More and more business users are taking the driver’s seat in business process management (BPM) initiatives. To ensure flexibility, productivity, and success, their BPM suites must make it easy to design, manage, improve, and control business processes—even unstructured ones.
In this webcast, leading industry analyst Bruce Silver will discuss what the term business-driven means and how case management and support for unstructured processes help organizations better serve their customers.
Organizations in the public sector today continually strive to be more efficient, to modernize their operations, and to offer more consistent, personalized services to citizens. Achieving these goals is often difficult in the wake of pervasive budget cuts. Many government agencies have to adjust to an economic climate where revenue is curtailed, forcing them to simplify manual processes and find ways to do more with less. Two common ways to deal with budget cuts are to eliminate services and reduce head count. While these tactics can free up funds, they can also cripple an organization if lost employee knowledge isn’t preserved in some form. Forward- looking organizations in this sector have embarked on modernization projects designed to capture knowledge in information systems and to reduce manual effort by automating business processes.
Organizations in the public sector turn to BPM for improving efficiency, compliance and visibility. Oracle Process Accelerators are-built end-to-end implementations for common and critical business processes such as Incident Reporting and the newly released Electronic Forms Management, which provide an opportunity for these organizations to get a taste for BPM and address common issues pertaining to these business processes.
The following resource kit has case studies, white papers, and other valuable BPM resources for Public Sector that will help you:
Deliver new and more efficient services to citizens
Leverage end-to-end implementations of incident reporting and electronic forms management business processes out-of-the-box
Minimize risk of failure with domain expertise in government processes and compliance
Speed up process adoption with best practices in BPM
Easily extend and tailor Oracle Process Accelerators for BPM
One of the challenges faced by organizations is the standardization of processes around the creation and generation of financial reports. The variability of these processes is high since formats, peridocity, purpose, content, and organizational workflows change among organizations. Having a pre-built business process that can be extended and customized provides a significant advantage to kick-start the standardization and adoption of the business process. This can eliminate use of email and paper based flows, reduces errors, improves visibility and accountability, and speeds-up the timely execution of the process.
Oracle Process Accelerator for Financial Reports Approval is an end-to-end implementation of this business process. It is ready to use and extensible and built on top of Oracle BPM Suite, and available for free today. The figure below shows a high-level overview of the business flow.
This accelerator is designed so that it can be adapted as easily and quickly as possible to various financial reporting processes within different organizations. Financial Reports Approval controls the process as needed, from step-by-step guidance to straight-through processing when no business exceptions and amendments are necessary. You can get started here: Financial Reports Approval Process Accelerator.
To learn more about our solutions with BPM for common and critical business problems in Financial Services such as Business Account Opening and Loan Origination, download the BPM Financial Services Resource Kit.
The U.S. health care industry is in a period of rapid transition as both public and private organizations respond to the far-reaching implications of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This progressive legislation brings sweeping changes to payers and providers at the federal, state, and municipal levels, with a consequent impact on the fundamental business processes that these organizations depend on to provide services to patients. Among other things, the legislation requires each state in the U.S. to build or adopt a health insurance exchange (HIX) to broker and manage insurance plans, measure eligibility, automate enrollment, and transfer health care information electronically among participating organizations. Each HIX must integrate with a number of existing social services systems and handle myriad details related to billing, collections, reconciliation, taxation, reporting, and customer service.
Coordinating all of these processes and information is an ongoing challenge—and there are significant monetary incentives associated with doing it properly. For example, health plans can reduce costs by simplifying the claims approval process by automating the workflow.
Figure: Automating Claims Approval Process
BPM for Big Data Management in Health Care: BPM technology helps health care organizations to synchronize and improve their big data processes. For example, public health officials can study trends in flu vaccinations by monitoring citizen compliance on a national scale, and combine that insight with aggregate claims data to monitor the impact of various vaccines on that years most troublesome strains of influenza. This knowledge can help officials predict future needs for additional vaccines based on population health statistics. Big data analytics can also help individual patients who have agreed to let disease management companies closely monitor their chronic conditions on a constant,real time basis.
BPM for Apps in Health Care: One of the key values of BPM is to forge links among critical information systems, fill process white spaces and make the entire business more efficient. The idea is not to replace existing systems or applications but to leverage those systems to define end to end processes that fill the gaps between applications.Any activity that is performed in a BPM application is auditable, efficient and enhances visibility across the continuum of care. In health care this becomes particularly valuable as several applications emerge and are accepted to fasten the process of complying with the new health care imperatives. Filling in the white spaces with BPM can save costs, improve operational efficiency and provide visibility.
