Wednesday Jul 30, 2014

Oracle BPM 12.1.3 Process Documentation Sample available on

Two weeks ago I blogged about the new features and improvements to process documentation in Oracle BPM 12.1.3. A sample is now available on for download. This sample includes:

  • A lab document explaining how to use the import feature in Oracle BPM Composer and Studio to convert Visio, XPDL, BPMN 2.0, Oracle Workflow, and Tutor documents into BPM processes. A sample Visio file is included in the download so you can see how the feature works.
  • The same lab document leads you through adding process documentation via the business properties.
  • You are also guided through using the narrative view to edit your sample process.
  • Then the lab prompts you to create process reports to bring all of your process documentation together in one HTML or PDF document.
The sample also includes a lab solution so you can import the project with all of the process documentation already added.

Tuesday Sep 03, 2013

Oracle BPM 11g books

Here is the list of books you certainly want to be familiar with:

1. Getting Started with Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g

It can be purchased from Amazon at:

This is the first Oracle BPM 11g book that got published and it provides comprehensive coverage from modeling to implementation to work management and monitoring. It is written by Oracle BPM Product Management team and built around an iterative tutorial, using a real-life scenario to illustrate all the key features. It is a handy book to refer to build your first BPM application using the Oracle BPM Suite 11g.

2. Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g Handbook

It can be purchased from Amazon at:

Written by Oracle Business Process Management experts, this book covers best practices, in-depth look at usage of BPMN constructs, exception management, event handling, business rules and a detailed look in to all the powerful features and functionality of the Oracle BPM Suite 11g. Additionally, this book lays out the BPM Methodology and best practices that lead to a successful project and how to scale to enterprise wide BPM adoption.

3. Oracle BPM Suite 11g: Advanced BPMN Topics

Written by Oracle consultants who have deep expertise in Oracle BPM, this book covers advanced topics such as inter-process communication, working with collections and handling of exceptions in practice that are not addressed by the official Oracle BPM 11g documentation.

Monday Apr 15, 2013

Call for Nominations: Oracle Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation 2013

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 Innovation honor organizations using Oracle Fusion Middleware to deliver unique business value. This year, the awards will recognize customers across 8 distinct categories:

  • Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud
  • Oracle Cloud Application Foundation
  • Oracle Service-Oriented Architecture & Business Process Management
  • Oracle WebCenter
  • Oracle Identity Management
  • Oracle Data Integration
  • Oracle Application Development Framework and Fusion Development
  • Business Analytics (Oracle BI, Oracle EPM, and Oracle Exalytics)

If you 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 Oracle Publications.

To submit your nominations, please follow the following steps:

  1. Download and complete the Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards nomination form for SOA/BPM with as much detail as possible. Please do not leave any information blank.
  2. Submit completed form and any relevant supporting documents to
    • Email subject: <Category_CompanyName_InnovationAwards2013> when submitting your nomination.
    • Name all supporting documents with “”

To maximize your selection chances, please have a look to this blog article.

For additional details, go HERE.

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 May 16, 2012

Whitepaper: BPM Patterns & Practices in Industry


Check out, the new Oracle whitepaper "BPM Patterns & Practices in Industry",

Tuesday May 01, 2012

Oracle BPM Process Accelerators are available!

Oracle Process Accelerators are now available. The first two accelerators, Travel Request Management and Document Routing and Approval, address horizontal processes common to many organizations.

Oracle Process Accelerators (PAs) deliver business process solutions built using Oracle BPM Suite, leveraging other Oracle solutions and applications as needed by the business process being supported. Accelerators undergo rigorous product-level testing, and can be deployed as-is, yet are conceived and architected to be extended to meet unique customer business and environment requirements. 

Oracle Process Accelerators target both critical industry processes and common horizontal processes:

  • Industry  Process Accelerators, focused on end-to-end processes critical within each industry, keep true the promise of BPM: by aggregating both Oracle's deep industry expertise and BPM best practices and patterns, PAs provide a “running start” to organizations that can then add their own business  "secret sauce" and flexibly evolve the solution for sustained competitive advantage.
  • Horizontal Process Accelerators target internal business processes common to many organizations, usually not critical enough to justify the investment of scarce IT resources, yet that constitute a resource drain on organizations that continue to perform them in an inefficient fashion. 

Oracle Process Accelerators adopters can reach process excellence faster. With Oracle PAs, BPM customers can quickly become "leading edge without the bleeding edge". 

