IBM Makes Announcements In The BPM Space: Blueworks Goes To The Cloud

IBM announced Blueworks Live this week. This cloud service brings together process documentation and social community elements starting at $10 per user per month. Blueworks already has more than 20,000 members and over 200,000 processes already modeled and documented.

Blueworks Live provides what IBM describes as intuitive discovery and documentation capabilities for even the most complex processes. One client, PRC, is using these capabilities as part of its integrated call center operations. Rachel Pace-Maron, Director of Operations, PRC said, “Everyone is engaged in the process and people are participating. It has really worked out very well.”

Marie Wieck, IBM General Manager for Application Integration Middleware, explained that with Blueworks Live, employees can improve simple processes such as new marketing promotional campaigns, employee on-boarding, and sales quote approvals, gaining greater visibility, understanding, insight and control.

Business users can interact with their departmental colleagues and can collaborate through a private and secure company work stream, choosing to follow any updates to roles, processes, and more, which are updated in this Facebook-like stream view. Managers and team members can see the status of work in progress via built-in dashboards and reports.

WebSphere Decision Server

The second announcement IBM made was concerning IBM WebSphere Decision Server. This is packaging of WebSphere ILOG JRules, to provide business rules management, with WebSphere Business Events, which provides support for event processing. WebSphere ILOG Rule Team Server and WebSphere ILOG Decision Validation Services are described as “additional” products.

The product is aimed at enabling organisations to detect and react to defined data patterns as they occur and provide the appropriate decision response based on a variety of factors, including business policies and best practices or regulatory requirements.

EMT, a leading mobile telecommunications provider, are using IBM ILOG software to create rules that define how campaigns and services will be used and whom they will target. They have found that they can implement simple rule changes in less than two days, resulting in faster launches of new campaigns and services.

WebSphere Lombardi Edition—an NHS case study

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), have used WebSphere Lombardi Edition to develop a Patient Tracking System (PTS). UCLH also used capabilities available from Blueworks Live for process discovery sessions of its highly complex administrative processes.

James Thomas, IT Director of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said, “A vital part of the Patient Tracking System is the business process management platform that provides real-time tracking, enables parameters to be set and creates the notifications and alerts allowing us to know what stage the patient is in their pathway and how long they have been at that stage.”

Conclusion

This set of announcements shows IBM’s intent to glue its recent acquisitions of iLOG and Lombardi into a cohesive whole. From my own experience, Blueworks is a very useful tool for process discovery work. The introduction of the Websphere Decision Server is interesting as it starts to show recognition of the need to incorporate complex event processing capabilities with both standard rules and process management. I would like to see this go further and show the link to Webshpere Lombardi Edition and WebSphere Process Server.

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Simon Holloway is Practice Leader (Process Management & RFID) at Bloor Research. Simon’s IT background spans some 20 years as an IT consultant specialising in IS/IT strategy planning, information management, corporate data and process modelling, business process reengineering, software selection and project management. He has worked in IT organisations that include Solidsoft, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Forté Software and Redfern Consulting where he has built up a reputation for his ability to provide translation between the business and IT worlds. He has also worked for a variety of industry and service based organisations including: Cadbury Schweppes, PITO, British Airways, Glaxo and Scottish Widows. Simon joined Bloor in 2007 and now holds the Business Process brief.