Anyone who has been foolish to ask me about BPM will know that I am passionate about the benefits of BPM to organizations.  Every organization lives or dies by its processes. We see and are touched by examples of poor process in organisations every day. Gartner, in January 2011, said they believe “that 10 of the Global2000 companies will be toppled  next 3 years by overlooked but easily detectable process defects”.

But I have a less myopic view than those who believe that the ONLY BPM answer is Active Case Management (ACM), BPMN 2.0  or process automation (BPMS) -[you know who I am referring to]. This is the view of BPM that says it is a software market of $400 million.

My view has been that BPM spans the automated and non-automated. It is the aggregation of information in the context of a business process, enabling end users to get the job done more easily, quickly and more valuably.  That means a combination of process-centric content management, social media and process automation – all within a governance framework.  That view of BPM gives a market size in excess of $10 BILLION.

I am no mathematician but  I know which number I like best and which market I would rather be shooting for.

Those peddling their niche process automation offerings obviously have a different view. They are trying to sell their software in a crowded marketplace where differentiation is difficult and clients are becoming more discerning. They are quick to write off Nimbus as little more than flowcharting, and any integration with them would delay their sale whilst clients understand what really should be automated.

Nimbus’ clients understand that we offer far more than boxes and lines on a diagram. The simplicity of the layout and access approach via Storyboards (role-based guided walkthroughs spanning process diagrams) engages end users – 100,000s of them.  The management of complex hierarchies of diagrams, with multiple language variants and the rigorous governance framework is hidden from those who do not need to see it. And finally collaborative process discovery and ongoing improvement has been a foundation of the software since its inception.  Only now is this being recognized as a valuable aspect with SocialBPM being heralded as the next breakthrough.

So I see a strong and increasing demand for BPM, especially if the economy takes a turn for the worst. The leading companies, many of whom we are proud to have as Nimbus’ clients, recognize that an operational strategy underpinned by governed BPM is a competitive advantage. It is a strategic investment and that investment is ramped up in a downturn to put more clear water between themselves and their nearest competitors.

So I am extremely optimistic about the future of BPM as a key part of every company’s operations strategy, and Nimbus’ role in the overall fabric of BPM applications.  Come rain or shine.


3 thoughts on “Welcome to the neeny, tiny world of BPM; ACM, BPMN & BPMS #bpm #acm #bpmn

  1. Interesting post, pretty strong words too Ian. Have to say I agree, BPM is far larger than the automation crowd and from experience there are hardly many organisations who do more than map processes right now, even those who have invested $m in all singing and dancing suites which now lie dormant except for the modeler and intranet publisher.

    I note from the survey you’re conducting that some of the more ‘collaborative’ enterprise tools aren’t listed, in fact, none. You’ve listed chat tools and, really, Sharepoint ? Don’t stand up at the conference in September and give out half the story now 😉

    There’s only one mention of collaboration on your Control brochure too, if it’s a feature you’re proud of then shout about it, or are you really not wanting Control to be associated with the Social trend until it matures ?

    And yes, I’m back, and I’m ready to rattle cages…… 😉

  2. Ian, good post. Full of your emotional truths, despite that I do not agree with all of them. But that is life and without disagreements there would be no progress.

    Hey, companies can not be toppled by three process errors if they still have a few people with brains left. But maybe they hardcoded those processes and the people understanding the why and how have left? They will be toppled by a failure to innovate and maybe they think that can automate innovation processes …

    But there are some errors too. ACM (which is ADAPTIVE and not Active Case Management) is not for collaborative or unpredictable processes only. It is well documented that ACM is about ALL KINDS OF PROCESSES and that both the predictable, structured ones and the unpredictable, knowledge work can be interactively discovered by performers and process owners while executing them.

    You believe that process management is about documentation and I believe that it is about actually creating, executing and improving them in the REAL WORLD. It is not a subtle difference, as your customers talk about what the perfect car and track should be in a race and my customers actually drive and win the race.

    But that should not be such an emotional issue. Businesses chose anyway accordingly to their understanding and ability. Some are talkers and others are doers. There is place for all of us. As you said, it actually is an untapped multi-billion market. Why you see the need to continuously mispresent the ACM definition. Is it that much of a threat to you? Nimbus just crawled under the umbrella of a large buyer. You can relax …

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