Wednesday Feb 06, 2013

Next Generation Application Development: BPM for Apps

Pre-built applications sound like the nirvana to removing the overhead of building from scratch. However as time progresses, customization of the applications and leveraging information beyond application silos is a huge overhead in itself. It requires skilled work, and lands up with brittle point-to-point integrations that are not supportive of human interactions. As organizations grow organically or through acquisitions, the IT infrastructure will have to factor in more pre-built and homegrown applications to the equation, making it that much harder to gain insight into information that spans application boundaries.

BPM for Applications is the answer to this problem. BPM can be used to create and automate processes across applications, modify these processes with ease and structure collaborative processes and tasks. In addition BPM can be used to orchestrate across multi-channel customer interactions and give insight into key performance metrics. The applications can continue to be upgraded and maintained independent of the BPM layer.

In addition, Oracle has a unique offering, Process Accelerators that can give you an edge to leveraging BPM for Apps. Oracle Process Accelerators are pre-built business processes that are product-level tested and ready for deployment straight out-of-the-box. And the best thing is they are free and ready for prime-time right now. It is easy to pick a pre-built Process Accelerator such as Internal Service Request or Employee On-boarding and have it read information across different application boundaries and feeding information into different silos. As the Process Accelerators get more specific per industry such as Loan Origination in Financial Services, it's easy to imagine the loan origination business process simply being customized to leverage specific applications to kick-start BPM for Apps. This allows the development of the next generation of dynamic applications that have the following advantages:

  • Designed for end-user customization 
  • Upgrade safe 
  • Deployed on-premise or in cloud 
  • Embedded Business Intelligence, collaboration and managed content 
  • Collaborative, intuitive multi-channel interface 
  • Adaptive platform to protect against technology shifts 
  • Standards-based, hot-pluggable architecture
Here is a webcast on this topic Extend Your Applications with Oracle BPM

Thursday Jan 31, 2013

Secret to BPM Success: Talent Imitates, Genius Steals

BPM is the promise of business transformation by maximizing the potential of turnkey business processes in any organization. But majority of organizations never realize this dream and land up restricting BPM to project silos at the departmental level. This is because succeeding at BPM involves a lot more than picking the right software vendor. One of the key factors to success with BPM involves leveraging several years of experience ironing out business processes for maximum performance and establishing and enforcing best practices. These best practices evolve as BPM matures in an organization and can be very unique to the industry vertical that the organization lies in. Like most things in life, repetitive practice is what achieves perfection. Business processes get re-written and changed as years go by, people in the organization mature and acclimatize to the value that BPM can bring, center of excellence bodies get created and businesses begin to realize the value that they signed up for, when they initially decided to buy BPM.

One of the best ways to shorten the time-to-value on a BPM purchase is by leveraging the strength that experience can bring in perfecting business processes. This is the goal of Oracle Process Accelerators. Process Accelerators are fully implemented business processes that can be deployed right out-of-the-box to allow users to hit the ground running with their BPM implementation. The business processes are built-out to leverage several years of best practices that have developed from our experience deploying BPM in different verticals. What is most appealing about Process Accelerators is that they are free and available for prime time use immediately. 

In the next series of blog posts, I intend going into details on vertical and horizontal specific business processes and the story behind each process accelerator in our stack. Meanwhile, to find out more, you can visit us at Oracle Process Accelerators. And if you are itching to get hands-on, contact us at: oracle_process_accelerators@beehiveonline.oracle.com

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!

Wednesday Dec 05, 2012

On a BPM Mission with Process Accelerators. Part 1: BPM as an ATV

Part 1: BPM as an ATV

It’s always exciting to talk to customers that are in the middle of a BPM transformational journey. Their thirst for new processes to improve with BPM makes them explorers in a landscape of opportunities. They have discovered that with BPM the can “go places” they couldn’t reach before.

In a way, learning how to generate value with BPM is like adopting a new mean of transportation. Apps are like regular cars: very efficient, but to be used on paved roads: the road/process has been traced, and there are fixed paths to follow to get from “opportunity to quote” or from “quote to cash”. Getting off the road is risky, and laying down new asphalt is slow and expensive. Custom development is like running: you can go virtually anywhere, following any path you like, yet it’s slow, and a lot of sweat.

