Focusing on Digital Transformations: bpmNEXT 2017 Recap
By Jim Sinur
(Aragon Research) – Process is a key part of Digital Transformations, and this was a clear theme at this year’s bpmNEXT in Santa Barbara, California.
The conference saw industry experts, vendors, and consultants speaking to the value of process itself or interacting with process. Big Digital Business Platform (DBP) vendors like Oracle, Itesoft/W4, Red Hat, and SAP demonstrated new ease-of-use capabilities to make their offerings more acceptable to business types. In the Decision Management (DM), Robotic Program Automation (RPA), and Customer Journey Management (CJM) categories, there were a number of new and exciting offerings from various vendors. This year’s event did not disappoint.
The Thought Leaders
Nathaniel Palmer demonstrated with Google Trends that the interest in BPM and Digital were neck and neck. This means that while BPM and process is no longer a CIO shiny object, folks are still interested in the value of process.
Neil Ward-Dutton, from MWD Advisors, said we need to change our thinking. We need to think about infinite digital resources and limited physical resources as we design digital solutions. Knowing where to employ technologies on the automation continuum is crucial. The higher volume, the more automation should be employed.
Clay Richardson, of the newly minted Digital Fastforward, talked of engagement models that bring people together in a creative environment. Clay expounded on results from his digital planning sessions that employed the notion of Escape Rooms, where you have to innovate your way out.
Derek Miers, recently joining MWD, gave us all a scolding on focusing on technology and not on people engagement to build skills and competence necessary for digital transformation. Derek shared his framework for business transformation, which he has been improving over the years.
And lastly, I built the case for Digital Business Platforms (DBP) by showing all the contributing technologies and how they contributed to digital success at a summary level. I previewed the Digital DNA material that is soon to be published by Aragon Research.
Notable Vendor Presentations
Digital Transformation by IYCON
There was a demo of leveraging process definitions with process mining to create use matrices leveraged for project sequence and monitoring. While the tool has been used for more than processes, the idea of creating a plan based on the real processes today makes sense in understanding the current state. The tool can also be used to describe the ‘end state’ plus all the intermediate steps.
Combining RPA, Decision Management and Process by Sapiens Decisions
There was a demo simulation of these pieces interacting as a set of decisions and processes interact with existing systems. With the decisions driving the interactions with process snippets and legacy, there is a significant layering of complexity from the business users and flows.
Visual Process Mining Was Demonstrated in a Lighthearted Way by Minit
This was the easiest to operate and coordinate process mining and visualization tool I had ever seen.
Processes Operating at the Edge in a Coordinated Fashion by Camunda
As the notion of the shared process and intelligence at the edge takes off, there will be a need for networked process engines. Camunda showed the effect of process at the edge by shear volume of tasks supported. Instead of hundreds of concurrent process steps per second, the new edge version supported 40K plus per second. This spells unlimited digital resources coming your way soon.
A Cognitive Customer Experience Was Illustrated by Princeton Blue
A slide emulation walked us through a customer experience leveraging AI.
The Three Contributions of RPA to Digital Were Demonstrated by Kofax
We all saw robotic keying, robotic integration sequences, and robotic program changes all on the fly.
Process and BlockChain Together Was Shown by Bonitasoft
3D Modeling and Simulation Supported by Capital Labs
The demo showed the ability to port in BPMN models, exchange execution models, and build processes from scratch. The importance of simulation and animation to drive to business results has gotten easy.
Parallel Tasks Support Leveraging Timers, Events, and Precedence from BP Logix
Along with Gantt based process execution, we were shown visual data layering.
bpmNEXT gets better every year. Nathaniel Palmer, Bruce Silver, and Heather Palmer deserve respect and a big thanks for putting this gem together.