The new Oracle Process Accelerators (PA) Release (220.127.116.11.0) delivers key functionality in many dimensions: new PAs across industries, new functionality in preexisting PAs, and an improved installation process.
All PAs in Release 18.104.22.168.0 run on the latest Oracle BPM Suite and SOA Suite, 22.214.171.124.
New PAs include:
Financial Reports Approval (FRA): end-to-end solution for efficient and controlled Financial Report review and approval process, enabling financial analysts and decision makers to collaborate around Excel.
Electronic Forms Management (EFM): supports the process to design and expose eForms with the ability to quickly design eForms and associate approval processes to them, and to then enable users to select, fill, and submit eForms for approval
Mobile Data Offloading (MDO): enables telecommunications providers to reduce congestion on cellular networks and lower cost of operations by using Oracle Event Processing (OEP) and BAM to switch devices from cellular networks to Wi-Fi.
By adopting the latest PA release , customers will also be able to better identify and kick-start smart extension of their processes where business steps are supported by Apps: PA 126.96.36.199.0 includes out-of-the-box business process extension scenarios with Oracle Apps such as Siebel (FSLO) and PeopleSoft (EOB).
In fast changing business environment, it becomes crucial to identify business opportunities and business issues as soon as possible. If identified at the right time, business managers can address issues before they escalate to serious problems and can take advantage of the new opportunities before the competition does. Moreover, they have to be efficient to do this at the right cost.
Success depends on how responsive organization is to emerging events and changing environment. These events can be customer issues, competition moves, changes in regulations, or changes in company policies.
In order to be responsive in such situations, organizations need to first identify and track these situations. They can do that via business activity monitoring (BAM) and complex event processing (CEP). A unified monitoring dashboard helps put together a comprehensive picture of the situation in hand and provides deep insight to take proper actions. With CEP, businesses can connect all the relevant events, detect event patterns and take immediate actions using Business Process Management system.
So to be responsive we need:
Real-Time Visibility with Business Activity Monitoring
You can use BAM technology to monitor progress, track performance, meet service-level agreements (SLAs), manage exceptions, and issue alerts to an employee or application when a process is not functioning properly—all in real time. A unified monitoring dashboard helps you maintain a complete picture of each situation so you can take action effectively. BAM works hand in hand with BPM software to discover the significant activities that drive business success.
Real-Time Sense and Respond
An event-driven BPM solution enables each step in a business process to be informed not only by the previous step, but also by any other step, data, and pattern of behavior deemed relevant to that step. This gives the company the ability to “sense and respond.” You can describe interesting event patterns and event correlations and monitor the business in real-time. Whenever a pre-defined pattern emerges you can take actions like raising alerts, notifications, or kicking off another business process.
This synergy possible by integrating activity monitoring, event processing, and BPM makes it possible for managers to keep a finger on the pulse of their business. Business managers can now respond to customers faster, respond to competition faster, reduce fraud and do more cross-selling.
Now I have seen this too many times. Organizations spent months
evaluating and procuring a commercial application and then bring in business consultants
to “customize” the application to fit their “unique” business needs. Ok, I give
you that; you have truly unique business needs. Following is what typically happens.
The application implementation project starts with requirements
gathering. Business consultants capture business needs, as-is processes, to-be
processes and generate volumes of documentation, for which rain forests will
never forgive them. Finally, every one signs off the design documents, in
triplet. Generally this is followed by a small kick-off party. How do I know,
you ask? Because I’ve been to those parties.
Now that we have all the requirements, the development
starts. The “unique” needs of organization require 124 new forms, UI with
corporate look and feel, new data objects, new data model, new roles, new
state-transitions, new status, different priority types, new rules, new functionality
and of course integration with 9 other applications. Let the coding begin.
Eight months down the line, testing commences, user training happens, and we are
ready to go to production. Of course, only after another well-deserved go-live
All is well for few months but then the new version of the
application arrives. IT decides to skip that version, after all we just went
live after a yearlong implementation. Moreover, we should wait for the next
stable version. IT waits for a couple of years, beyond that they start getting too
much pressure from business to “upgrade”. The evaluation starts again, and to
everyone’s surprise the upgrade does not seem that easy. Initial estimate is six
months and essentially most of the customizations need to be re-done.