BPM allows you to go “off the beaten path” laid out by packaged apps, yet make fast progress compared to custom development. BPM is therefore more like an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV): less efficient than a car, but much faster than running, with a powerful enough engine that can get you places. The similarities between BPM and ATVs don’t stop here: you must learn to ride it even if you already know how to drive a car; you can reach places but figuring out the path to your destination is harder. Ultimately, with BPM as with an ATV, you reach places that you thought you could never reach, and you discover new destinations that provide great benefit to you … and that you didn’t even know existed! That’s where the sense of accomplishment that we heard from our BPM customers comes from, as well as the desire to share their experience, or even, as in the case of a County, the willingness to contribute their BPM solutions to help other agencies that face the same challenges.

The question we wanted to answer is how can we teach organizations to drive ATV/BPM, thus leading them to deeper success with BPM, while increasing their awareness of the potential for reaching new targets, and finally equip them with the right tools. Like with ATVs, getting from point A to point B is more of a work of art than cruising on the highway by car. There is a lot we can do: after all many sought after destinations are common: someone else has been on the same path before. If only you could learn from their experience …

Friday Nov 30, 2012

Finding it Hard to Deliver Right Customer Experience: Think BPM!

Our relationship with our customers is not a just a single interaction and we should not treat it like one. A customer’s relationship with a vendor is like a journey which starts way before customer makes a purchase and lasts long after that. The journey may start with customer researching a product that may lead to the eventual purchase and may continue with support or service needs for the product. A typical customer journey can be represented as shown below:

As you may notice, customers tend to use multiple channels to interact with a company throughout their journey.  They also expect that they should get consistent experience, no matter what interaction channel they may choose. Customers do not like to repeat the information they have already provided and expect companies to remember their preferences, and offer them relevant products and services.

If the company fails to meet this expectation, customers not only will abandon the purchase and go to the competitor but may also influence others’ purchase decision. Gone are the days when word of mouth was the only medium, and the customer could influence “Six” others. This is the age of social media and customer’s good or bad experience, especially bad get highly amplified and may influence hundreds of others.

Challenges that face B2C companies today include:

Delivering consistent experience: The reason that delivering consistent experience is challenging is due to fragmented data, disjointed systems and siloed multichannel interactions. Customers tend to get different service quality if they use web vs. phone vs. store. They get different responses from different service agents or get inconsistent answers if they call sales vs. service group in the company. Such inconsistent experiences result in lower customer satisfaction or NPS (net promoter score) numbers.

Increasing Revenue: To stay competitive companies frequently introduce new products and services. Delay in launching such offerings has a significant impact on revenue realization. In addition to new product revenue, there are multiple opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell that impact bottom line. If companies are not able to identify such opportunities, bring a product to market quickly, or not offer the right product to the right customer at the right time, significant loss of revenue may occur.

Ensuring Compliance: Companies must be compliant to ever changing regulations, these could be about Know Your Customer (KYC), Export/Import regulations, or taxation policies. In addition to government agencies, companies also need to comply with the SLA that they have committed to their customers. Lapse in meeting any of these requirements may lead to serious fines, penalties and loss in business. Companies have to make sure that they are in compliance will all such regulations and SLA commitments, at any given time.

With the advent of social networks and mobile technology, companies not only need to focus on process efficiency but also on customer engagement. Improving engagement means delivering the customer experience as the customer is expecting and interacting with the customer at right time using right channel. Customers expect to be able to contact you via any channel of their choice (web, email, chat, mobile, social media), purchase via any viable channel (web, phone, store, mobile). Customers expect companies to understand their particular needs and remember their preferences on repeated visits. To deliver such an integrated, consistent, and contextual experience, power of BPM in must.

Your company may be organized in departments like Marketing, Sales, Service. You may hold prospect data in SFA, order information in ERP, customer issues in CRM. However, the experience delivered to the customer must not be constrained by your system legacy. BPM helps in designing the right experience for the right customer and integrates all the underlining channels, systems, applications to make sure right information will be delivered to the right knowledge worker or to the customer every single time.

 

 

Orchestrating information across all systems (MDM, CRM, ERP), departments (commerce, merchandising, marketing service) and channels (Email, phone, web, social)  is the key, and that’s what BPM delivers.