Current Oracle BPM customers and other interested parties can request access to PA content (including installation packages and full documentation) by contacting:

Information Resources:



Sunday Apr 15, 2012

BPM in Financial Services Industry

The following series of blog posts discuss common BPM use-cases in the Financial Services industry:

  • Financial institutions view compliance as a regulatory burden that incurs a high initial capital outlay and recurring costs. By its very nature regulation takes a prescriptive, common-for-all, approach to managing financial and non-financial risk. Needless to say, no longer does mere compliance with regulation will lead to sustainable differentiation.

For details, check out the 2 part series on managing operational risk of financial services process (part 1 / part 2).

  • Payments processing is a central activity for financial institutions, especially retail banks, and intermediaries that provided clearing and settlement services. Visibility of payments processing is essentially about the ability to track payments and handle payments exceptions as payments flow from initiation to settlement.

For details, check out the 2 part series on improving visibility of payments processing (part 1 / part 2).

Thursday Mar 29, 2012

BPM in Retail Industry

The following series of blog posts discuss common BPM use-cases in the Retail industry:

  • ARTS Reference Model for Retail
  • Retail 2.0 represents the transformation in the retail industry triggered by the accelerated shift towards online and mobile technologies and social shopping paradigms. Never before has the consumer been of more importance or should i say in greater control, especially so due to the shrinking information asymmetry between merchants and consumers that has tilted the balance of power in the latter’s favor.

For details, click Customer Experience Management for Retail 2.0 - part 1 / 2

  • Below is a concept architecture for streamlining front-end, mid-office and back-end interfaces through shared process to achieve consistency and efficiency in managing the customer experience from order capture to order provisioning.

    For details, click Customer Experience Management for Retail 2.0 - part 2 / 2

Friday Feb 24, 2012

BPM in Utilties Industry

The following series of blog posts discuss common BPM use-cases in the Utilities industry:

  • Meter-to-Cash is the primary revenue generating activity for down-stream utilities. Traditionally, there has been little impetus for utilities to strive for cost efficiencies across this activity due to the revenue ceiling imposed by regulated prices. Today, utilities are faced with capital intensive investments in upgrading to smart-grid/metering infrastructures and consumer-centric revenue models e.g. net-metering and time-of-use pricing that could potentially drive down revenues as consumption shifts to off-peak periods. Hence, utilities can no longer afford to neglect efficiencies in their meter-to-cash cycle.

For details, click Meter-to-Cash Optimization for Smarter Utilities

  • Today, utilities are committing to capital intensive investments in upgrading to smart-grid/metering infrastructure driven by government regulation and consumer awareness. However, iIn this process of becoming increasingly “smarter”, the digitization of the grid is blurring lines between operational, information and communication technologies. This inadvertently makes the grid highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, physical sabotage and equipment malfunction in the “last-mile” i.e. Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

For details, click Mitigating Cyber-Security Risks to Smart-Grid AMI

Sunday Jan 29, 2012

BPM in Communications Industry

The following series of blog posts discuss common BPM use-cases in the Communications industry. 

  • Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are faced with declining voice revenues; hyper-competition from increasing number of IP network based providers and customer demand for integrated telephony, mobile, TV and internet services.While “Triple play” or “Quadruple play” offerings have become the norm, CSPs are experiencing increasing customer churn and revenue-leakage arising from errors and delays in order management across order-capture and order-provisioning.

For details, click Gain the Customer-service Advantage with Agile Order-cycle Processes.
  • The distinction between network operator Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and virtual CSPs e.g. MVNOs is decreasing by the day driven by industry deregulation and proliferation of IP based networks that have lowered barriers to entry. This hyper-competition is creating continuous pressure on CSPs to shorten time-to-market cycles for PLM and FAB (fulfillment, assurance and billing) processes to differentiate.

    For details, click Driving Operational Efficiency with eTOM

    Thursday Jan 12, 2012

    Stuck in Cement: Turn to BPM for edge applications

    "Stuck in Cement: When Packaged Apps Create Barriers to Innovation", reads the title of a recent Forresterresearch paper. The author, Craig Le Clair, laments that packaged applications create inertia that makes it harder for organizations to embrace change from an execution perspective. As per the report, there is widespread frustration with regards to ability to packaged applications to allow businesses to break free from operational silos and embrace change. So does that mean packaged applications are the root of all organizational inertia and should be dispensed with? Certainly not!

