this front.

BPM Objectives

However, for the moment, it seems that enterprises will have to satisfy themselves with new process development in three areas, which by themselves should provide considerable improvements not just in the way processes are developed, but also in the overall results that stem from their implementation. Those areas include:

  • Process Transformation: Optimze business processes around defined business strategies as outlined and defined by enterprise users
  • Process Automation: Enable IT departments to work with business users to design practical, flexible and transparent processes
  • Process Intelligence: Indentify business issues through discovery and analysis of existing processes

To facilitate this, Software AG has built Enterprise BPM with a number of entry points into these areas, enabling users to enter the system at the place most likely to solve whatever problem that needs to be resolved.

Software AG, BPM

It will be interesting to see where Software AG goes with this, given that it appears to be just the start of a much wider integration of these platforms.

While the new release offers all the advantages of flexibility, scalability and rapid adaptation, it is the ability to detect and change in response to external business events that is going to be useful in the emerging market of agile BPM.

You may recall that one of the identified prerequisites of an agile BPM is its ability to do just that, and that agile software in general is going to be the wave of the future, according to Gartner.

In any case, with this Software AG should continue to plow the furrow that carried it into last year’s leader quadrant in Gartner’s BPM Magic Quadrant as one of the top scorers.

This release should be in time to be assessed by Gartner for the 2011 Magic Quadrant, so it will be interesting to see how it fares, but ultimately it is users that will decide, so we’ll just have to see how it all pans out.