In addition to orchestrating systems and channels for consistency, BPM also provides an ability for analysis and decision management. By using data from historical transactions, social media and from other systems, users can determine the customer preferences, customer value, and churn propensity. This information, in the context, is then used while making a decision at a process step. Working with real-time decision management system can also suggest right up-sell or cross-sell offers, discounts or next-best-action steps for a particular customer.

Timely action on customer issues or request is also a key tenet of a good customer experience. BPM’s complex event processing capabilities help companies to take proactive actions before issues get escalated. BPM system can be designed to listen to a certain event patters then deduce from those customer situations (credit card stolen, baggage lost, change of address) and do a triage before situation goes out of control. If such a situation arises you can send alerts to right people or immediately invoke corrective actions.

Last but not least one of BPM’s key values is to drive continuous improvement. Learning about customers past experiences, interactions and social conversations, provide valuable insight. Such insight can be used to improve products, customer facing processes, and customer experience. You may take these insights as an input to design better more efficient and customer friendly sales, contact center or self-service processes.

If customer experience is important for your business, make sure you have incorporated BPM as a part of your strategy to design, orchestrate and improve your customer facing processes.

Monday Oct 22, 2012

The Best BPM Journey: More Exciting Destinations with Process Accelerators

Oracle Open World (OOW) earlier this month has been a great occasion to discuss with our BPM customers. It was interesting to hear definite patterns emerging from those conversations: “BPM is a journey”, “experiences to share”, “our organization now understands what BPM is”, and my favorite (with some caveats): “BPM is like wine tasting, once you start, you want to try more”. These customers have started their journey, climbed up the learning curve, and reached a vantage point that allows them to see their next BPM destination. They see the next few processes they are going to tackle and improve with BPM.

These processes/destinations target both horizontal processes where BPM replaces or coordinates manual activities, and critical industry processes that the company needs to improve to compete and deliver increasing value. Each new destination generates value, allowing the organization to reduce the cost of manual processes that were not supported by apps/custom development, and increase efficiency of end-to-end processes partially covered by apps/custom dev.

The question we wanted to answer is how to help organizations experience deeper success with BPM, by increasing their awareness of the potential for reaching new targets, and equipping them with the right tools. We decided that we needed to identify destinations, and plot routes to show the fastest path to those destinations. In the end we want to enable customers to reach “Process Excellence”: continuously set new targets and consistently and efficiently reach them.

The result is Oracle Process Accelerators (PA), solutions built using the rich functionality in Oracle BPM Suite. PAs offers a rapidly expanding list of exciting destinations. Our launch of the latest installment of Process Accelerators at Oracle Open World includes new Industry-focused solutions such as Public Sector Incident Reporting and Financial Services Loan Origination, and improved other horizontal PAs, including Travel Request Management, Document Routing and Approval, and Internal Service Requests. Just before OOW we had extended the Oracle deployment of Travel Request Management, riding the enthusiastic response from early adopters among travelers (employees), management and support (approvers). “Getting there first” means being among the first to extract value from the PA approach, while acquiring deeper insights into the customers’ perspective. This is especially noteworthy when it comes to PAs, a set of solutions designed to be quickly deployed and iteratively improved by customers.

The OOW launch has generated immediate feedback from customers, non-customers, analysts, and partners. They all confirmed that both Business and IT at organizations benefit from PAs when it comes to exploring the potential for BPM to improve their business processes. PAs help customers visualize what can be done with BPM, and PAs are made to be extended: you can see your destination, change the path to fit your needs, and deploy.

We're discovering new destinations/processes that the market wants us to support, generic enough across industries and within industries. We'll keep on building sets of requirements, deliver functional design, construct solutions using Oracle BPM, and test them not only functionally but for performance, scalability, clustering, making them robust, product-quality. Delivering BPM solutions with product-grade quality is the equivalent of following a tried-and-tested path on a map.

Do you know of existing destinations in your industry? If yes, we can draw a path to innovative processes together.

Friday Oct 19, 2012

Congratulations to 2012 Innovation Award winners in BPM category

Last year many of our customers went live on BPM 11g. It is my extreme pleasure to congratulate two of them – Amadeus and Navistar – for being awarded Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Award at Oracle OpenWorld 2012.

