Monday Dec 17, 2012

Bye Bye Year of the Dragon, Hello BPM

As 2012 fades and we usher in a New Year, let’s look back at some of the hottest BPM trends and those we’ll be seeing more of in the coming months.

BPM is as much about people as it is about technology. As people adopt new ways of engagement, new channels of communications and new devices to interact , the changes are reflected in BPM practices.

As Social and Mobile have become an integral part of our personal and professional lives, we’ll see tighter integration of social and mobile with BPM, and more use cases emerging for smarter process management in 2013. And with products and services becoming less differentiated, organizations will strive to differentiate on Customer Experience. Concepts like Pace Layered Architecture and Dynamic Case Management will provide more flexibility and agility to IT groups and knowledge workers.

Take a look at some of these capabilities we showcased (see video) at Oracle OpenWorld 2012.

Some of these trends that will continue to gain momentum in 2013:

Social networks and social media have provided a new way for businesses to engage with customers. A prospect is likely to reach out to their social network before making any purchase. Companies are increasingly engaging with customers in social networks to influence their purchasing decisions, as well as listening to customers via tools like sentiment analysis to see what customers think about a particular product or process. These insights are valuable as companies look to improve their processes.

Inside organizations, workers are using social tools to engage with each other to design new products and processes. Social collaboration tools are being used to resolve issues where an employee needs consultation to reach a decision. Oracle BPM Suite includes social interaction as an integral part of its process design and work management to empower today’s business users.

Ubiquitous smart mobile devices are trending as a tool of choice for many workers. Many companies are adopting the policy of “Bring Your Own Device,” and the device of choice is a tablet. Devices like smart phones and tablets not only provide mobility to workers and customers, but they also provide additional important information – the context. By integrating the mobile context (location, photos, and preferences) into your processes, organizations can make much more informed decisions, as well as offer more personalized service to customers. Using Oracle ADF Mobile, you can easily create user interfaces for mobile devices and also capture location data for process execution.

Customer experience was at the forefront of trending topics in 2012. Organizations are trying to understand their customers better and offer them more personalized and differentiated services. Customer experience is paramount when companies design sales and support processes. Companies are looking to BPM to consistently and efficiently orchestrate customer facing processes across disparate systems, departments and channels of communication. Oracle BPM Suite provides just the right capabilities for organizations to design and deliver an excellent customer experience.

Pace Layered Architecture strategy is gaining traction as a way to maximize agility and minimize disruption in organizations. It provides a framework to manage the evolution of your information system when different pieces of it are changing at different rates and need to be updated independent of one another. Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle BPM Suite are designed with this in mind. The database layer, integration layer, application layer, and process layer should not be required to change at the same time. Most of the business changes to policy or process can be done at the process layer without disrupting the whole infrastructure. By understanding the type of change needed at a particular level, organizations can become much more agile and efficient.

Adaptive Case Management proposes more flexibility to manage processes or cases that do not follow a structured process flow. In such situations, the knowledge worker managing the case needs to evaluate what step should occur next because the sequence of steps can’t be predetermined. Another characteristic is that it requires much more collaboration than straight-through process. As simple processes become automated, and customers adopt more and more self-service, cases that reach the case workers are much more complex and need more investigation. Oracle BPM suite includes comprehensive adaptive case management capability to manage such unstructured and complex processes.

Smart BPM or making your BPM intelligent has been the holy grail for BPM practitioners who imagined that one day BPM would become one with Business Intelligence, Business Activity Monitoring and Complex Event Processing, making it much more responsive and helpful in organizational decision making. In 2013, organizations will begin to deploy these intelligent BPM solutions. Oracle offers an integrated solution that brings together the powerful functionality of BI, BAM, event processing, and Real Time Decisions to help organizations create smart process based solutions.

In order to help customers reach their BPM goals faster and remove risks associated with BPM initiatives, Oracle has introduced Oracle Process Accelerators, pre-built best practices applications built on Oracle BPM Suite that are fully production grade and ready to deploy. These are exiting times for BPM practitioners and there is so much to look forward to in 2013.

We wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year 2013. Happy BPMing!

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