Let me show you how Action Learning works with the unique 3-PEAT process from i4Process.  I call this the 3-PEAT process because it has business process improvement learning happening for 3 different teams at once, all in one workshop.  If you don’t have the bandwidth to do 3 teams, do one or two—that’s fine–but there is synergy and efficiency with more than one team.  (For Part 1 of this blog, see the previous blog.  It discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different types of training methods.)

Which BPM training is best?  Well, the proof is in the pudding – in the results for the organization and in the results for the resources.  For the organization you want to see process improvements implemented and success metrics achieved.  For the resources –leaders, managers, and employees– you want understanding and advocacy of the principles, new skills and continued usage of the skills.  So the answer to this question—Which BPM Training is Best?—is in the approach to training, not the specific vendor, instructor, or content.

That year John Crupi had co-founded JackBe, and I invited him to address our Transformation & Innovation 2006 conference with his vision of real-time data sharing.  He did not disappoint.  He painted of compelling picture of a future that seemed at least a generation away at the time, but has since become a reality.   Today we are starting to see an equally compelling picture take shape, which I suspect will be soon become a reality as well.  Three acquisitions by Software AG have the combined potential to be a technology game-changer.  First Terracotta, then APAMA, and now JackBe.I don't particularly care whether you call it iBPMS, IBO, or what. Either way, this is going to get interesting!See full press release here:RESTON, Va., Aug. 22, 2013 – Software AG (TecDAX: SOW AG) today announced the launch of its new webMethods Intelligent Business Operations Platform (IBO) and the acquisition of JackBe Corporation. JackBe is a privately-held company with headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland and a provider of real-time visual analytics and intelligence software. Real-time visualization and analytics are increasingly important in managing the technology megatrend of large data volumes. Providing rapid deployment and a mash up of different data sources, JackBe will serve as the foundation for Software AG’s new webMethods Intelligent Business Operations Platform. The platform will provide customers with an integrated, real-time awareness of dynamic operations and processes via easy-to-use visualizations. The resulting improved response times and increased quality of business decisions will support decision-makers in achieving better business outcomes.Increasing digitization enables enterprises to modernize their business models by implementing innovative cloud, mobile, social collaboration and big data technologies. This is achieved by extending the enterprises’ existing IT solutions. In this context, the visualization and analytics of large data volumes are becoming key elements in delivering competitive advantages.“The amount of produced data is growing exponentially,” said Software AG’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Wolfram Jost. “Consequently, the analysis and visualization of huge data volumes in real time will become more and more the basis for fast and intelligent business decisions. With the capabilities of JackBe, we will develop further innovative solutions for our customers in order to support their evolution towards the digital enterprise.”Software AG has acquired JackBe’s corporate office in Chevy Chase, Maryland, its research and development facility based in Silicon Valley as well as its Latin American office in Mexico City. JackBe has a broad customer base in federal government, financial services and the manufacturing sector including customers such as General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm, Wells Fargo and Intel. The company was founded in 2003 and has 70 employees. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.“We are extremely excited to join the Software AG group. With the innovation, engineering and integration prowess of a global player such as Software AG, we believe our customers will benefit greatly from accelerating enhancements to our solutions, but also gain access to a broader product and service offering,” said John Crupi, Chief Technology Officer of JackBe.Software AG’s new webMethods Intelligence Business Operations Platform (IBO)With the acquisition, Software AG also announced the rollout of its new webMethods Intelligent Business Operations Platform (IBO) that will use JackBe’s mashup, analytic and visualization capabilities. The new platform will allow a comprehensive 360-degree view of operational processes by combining live, historical and transactional data with machine-to-machine (Industrial Internet) communications into real-time visualizations.Moreover, the platform will provide the real-time intelligence that executives and operational managers need to make immediate, informed decisions and identify changes that impact the business. It includes tools to rapidly implement those changes, including dynamic and automated business processes leading to improved agility and better process outcomes.JackBe’s leading portfolio, Presto, will also be available immediately as a standalone version. It will be integrated with existing Software AG products and solutions, becoming the new visualization and analytics layer across the entire product suite. Highlights of this announcement include:1)    Software AG’s new webMethods Intelligent Business Operations Platform – available for early access customers as of Q4 20132)    Software AG Presto (formerly called JackBe Presto) as standalone – available immediately3)    Software AG Presto Real-Time Analytics Add-On With Terracotta BigMemory  - available immediatelyMore details on the Software AG’s new webMethods Intelligent Business Operations Platform will be presented at the company’s global customer event, Innovation World, which will be held in San Francisco, California, from October 8-10, 2013. For more details on Innovation World 2013, please visit: http://www.cvent.com/events/innovation-world-2013
Nathaniel Palmer has been a longtime BPM industry leader, and I thought being able to work side-by-side with him would be invaluable.  And this is BPM.com, after all, which might give you some clue as to my answer to a question that would occasionally pop up on the old ebizQ forum, which is: "Is BPM Dead?"  Not a chance! Still, that's not the main reason I wanted to join BPM.com.  You see, last year, when I first heard about the bpmNEXT conference (brought to you by Nathaniel and Bruce Silver), my first thought was, that sounds interesting, but exactly how are they going to differentiate themselves from all the other BPM conferences crowding the spring schedule. But as bpmNEXT got underway, and I started reading the blog and Twitter feedback, it quickly became clear that something new was happening at the conference.  People were getting excited about BPM all over again.  People were no longer debating if and when BPM was going to be dead, but were instead excited about what was to come.  Very simply, I wanted to be a part of that!  So that's the reason I've moved over to BPM.com.  No longer do I have to be an armchair conference attendee (and that's sooner than you think, as we have the iBPMS expo coming this October).  Once again, I get to plug into the BPM buzz firsthand. So I want to welcome you to the new BPM.com.  We will have the BPM.com forums up and running next week, and we will be introducing additional content in the weeks to come.  I think we are at one of the key crossroads with BPM, as we now have to contend with big data, social, mobile, and case management.  Enterprise technology is redefining what it means to be doing business as a company today.  And at BPM.com, I have the perfect front row seat.  