We invited our customers to submit their most innovative BPM implementations that have delivered substantiated value to them. This year we saw more than 20 submissions from our customers seeing significant business value from their live BPM 11g deployments. The submissions came from across the world, spanning various industry verticals including manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, Hi-Tech, Public Sector, Education and covering many process usage patterns. Award submissions were evaluated based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture.

Amadeus Team Receiving Award

Amadeus Team Receiving Innovation Award from Hasan Rizvi

Congratulations to Amadeus and Navistar and their teams on being recognized from among some very strong submissions and more importantly for the business value delivered. It is an honor to be part of your success and to play a small role in the innovation you drive.

Navistar is a leading truck manufacturing company which produces International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, and Navistar RV brands of recreational vehicles. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts.

Amadeus is a leading transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, providing transaction processing power and technology solutions to both travellers and travel providers.

Both Navistar and Amadeus have leveraged Oracle BPM Suite to improve visibility into their business and made their business more agile and efficient. We congratulate them again and wish them continued success in their business and future BPM initiatives.

Friday Oct 05, 2012

Case Management Patterns with Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite

Contributed by Heidi Buelow, Oracle Product Management

Case Management was a hot topic all week at Oracle OpenWorld so I was excited to share our current features and upcoming plans at the session Thursday morning on Case Management Patterns with Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite.  My colleague, Ravi Rangaswamy, the Case Management Development Manager, and I, Heidi Buelow, the Case Management Product Manager, discussed case management use case patterns with an interested audience.  We also talked about the current BPM Suite offering for Case Managment and showed a demo of our upcoming release where Case Management becomes a first class component in a BPM composite application.

Case Management use case patterns cover a wide range of horizontal applications such as Accounts Payable, Dispute Resolution, Call Center, Employee OnBoarding, and many vertical applications in domains and industries such as Public Sector services, Insurance claims, and Healthcare.  Really, it is any use case where the resolution of a request may require a knowledge worker making decisions using experienced judgement in the current situation.  This allows for expidited care and customer satisfaction, both being highly valued for consumer loyalty, regulatory compliance, and efficient resolution.

Today, BPM Suite provides the tools for creating Case Management applications using BPMN 2.0, Business Rules, and rich BAM and Case Analytics.  The Process Composer provides the agility to change rules and processes by the business users.  The case manager and case workers have the flexibilty they need.  With integrated content management and the concept of a BPM Process Spaces instance (case) space, the current release enables case management use case applications.

In the next release, Case Management becomes a first class component. By this, we mean, Case is a separate component in the composite.  We are adding case attributes such as milestones, case events, case stakeholders, and more, providing a rich toolset for the use cases that require a flexible Case Management approach.  Activites become available according to the conditions that you specify and information can be protected by permissions indicated.  In BPM Studio, you design a Case and associate all of the attributes and activities that are needed, yet, at runtime you have the flexibility to add and change these as needed.

We enjoyed sharing Case Management and it was well received by the audience.  The presentation is available online and we have viewlets of the demo that will be available at release time.

Tuesday Oct 02, 2012

Open World Session - BPM, SOA and ADF Combined:Patterns learned from Fusion Applications

Blog by Meera Srinivasan (Oracle Product Management)


Today afternoon (10/2/2012), Mohan Kamath, and I (Meera Srinivasan) delivered an Open World session on how Oracle Fusion Applications (the next generation business applications from Oracle), use Oracle BPM, Oracle SOA and Oracle ADF products. These adoption patterns can be applied in a generic manner to produce process-centric, user-centric, highly customizable and extensible next generation application. The session was well attended and we had lively discussions with the attendees during Q & A. We started with why as an application developer, you should look at BPM for creating a process-centric application and presented the following fusion adoption patterns

  1. Model driven agile development
  2. Customization and Extension
  3. Guided Process Interactions
  4. Personalization and Customization of End User Interfaces
  5. Approval Flows

Fusion HCM, On Boarding Process - Activity Guide Interface was used as an example for the Guided Process Interactions adoption pattern and the Fusion CRM BPM Process Templates for Customization adoption pattern. In the Personalization and Customization of End User Interfaces section, we looked at how ADF is used within Oracle BPM and the various options available to customize end user interfaces. We also presented how Oracle Procurement does complex approvals using Rules and Approval Management Extensions.