    Vertical or horizontal applications packaged applications were intended to provide scale to business operations in terms of Capacity (i.e. volume), Performance (i.e. Straight Through Processing (STP)) and Compliance (with standards and /or  regulation) while mitigating time, effort and comprehensive skills set requirements, both technical and functional, of developing custom applications. The same rationale and value of packaged applications holds true, even more so today,  when time-to-value (lead-to-cash and trouble-to-resolve) and time-to-market (concept-to-market and time-to-compliance) pressures are greater than ever. While technology innovations such as Cloud accelerate initial set-up time and effort, to a large extent, cloud based applications apportion up-front and on-going costs of packaged applications over their life-time. It would be sacrilegious to claim that cloud based applications will solve the agility issues faced with on-premise applications. In fact the integration challenge would remain largely the same, if not get more complicated especially given the security, privacy and data synchronization concerns.

    The problem of responding to change from an packaged applications perspective has been incorrectly associated with the eradication of business silos. Organizational and IT systems stove-pipes have been berated as being the cause of dysfunction in responding to change. But are organizational silos really bad? If so, why do they develop in the first place? Organization and IT system silos are a consequence and concomitance of natural evolution as the organization grows in the depth and breadth of its offerings, geographic reach, vertical specialization and market (i.e. customer segments). To respond to business priorities, that is revenue growth, margins, profitability or market share, organization will continue to become more complicated.. Matrix organizational structures are giving way to mesh (i.e. network) like organizational structure where the boundaries between internal lines of business and the external stakeholders (including customers, partners and suppliers) is blurring. Shouldn't businesses then be making more investments in packaged applications that are purpose-fit for specific customer niches, geographies and industries? Clearly, the flexibility of changing existing packaged-applications to meet new business needs is overrated in today's business environment.

    The solution lies in providing a consistent experience across external interfaces while continuing to make investments in internal applications (packaged or custom). After all specialized, purpose-fit, applications will deliver a competitive advantage. This is where edge applications built on BPM shine in overcoming the change inertia plaguing businesses. For instance, let's consider a local retailer contemplating entry in an overseas market. What if the retailer's existing CRM system does not fit the requirements of rapid-entry into the target market? What choices does the retailer have?

    One choice, could be to customize the existing CRM system through customized development effort. Another choice, could be rip-and-replace the existing CRM system with a new on-premise or cloud based CRM system. The latter approach may appear tempting in vendor pitches but is not for the faint-hearted in practice. To quote Carl Von Clausewitz, "Everything in strategy is very simple, but that does not mean that everything is easy!" In reality neither of the above approaches scale in the long-term.

    Yet another alternative, one that businesses typically resort to, is to deploy a new CRM system that is purpose-fit for the requirements of the overseas market. In this case, the business is faced with the time and effort of re-coding business rules and compliance policies in the new CRM system. Though this approach makes sense it becomes harder to scale when future needs complicate integration effort and consistent enforcement of business rules and compliance policies across the stove-pipe CRM systems. However businesses can circumvent these issues if they build an intermediate layer that interfaces with the customer channels and orchestrates the orders across the different front-end CRM systems. In this manner, businesses get the performance and capability benefits of purpose-fit packaged-applications and while being able to apply business rules and compliance policies consistently across them thereby providing a uniform customer experience across the external channels.

    The future is here today and BPM addresses the long-standing challenge of strategy-execution gap by serving as a platform for building edge applications.

    Saturday Jan 07, 2012

    OVUM opines Oracle BPM Process Accelerators as ripe!

    A recent report from OVUM affirms the significance of Oracle's BPM Process Accelerators which were announced at OOW last October.

    Given that process templates or accelerators have been around in the BPM industry for a while, the OVUM report identifies two scenarios addressed by process accelerators:

    • Complex, IT led, process integration  -  The business value of such accelerators is reduction of implementation effort and complexity i.e. cost of professional services and thus faster time-to-value. 
    • Lightweight, business led, process integration - The business value of such accelerators is the empowerment of business users to automate common workflows that are largely human-centric and document-centric with minimial IT dependence.

    The OVUM report points out, and correctly so, that Oracle's BPM Process Accelerators address the latter scenario. However the report leaves the reader wondering whether Oracle offers any solution for the former scenario.To set things in perspective, Oracle AIA delivers process accelerators and pre-built integration packs for complex application and data integration needs outlined in the first scenario. As is what you would expect, the process reference models delivered through AIA are built-on on Oracle BPM suite.

    In addition to Oracle BPM Process Accelerators and AIA, Oracle partners too have developed and deliver process accelerators on top of Oracle BPM suite to jump-start process improvement initiatives with Oracle BPM. The highlight of the report is an independent validation of the industry momentum Oracle BPM is generating.

    Thursday Dec 22, 2011

    Payments Straight-Through-Processing Journey

    Payments processing is a central activity for financial institutions, especially retail banks, and intermediaries that provided clearing and settlement services. Visibility of payments processing is essentially about the ability to track payments and handle payments exceptions as payments flow from initiation to settlement. 