OpenText has been busy over the last year building a competitive channel strategy, which has been evident in its aggressive realignment of its sales team and partner channel, but also with its recent (7/31/31) acquisition of ICCM Solutions, a current partner who built a successful “Assure” ITSM/ITIL solution on OTEX’s MBPM (formerly Metastorm) platform. This move presents channel complexity not seen with the ICCM acquisition, while offering a technology leverage point (or several of them) that rivals OpenText’s half-billion dollar combined acquisition of Metastorm and Global 360 in 2011. Anyone who had any doubt about the importance that data and business intelligence will play in the future of processes need look no further than today’s move. As their CEO Mark Barrenechea stated today, "OpenText envisions a world where information and processes are fully integrated, enabling the next generation of Enterprise Information Management applications with out-of-the-box software." Cordys brings serious integration chops to the “Enterprise Information Management” equation, as well as a Composite Application Framework (CAF) that makes their $33 million dollar price point a very attractive deal. Where OpenText competitor Kofax has made very serious in-roads with BPM in the cloud, on both data integration (vis-à-vis Microsoft Azure) as well as application provisioning, this exciting acquisition really does raise the bar. It is yet another proof-point that the BPM market remains as hot as ever – in particular for leveraging BPM software an application development framework. Whether we’re reaching the end of the wave of BPM market consolidation, or just the beginning, stay tuned. But we expect this market to get even hotter, very soon. Additional Details: OpenText Buys Cordys to Expand BPM and Case Management http://www.becauseprocessmatters.com/value-of-options/

The term ‘BPM’ has been adopted in the marketing communications of just about every IT vendor and management consultant, as what comes after the dot-com fiasco. It seems everyone selling IT products or management consulting services has put BPM lipstick on their products and services. Even the IT and financial analysts are having a field day defining BPM to mean whatever they want it to mean.

Although confusion abounds, a handful of useful working definitions can bring about some badly needed clarity. Figure 1 provides a backdrop for our discussion.

Business Process
The business process is the end-to-end coordinated set of collaborative and transactional work activities carried out by both automated systems and people to produce a desired result or achieve a goal. While this definition is simple enough, the coordination of complex sets of activities carried out by independent work participants (humans and machines) is by no means simple. Business processes are essentially human phenomena, but in today’s automated and wired world, automation and technology assistance to amplify human work are indispensable. This technology assistance involves automation of routine transactions and dynamic human collaborations, as suggested in the figure.

In his classic work on value chain analysis, business strategy expert and Harvard professor Michael Porter classified work activities into two types. Primary activities are those that directly touch the customer, while support activities are those that are primarily administrative, keeping the rent paid and the lights turned on. Using Porter’s framework, it’s the primary, end-to-end customer-touching processes that are paramount to gaining and sustaining competitive advantage. It is these primary business processes that deliver value to customers, and they are a company’s value-delivery system—all the rest, the support activities, are costs.

While support activities require management attention as means to make a company more efficient, primary activities require laser-focus to make a company effective in the marketplace.

Business Process Automation (BPA)
BPA simply means automating a business process. Since the advent of the first commercial computer in 1951, companies have embraced technology to streamline and speed up their support activities for greater operational efficiency. As far as primary activities, today a number of technology families have emerged for this purpose, including workflow systems and, more recently, Internet technologies such as application servers. While just about any technology can be used to automate business processes, the real issue companies face is how to optimize and manage those processes after they have been semi- or fully automated.