We hope you found the session useful, and please do try to attend Heidi’s session on dynamic case management:
Case Management Patterns with Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite. Marriott Marquis - Salon 7, Thu 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM


OpenWorld Session: Oracle Unified BPM Suite Development Best Practices

Blog by David Read

Earlier today,  Sushil Shukla, Yogeshwar Kuntawar, and I (David Read) delivered an OpenWorld  session that covered BPM development best practices.  It was well attended.  Last year we had a session that covered end-to-end lifecycle best practices for BPM.  This year we narrowed the focus to the development portion of the lifecycle.  We started with an overview of development process best practices, then focused on a few key design topics where we’ve seen common questions from customers and partners.

  • Data Design
  • Using EDN
  • Multi-Instance Activity
  • Using the Spring Component
  • Human Task Integration

We wrapped up with an overview of key concepts for effective error handling, including error handling within the process design, and using declarative fault policies.

We hope you found the session useful, and as noted in the session, please be sure to try to attend Prasen’s session to see more details about approaches for testing Oracle Business Rules:

CON8606  Oracle Business Rules Use Cases, 10/3/2012, 3:30PM  

OpenWorld Session: BPM Analytics - Process Dashboards, BAM and Intelligent Optimization

Blog Contributed by Payal Srivastava, Oracle Product Mamagement

 
Margin of error for the business is shrinking dramatically. Business needs to accomplish more with less i.e. minimal investment with quick ROI. Learn how you can leverage Oracle BPM suite and complementary technologies to create a robust analytics capability to provide visibility into operations to  C-level executives and Operational managers. We will talk about BPM analytics options available today that will not only enhance the visibility but allow you to intelligently optimize the business process at design time as well as run time.  The session will share some exciting this on our roadmap. 

Come meet with the Oracle team members  from Product Development (Avinash Dabholkar , Eric Hsiao) and Product Management (Payal Srivastava) at the session. We would like to hear  your questions/comments about  our offering and roadmap.

BPM Analytics: Process Dashboards, BAM and Intelligent Optimization,

Moscone South 308, 10/3/12 @11:45am – CON 8598

Monday Oct 01, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld Session: “Business Driven Development with BPM: Lessons from the Real World”

One of key values that BPM promises is “Business Empowerment”. People closest to the processes, who participate in the process every day, are the ones who know most about the process. These are the people who run day-to-day operations, people who triage customer issues, people who envision improvements and innovations. It is, therefore, imperative that when a company decides to use BPM technology to automate their business processes, business people take the driver’s seat. BPM is not an IT only project.

Oracle BPM suite has been designed keeping this core tenet of BPM, Business Empowerment, in mind. The result is business user centered design of Process Composer. Process Composer is designed to let business users document their processes, analyze them using simulation, create web forms, specify business rules and even run them in testing mode using process player, to see if the designed process meets their needs.

This does not mean that IT has no role in this process. In fact, Oracle BPM Suite has made it very easy for Business and IT to collaborate. The same process can be shared among business, and IT stakeholders and each can collaborate to create model-driven, process based executable applications. A process may need to integrate with multiple systems via various mechanisms, and IT leads system and data integration effort. IT helps fine tune the performance of process applications and ensures that the deployment of process application meets scalability and failover standards.

In this session, we saw Harish Gaur and Satya Narayanan from Oracle demonstrate roles Business and IT play in BPM projects and how Oracle BPM Suite enables business and IT collaboration to design and automate process based applications. They also discussed real life customer stories.

Some key takeaways from this session:

  1. There are no IT projects, only business initiatives, requiring IT support
  2. Identify high impact processes – critical, better BPM ROI
  3. Identify key metrics to measure process performance
  4. Align business with IT layer

Friday Sep 28, 2012

Oracle BPM overview and roadmap session on Monday, October 1st

Bhagat Nainani and I, Manoj Das, will present a session on Oracle BPM overview and road map on Monday, October 1 2012, from 12:15-1:15 PM at Moscone South - 308.

Since last OpenWorld, many good things have happened. Many customers have gone live with their BPM 11g deployments, some of whom were nominated for the Innovation Awards. From a product perspective, we delivered 11.1.1.6 and 11.1.1.7 is just around the corner. We will discuss some of the highlights related to both customer successes and product features.

