The Gilbane Advisor

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Category: BPM (page 1 of 2)

OpenText Acquires Global 360

OpenText announced it has acquired Global 360 Holding Corporation, a provider of process and case management solutions. The acquisition continues OpenText’s expansion into business process management (BPM) market. The transaction purchase price is approximately $260 million, subject to customary purchase price and holdback adjustments. The transaction has closed in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 and is not part of the fiscal 2011 fourth quarter and year-end results of OpenText. In February 2011, OpenText also acquired Metastorm, which offers other solutions that complement Global 360, such as business process analysis and enterprise architecture software. http://www.opentext.com http://www.global360.com

Polymita Releases FreeFlow BPM Solution

Polymita, a provider of BPM software and solutions, announced the launch of Polymita FreeFlow, a new generation in process management (BPM). Polymita FreeFlow covers business scenarios that need unstructured and collaborative processes and is integrated in the version 6 Polymita. Polymita FreeFlow enables the implementation of unstructured processes at any time or as a part of a structured process. It provides collaboration features, assigning unplanned tasks to users, adding new users or adding new documents or data that are needed to manage the incident, emergency or unplanned change. The users access the same process context that the original process (data, documents, indicators, business rules) and supports collaboration, approval, delegation, alerts and cancellation tasks. Polymita FreeFlow also provides the ability to create workflows, both within a process and independently, with dynamic assignment of roles, on-demand creation tasks from structured processes and their control and supervision, as well as other features. Polymita FreeFlow can be used on-premise, as SaaS or Cloud. www.polymita.com

Software AG to Acquire webMethods

Software AG (TecDAX, ISIN DE 0003304002 / SOW), and webMethods, Inc. (NASDAQ: WEBM) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Software AG to acquire webMethods in a cash tender offer for $9.15 per share or approximately $546 million. This transaction is intended to strengthen the combined company’s position in the SOA and Business Process Management (BPM) markets. Together, the companies bring an expanded product portfolio to a global customer base of over 4,000 organizations and 100 partners in complementary geographies around the globe. Specifically, Software AG will more than double its customer base in North America. This combination also brings minimal customer overlap, providing immediate and mutual access to additional customer segments, particularly in financial services, manufacturing and the public sector. The acquisition will create an SOA and BPM product portfolio including SOA Governance & Enablement, BPM and Business Activity Monitoring, Application Integration and Legacy Modernization capabilities. The transaction has been approved by the Supervisory Board of Software AG. webMethods’ Board of Directors has also approved the transaction and will recommend that their shareholders accept the offer. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2007. http://www.softwareag.com, http://www.webmethods.com

Bluespring Software Announces BPM Suite 4.5

Bluespring Software announced the general availability of BPM Suite 4.5. Technical highlights include Microsoft Office 2007 integration, WSS 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 integration, PDF Form support, and SQL reporting services adoption. Expanded Microsoft integrations enable users to dynamically create Excel 2007 files, Word 2007 documents and InfoPath 2007 forms with any data moving throughout the process, including reading from Excel, Word, InfoPath, Adobe PDF files, ODBC-compliant databases and Web Services. In addition, Bluespring Web Parts enable users to embed work list management, process monitoring and reporting inside SharePoint pages as well as trigger processes off of SharePoint events and actions on any SharePoint entity. The release also expands the product’s “in-flight” Process Editing capability, delivering process agility by allowing users to edit or change “in-flight” processes resulting from unexpected business cases without requiring code changes, server restarts or needing to wait for all “in-flight” processes to complete. Bluespring’s BPM Suite is 1 of 2 Microsoft Gold Partners whose software products are being featured in the Microsoft Office 2007 launch kit, provided to attendees at 75 North America launch events.

WebMethods Introduces webMethods BPMS

WebMethods introduced version 7.0 of the webMethods Fabric product suite as well as a new component, webMethods BPMS. The company reports that these releases deliver a fully-unified environment for process development, automation, and monitoring. WebMethods Fabric 7.0 highlights technologies for service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance, while the new BPMS suite concentrates on business user features as well as integrated process monitoring and and enhanced real-time business analytics. Additional webMethods BPMS features include an Eclipse-based process modeling environment for ‘codeless’ development, extensive support for both human-to-human and system-to-system task flow, business rules management and a new semantic metadata library.