Consultants come in and discover the implemented application now is not even
close to out-of-box version that was purchased. Over time, the company has
created a totally different application with all new UI, rules, code and barely
recognizable data model. Migration tools will not quite work. We need additional
scripts to move to the new version.
Sounds familiar? This happen more often than we would like
to think. So what is the alternative for companies which want to use functionality
and domain best practice that applications provide but creating their own
unique value on top of it?
The answer is BPM suite. Use the application for what it does
best. Configure the application to your business needs but move all
customizations to BPM layer. New UI, new processes, rules, integrations can be
moved to BPM layer. This considerably reduces your requirement gathering time,
customization time, and time-to-solution. Your processes become agile, and you
can change those as frequently as business demands. You can have go-live
parties every other week, if you want to. Importantly, when the time comes, you
can easily upgrade your applications.
See why University of Adelaide uses Oracle BPM Suite to manage customizations to PeopleSoft application.
In business, they say only predictable thing is
unpredictability and the only thing certain is uncertainty. In the earlier parts
of this series I wrote about “Adaptive”
part of Adaptive Case Management. In this part, I will discuss the “Management”
In situations where we need flexible handling of work,
Adaptive Case Management capabilities in Oracle BPM Suite lets case workers or
knowledge workers do that.
So what are some of these management capabilities? These
include processing of case, monitoring the case progression and adding the work
or stakeholders when needed, without any design changes. Let’s look into some
of the management features on case overview screen.
milestones – To determine which guided process activities are in progress or
Stakeholders – View all the case stakeholders, their role and ability to add
stakeholders at runtime as and when required
Streams – History of all the milestones and activities that have been completed
or updated etc.
Artifacts – View all the data, documents or collaborative discussions related
to the case. You can integrate with any document management system and route documents
along with the case.
Ratings -. Unlike structured and repeatable processes, in adaptive case management
the relative importance and priority of activities can vary from case to case. For
this purpose Oracle BPM Suite lets you rate activities at runtime.
Adaptive Case Management is a built-in feature in the new
release of Oracle BPM Suite 11g (Check
out the webcast to learn more about the new release. ) If you need to undertake flexible work, you do
not need a separate product, the BPM suite can do it for you. Moreover, ACM and
BPM work together, any process fragment can be included as a part of the case
and processes. One of the things that make Oracle BPM Suite a complete suite.
Can we create a system that can solve mysteries, as Perry Mason would do? Can
there be a single method that can solve all mysteries that Perry Mason solved? No,
we cannot design such a process because each case is different, participants
are different, evidence is different, and conditions are different. If we
cannot design a process for just 82 mysteries, how can we hope design a process
that can solve, let’s say, 1000 new mysteries every week or each day!
We need Perry Mason for that. That is what knowledge workers are; Perry Masons of claims management, health care or fraud management departments. In the first part of blog I discussed the “Adaptive” part of Adaptive Case Management. Here, I’ll talk about “Case”.
Well, not this brief ”case” but maybe related
to it. So if, this were briefcase of Perry Mason, what would it include? It might
contain notes on some clues, interviews of witnesses, a bullet shell, photo of blood
stained shirt, and may be a magnifying glass(ok no magnifying glass, that is Sherlock
Holmes).The “Case Folder” is similar.
It contains all the information collected while the case is being processed and
required to solve a case. It may contain
documents, pictures, notes, history and data.
case is created it is routed to the person with best skills to solve that case.
There may be collaboration required at each stage of the case. The knowledge
worker may determine what should be the next step in case, he may start related
cases or initiate other necessary processes to resolve the case. There may also
be certain service level agreements (SLA) or metrics associated with the cases.
also rules and policies associated with cases and case types that determine the
constraints or actions in certain conditions. For instance, if a customer is VVIP,
claims agent cannot see the personal information and has to settle the case
within 1 hour, or escalate it.
can be of different types, they can be investigative like insurance claims,
they can be service requests like employee calling helpdesk reporting slow running
server or can be incident reporting like when a citizen may report a suspicious
activity to local police station.
So we use
this concept of case when there is no pre-determined path that can be followed
to get to the resolution, or permutations and combinations of paths from start
to finish are so numurous that it is impractical to create a process diagram
Now that we
have seen what “Adaptive” is and what a “Case” refers to, in the next part we’ll
bring these together and discuss management aspect of adaptive case management.
Octopus is one of the smartest beings under the water. After all, it has been picking soccer winning teams better than some pros outside water. That is not the only reason they are smart. They are remarkably adept at adjusting to their surroundings, and that may be one of the reasons that they have been on earth for many thousands of years.