In particular, we will present some of the exciting new capabilities that we are introducing in 11.1.1.7 around business analyst driven model-to-execution, more comprehensive unified BPM suite, more flexible and manageable BPM.

Another significant development is the release of Process Accelerators. We have not only released accelerators, we have ourselves deployed and are using them internally. We will talk about accelerators as well as our learnings.

As the title suggests, we will also share some aspects of our roadmap - there are some very exciting things brewing that I can't wait to share with you on Monday.

Hoping to see you on Monday. Again, the session is in Moscone South - 308 from 12:15-1:15. Looking forward to your tweets on the session - remember to use #oraclebpm and #oow. Finally, as always, feel free to ask Bhagat and me any questions you have, during the session as well as after the session.

Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

Customer Experience and BPM – From Efficiency to Engagement

Over the last few years, focus of BPM has been mainly to improve the businesses efficiency. To create more efficient processes, to remove bottlenecks, to automate processes. That still holds true and why not? Isn’t BPM all about continuous improvement?

BPM facilitates and requires business and IT collaboration. But business also requires working with customer. Do we not want to get close to and collaborate with our customers? This is where Social BPM takes BPM a step further. It not only allows people within an organization to collaborate to design exceptional processes, not only lets them collaborate on resolving a case but also let them engage with the customers.

Engaging with customer means, first of all, connecting with them on their terms and turf. Take a new account opening process. Can a customer call you and initiate the process? Can a customer email you, or go to the website and initiate the process? Can they tweet you and initiate the process? Can they check the status of process via any channel they like? Can they take a picture of damaged package delivery and kick-off a returns process from their mobile device, with GIS data?

Yes, these are various aspects to consider during process design if the goal is better customer experience and engagement. Of course, we want to be efficient and agile, but the focus here needs to be the customer.

Now when the customer is tweeting about your products, posting on Facebook and Yelp about their experience with your company (and your process), you need to seek out that information. You need to gather and analyze the customer’s feedback on the social media and use that information to improve the processes and products. This is an excellent source of product and process ideation.

So BPM is no longer only about improving back-office process efficiency, it is moving into a new and exciting phase of improving frontline customer facing processes, customer experience and engagement.

Let me know how you think BPM can enhance customer experience.

Tuesday Sep 25, 2012

Process Rules!

One of the key components of a process is “Business Rule”. Business rule takes many forms inside your process definition and in a way is a manifestation of your company’s business policy. Business rules inside the process are used for policy enforcement, governance, decision management, operations efficiency etc.

Following are some basic types of rules that can be a part of your process.

1. Process conditions:  These are defined as the process gateways that determine a path process will take depending on the process parameters. For Example, if discount >10% go to approval path : if discount < 10% auto-approve order.

2. Data rules: These business rules are defined as facts in decision table or knowledge base. The process captures all required parameters and submits those to RETE based rules engine. Rules engine processes the data and returns the result back. For example, rules determining your insurance eligibility.

3. Event rules: Here the system is monitoring the various events and events patterns that are emerging inside the process or external to the process. You can define actions or alerts to be triggered when a certain pattern of events emerges over a specified time period. Such types of rules need Complex Event Processing and are used in applications like Credit Card Fraud detection or Utility Demand Response.

4. User Interface Rules: In order to add dynamic behavior to UI or to keep users from making mistakes and enforcing policy, another mechanism available is UI rules. They are evaluated as the end user is filling out the web forms. These may include enabling and disabling of UI as per business policy. An example could be, if the age of a user is less than 13 years, disable credit card field and enable parental approval required checkbox.

Your process may include many of such rule types.

Oracle OpenWorld provides a unique opportunity to listen to Oracle Business Process Management Experts and Customers.  We will discuss business rules during various sessions in Oracle OpenWorld. Two of the sessions specifically focused on business rules are listed below:

Accelerating an Implementation of Complex Worldwide Business Approval Rules

Wednesday, Oct 3, 10:15 AM

Moscone South – 305

Oracle Business Rules Use Cases Design and Testing
Wednesday, Oct 3, 3:30 PM

Marriott Marquis - Golden Gate C3


 

Oracle Business Process Management Track covers a variety of topics, and speakers covering technology, methodology and best practices. You can see the list of Business process Management sessions here.

Come back to this blog for more coverage from Oracle OpenWorld!

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BPM Technical Resources