Process-on-the-Fly #2 - Process is the New App
next generation of business process management and business rules
management tools is so powerful that it actually can be seen as the
successor to custom-built applications. Being able to define detailed
process, flows, decision trees and business helps on both the business
and IT side to create powerful, differentiating solutions that would
have required extensive custom coding in the past. Now much of the
definition can be done ‘on the fly,’ using visual models and (semi)
natural language in the nearest proximity to the business.
the years, ERP systems have been customized to enter
organization-specific functionality into the ERP application. This leads
to better support for the business, but at the same time involves
higher costs for maintenance, high dependency on the personnel involved
in this customization, long timelines to deliver change to the system
and increased risk involved in upgrading the ERP system. However, the
best of both worlds can be created by bringing back the functionality to
out-of-the-box usage of the ERP system and at the same time introducing
change and flexibility by means of externalized 'Process Apps' in
direct connection with the ERP system.
The ERP system (or legacy
bespoke system, for that matter) is used as originally intended and
designed, resulting in more predictable behavior of the system related
to usage and performance, and clearly can be maintained in a more
standardized and cost-effective way. The Prrocess App externalizes the
needed functionality into a highly customizable application outside the
ERP for which it is supported by rules engines, task inboxes and can be
delivered to different channels.
The reasons for needing Process
Apps may include the following: The ERP system just doesn't deliver this
functionality in a specific industry; the volatility of changing
certain functionality is high; or an umbrella type of functionality
across (ERP) silos is needed.
An example of bringing all this
together is around the hiring process for a new employee at a
university. Oracle PeopleSoft HCM could be used as the HR system to
store all employee details. In the hiring process, an authorization
scheme is involved for getting the approval to create a contract for the
employee-to-be. In the university world, this authorization scheme is
complex and involves faculties/colleges (with different organizational
structures) and cross-faculty organizational structures. Including such
an authorization scheme into PeopleSoft would require a lot of
customization. By adding a handle inside PeopleSoft towards an
externalized authorization Process App, the execution of the
authorization of the employee is done outside the ERP: in a tool that is
aimed to deliver approval schemes via a worklist-type of application.
Process App here works as an add-on to the PeopleSoft system, but can
also be extended to support the full lifecycle of the end-to-end hiring
process with the possibility to involve multiple applications. The
actual core functionality is kept in the supporting ERP systems, while
at the same time the Process App acts as an umbrella function to control
the end-to-end flow and give insight into the efficiency of the
How to get there? Read the complete article here.
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