Mimic octopus, for example, can move its arms to take the shape of other sea creatures, can camouflage when sense danger, release ink when threatened and even capable of autotomy – self amputation of tentacle (don’t worry it grows back again). This is one creature that can certainly adapt to its environment and use that skill to thwart threats or to exploit it to capture a prey.
This intelligence and adaptiveness make it a real impressive invertebrate.
Is this not particularly close to what we want in our business processes? We want them to adapt to ever-changing business environment and manage opportunities and threat in an intelligent way.
In this 3 part series, I am going to talk about how adaptive case management ensures success for your business and may be a factor in long term success of your business.
First let’s tackle the word “ADAPTIVE”.Why adapt? How a process adapts? What does adapting provide? Let’s quickly list down each of these.
Political, Economic, Social and Technological (PEST) changes to our business warrant the business and processes that form the backbone of the business, to adapt. This may include new product introduction, new competition or new government regulations. These changes can be long term that reflect the design changes to the processes, others can be more dynamic and need to be done in real time.
Situations where processes need to adapt in real-time, that is where dynamic or adaptive case management helps. The reasons could be:
Sequence of steps cannot be pre-defined and process needs to be built as it progresses
Too many rules, case types, or decision points to include in a single process design
Difference in types of process stakeholders that need different treatment
Like octopus, business needs to detect these variables and adapt accordingly.
How a process adapts?
The adaptation can be at various levels. You may need to change following in the process to adapt to certain business situation:
Process flow – add, remove activities in different situations
Adjust Business rules or include different set of rules for different instances
User Interface that changes dynamically and in context
What does adapting provide?
Dynamically adapting to changing business situation provides:
More contextual and personalized customer experience
Managing unforeseen activities in the process
Flexibility to knowledge worker to work on special-case scenarios
Responding to changing regulations quickly to avoid fines, penalties
Improving the bottom line by responding to opportunities and threats in changing market
In the next part of the blog, we’ll tackle the “Case” component of adaptive case management.
The convergence of vertical domain expertise with the most comprehensive BPM Suite to date - this is the resounding message of Oracle’s latest BPM launch. Oracle Process Accelerators, which are pre-built end-to-end businesses processes with industry best practices, can help you hit the ground running to transform your business. Watch this screencast that articulates the value of Oracle Process Accelerators.
Oracle is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the
2013 Oracle Excellence Awards: Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation.Jointly sponsored by Oracle, OAUG, QUEST,
ODTUG, IOUG, AUSOUG and UKOUG, the Oracle Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion
Middleware Innovationhonor organizations
using Oracle Fusion Middleware to deliver unique business value.This year, the awards will recognize
customers across 8 distinct categories:
Oracle Application Development Framework and Fusion
Business Analytics (Oracle BI, Oracle EPM, and Oracle
consider yourself a pioneer using these solutions in innovative ways to achieve
significant business value, submit your nomination for the 2013 Oracle
Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation
by Tuesday, June 18th, 2013, for a chance to win a FREE registration to Oracle
OpenWorld 2013 (September 22-September 26) in San Francisco, California.
Top customers will be showcased at Oracle Open World 2013, get a chance to
mingle with Oracle executives, network with their peers and be featured in
To submit your nominations, please follow the following steps:
The rapid pace of globalization, mobile & data
revolution, and a flattening market brings a chance at unprecedented innovation
and expansion for financial institutions. Business processes that are often at
the heart of organizations are the basis for differentiation between
financial institutions and are core to capitalizing on this innovation. However,
often these business processes are rigid and built on outdated systems, making
it impossible for organizations to keep up with a competitive edge.
Business Process Management (BPM) holds the promise of
agility, business visibility and greater efficiency encouraging financial
institutions to move towards rewiring core and critical business processes.
However the fear of change and risk associated with gutting mission critical
business processes can hold back organizations from adopting BPM.
Oracle has leveraged this experience in building out BPM solutions to kick-start your strategy. The BPM Resource Kit for Financial Services includes the top concerns financial institutions can address with BPM. It gets you started with Oracle Process Accelerators: pre-built, end-to-end implementations of business processes specific to Financial Services such as Loan Origination and Business Account Opening. This lowers your risk in getting started with BPM and can put you back on the competitive edge riding the train of innovation.
On a related note, Oracle recently unveiled enhancements to the Oracle BPM Suite including an expanded portfolio of Oracle Process Accelerators for Financial Services: Webinar: Oracle BPM Suite Enhancements.