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
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.
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.
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:
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 lessdifferentiated, organizations will strive to
differentiate on Customer Experience. Concepts likePace
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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".
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
[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
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
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
[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
This post outlines different approaches to achieving STP including application consolidation, interface consolidation and hybrid (with end-to-end abstract processes).
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:
[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.
[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.
[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.
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)
In this post I will discuss the essence of maturity assessment
and the business imperative for doing the same in the context of BPM. Social psychology purports that an individual progresses
from being a beginner to an expert in a given activity or task along four
stages of self-awareness:
Unconscious Incompetence where the
individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not
necessarily recognize the deficit and may even deny the usefulness of the
Conscious Incompetence where the
individual recognizes the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in
addressing the deficit.
Conscious Competence wherethe individual understands or
knows how to do something but demonstrating the skill requires explicit
Unconscious Competence wherethe individual has had so much
practice with a skill that it has become "second nature" and
serves as a basis of developing other complementary skills.
We can extend the above thinking to an organization as a
whole by measuring an organization’s level of competence in a specific area or
capability, as an aggregate of the competence levels of individuals it is
comprised of. After all organizations too like individuals, evolve through experience,
develop “memory” and capabilities that are shaped through a constant cycle of learning,
un-learning and re-learning. Hence the key to organizational success lies in developing
these capabilities to enable execution of its strategy in-line with the external
environment i.e. demand, competition, economy etc. However developing a capability
merits establishing a base line in order to
Assess the magnitude of
improvement from past investments
Identify gaps and
investments in the right areas
A maturity assessment is essentially an organizational
self-awareness check that is aimed at depicting the “as-is” snapshot of an
existing capability in-order to guide future investments to develop that
capability in-line with business goals. This effectively is the essence of a
Organizational capabilities stem through its architecture,
routines, culture and intellectual resources that are implicitly and explicitly
embedded in its business processes. Given that business processes underpin
realization of organizational capabilities, is what has prompted business
transformation and process management efforts. Thus, the BPM capability of an organization needs
to be measured on an on-going basis to ensure delivery of its planned benefits.
In my next post I will describe Oracle’s BPM Maturity