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Cloud Computing

Business Process Upgrade

by Alison Weiss

Business Process Upgrade

Snapshot

Energy Alloys

    Location: Houston, Texas

    Industry: Energy/oil field products and services

    Employees: 550

    Revenue: US$410 million in 2011

    Oracle products: JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications, Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher

James Watson

Chief Process Officer

Length of tenure: Four years

Education: CPA; BS in accounting and MBA, University of Houston–Clear Lake

Personal quote/mantra: “Character is doing what’s right when no one is looking.” —J.C. Watts

More

Energy Alloys’ successful upgrade of Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in 2011 helped spark a new business process management (BPM) initiative to extend IT into Energy Alloys’ business to help the company stay on top in the volatile energy industry. All value-added IT activities, including business intelligence, ERP application development, project management, and process improvement, are now part of a new group, the BPM department. James Watson, whose new title is chief process officer, heads the department. “It’s no longer IT and the business. It’s not an and/or conversation,” says Watson. “IT is part of the business and is accountable for the same goals.”

Now, BPM principles are a big part of every IT project at Energy Alloys. It’s no longer enough to sit down with users, gather requirements, and then build and deliver a system. Business analysts focus on re-examining processes and mapping them. “We’re still honestly in the infancy of BPM,” Watson says. “We haven’t even built up the continuous improvement side of the organization.”

Still, management is very pleased with the results the BPM group has achieved so far. Watson says, “Our focus is on processes and understanding the business—and not just delivering IT solutions.”

Photography by Shutterstock