Pegasystems Introduces SmartBPM Suite v5.2

Pegasystems announced the latest version of its award-winning SmartBPM Suite. Enhancements focus on providing business users with better access and more precise control over their business processes. New features include Flex-based interactive business visualization, complex business decisioning support, insurance-specific capabilities to manage multi-channel, multi-state policies and rules, SOA integration testing, AJAX and Flex automation, and accessibility features to support all users. The release also adds new accessibility support to meet the requirements imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Disability Discrimination Act (UK) as well as other accessibility requirements in the EU.

Intalio Signs New OEM Partners

Intalio, Inc. announced that it has signed OEM agreements with Diamelle and OperMIX for the embedding of Intalio|BPMS, its standards-based Open Source Business Process Management System (BPMS). Diamelle Technologies will embed Intalio|BPMS into its solutions in order to support the deployment of complex identity and access management processes, while complying with strict auditing and compliance requirements that are demanded by its financial services customers. OperMIX will use Intalio|BPMS to deploy custom business processes on top of Salesforce.com AppExchange and provide real-time integration with third-party applications such as SAP R/3 and mySAP Business Suite.http://www.diamelle.com, http://www.opermix.com, http://www.intalio.com

Checking in on the ECM-BPM Intersection

2006 convergence and consolidation in the ECM market undoubtedly validated “the infrastructure players are moving in” expectations — in a big way. Press and analysis on IBM’s FileNet acquisition as well as Oracle’s Stellent acquisition is still ongoing. Not to be discounted, OpenText’s summer coup over Symphony in winning Hummingbird validates that pure-play ECM suite vendors will not simply fade away anytime soon. IMO, neither will many of the pure-play WCM, RM or DAM vendors, several of which are shrewdly riding the crest of SaaS.
And never to be discounted is Microsoft, whose vision for MOSS 2007 is to be “as pervasive as the Office suite.” The company is certainly turning up the volume in terms of positioning business intelligence/process management, content management and collaboration as synonymous.

So, is this “technology trio” 100% new and innovative? Well…not for customers of FileNet, whose BPM capabilities were more than likely the crown jewel for IBM’s successful pursuit. And not for customers of Adobe’s LiveCycle products, who benefited from a major product line upgrade in September along with the release of Acrobat 8. And not for customers of EMC’s Documentum Process Suite, who take advantage of “the automation of high-volume transactional processes and complex collaborative processes” according to product descriptions. And certainly not if you have been following our ECM-BPM intersection discussions.

Will ECM convergence and consolidation raise the market awareness and visibility of content-centric BPM?

More than likely. However, the ECM market certainly can’t take all the credit. Let’s not forget the achievements of BPM suite vendors in 2006, who continue in their efforts to bridge the divide between data-driven versus content-driven business process management. This is a tall order, given the need to overcome the holy grail of all “divides” — IT versus the business — especially given “do not cross” domains for skill sets such as process modeling.

Still, vendors such as Appian, Savvion, Intalio, and others tout ease of use and graphical process modelers targeted to business users. Vendors such as BEA (via the Fuego acquisition,) Lombardi, Ultimus, and Pegasystems stress support for interactive workflows, business-driven usability, and provide direct integration with selected ECM solutions (including Sharepoint.) Vendors such as Global360 provide baseline document and records management capabilities, but shy away from describing them as ECM capabilities. And most if not all BPM suite vendors provide case management support such as attaching and keeping track of documents for vertical-specific processes that require it.

Consider these examples as a sign of deeper capabilities and integrations to come or even more interesting — markets that merge in 2007.

Side note: examples are simply that, and not an exhaustive list. Feel free to comment or even better, we invite CTOs from any type of organization to weigh in on this and other subjects on our CTO Blog. Send an email to ctoblog@gilbane.com if you’d like to start contributing!

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