    You can find more details in the following posts:

    • Improving Visibility of Payments Value-chain - (1/2)

      [Summary]: The business imperative for financial institutions, especially retail banks, for improving visibility of their payments processes stems largely from the following:

      • Lowering time and cost of fraud detection, risk management and compliance by applying these efforts in a centralized manner across lines of businesses, payment types and payment channels
      • Gaining real-time visibility of their cash-flows to optimize working capital by improving effeciency in borrowing and lending and negotiating appropriate SLAs with intermediaries such as clearing houses and payment channel providers such as credit card providers

      While automation has improved capacity of existing payments systems to cope with ever-increasing volume of payments traffic, there remain several hurdles to improving visibility of payments processes. This post looks into the factors (demand, organizational and technology) creating impedance in realizing the vision of Straight-Through-Processing.

    • Improving Visibility of Payments Value-chain - (2/2)

      [Summary]: Visibility in payments processing is fundamentally about knowing the status of payments as they flow from front-office initiation channels, across mid-office fraud, risk and compliance systems , through the payments application i.e. AR,AP and finally through external interfaces with clearing providers and financial network providers e.g. SWIFT, ACH etc. From a technology standpoint, payments straight-through-processing requires streamlining the integration across all these inbound channels, outbound interfaces and ancillary systems.

      This post outlines different approaches  to achieving STP including application consolidation, interface consolidation and hybrid (with end-to-end abstract processes).

    Sunday Dec 11, 2011

    Intelligent (event-driven) Business Process Management

    In a research report released last week, Gartner announced a new use case for BPMS, dubbed iBPMS (Intelligent BPM Systems). Gartner's findings re-affirm our vision and existing capability in delivering real-time-decision making and intelligent process automation capabilities offered by Oracle BPM and Oracle CEP technologies. 

    In fact, i have blogged over the past few weeks on the need for brain-like decision systems, key attributes of such systems, the enabling technology components and iBPMS use-cases in Financial Services, Healthcare and Public Sector where opportunity cost of split-second "sense-and-respond" is overwhelming. You can find more details at the following links:

    • Harnessing Business Events for Predictive Decision Making - (1/3)

      [Summary]: Faced with this data explosion, businesses are exploring means to develop human brain-like capabilities in their decision systems (including BI and Analytics) to make sense of the data storm, in other words business events, in real-time and respond pro-actively rather than re-actively. It is more like having a little bit of the right information just a little bit before hand than having all of the right information after the fact (premise of the book, "The Two Second Advantage"). To illustrate this thought, this post delves into the workings of the human brain.

    • Harnessing Business Events for Predictive Decision Making - (2/3)

      [Summary]: Achieving near real-time predictive intelligence creates special demands of the technology components, hardware in particular, in terms of scalability, fault-tolerance and capacity (both compute and storage). After all performance is of the essence in building decision systems that operate at brain-like speeds. A possible solution lies in integrated systems that are engineered from the ground up and not merely assembled from multi-vendor components. This post provides a graphical representation of brain-like capabilities and the enabling technology components.

    • Harnessing Business Events for Predictive Decision Making - (3/3)

      [Summary]: This post looks at real-world scenarios where Oracle BPM and Oracle CEP technologies collectively deliver intelligent automation, as envisioned by Gartner's study on iBPMS, in Financial Services, Healthcare and Public Sector.

    Wednesday Nov 23, 2011

    Gauging Maturity of your BPM Strategy - part 2 / 2

    In my earlier post I had discussed the essence of maturity assessment and the business imperative for doing the same in the context of BPM. In this post I will discuss Oracle’s BPM Maturity assessment methodology.

    Oracle’s BPM Maturity model comprises of the following components:

    • Maturity – represents stages of evolution of your BPM capability with 0 being the lowest level and 5 being the highest level 
    • Domain – represents multiple perspectives both technical and business oriented against which your BPM capability can be assessed
    • Adoption – represents scale of BPM rollout starting at the project level to the enterprise level

    Note: Your BPM capability can be at different levels of maturity for the different domains.

    Oracle’s BPM assessment methodology measures the maturity of your BPM capability at the individual domain level as well as the aggregate level. The output of Oracle’s BPM assessment benefits you in two ways:

    • Gap Analysis by comparing the “As-Is” BPM capability with the desired “To-Be” BPM capability along the various domains  (see Figure 1)
    • Systematic Adoption by aligning evolution of BPM capability with its rollout in multiple phases (see Figure 2)


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