Wednesday, February 21, 2007
What's wrong with BPM
- I challenged my friend and industry analyst Bruce Silver to point me to a BPM vendor that could identify three customers who successfully managed to use its product to build a complex business process that would leverge a Service Oriented Architecture, and managed to do it without writing code and with no technical support from the vendor. He could not.
Ishmael, this feels like a problem that isn't exclusive to vendors. I suspect that many enterprise folks aren't receiving adequate training on BPM in order to be successful. Do you have a sense as to whether the marketplace has the right books, conferences or other methods for learning available or do we need to address these deficiencies too.
- You want to connect to a web service through WSDL? Well, this will require some code to be written, some files to be packaged, and debugging will keep you busy for quite some time. Could you use the sexy process simulator for process debugging? Forget about it…
OK, how come all BPM vendors can't simply get together and come up with a simple shape to describe this without writing code? Maybe, Intalio could show other vendors some leadership by writing it for them and allowing them to include it in their product. Of course, ego would get in the way if this secret were to leak.
- While getting a process to call an external service (outbound call) was doable, getting an external service to call a process (inbound call) does not seem to be part of the offering, and you need to implement your own listener as a Servlet for it to be done. Nice…
This feels like another opportunity for BPM vendors to collaborate and develop a common way to make this happen. Maybe you could sketch out something REST-oriented that is generic enough for all products to implement.
- leading to an alarming failure rate for BPM projects that go over time and over budget in most cases, and an abyssmally low level of repeat sales—same customer buying again from the same vendor.
Hmmm. This feels like a failure on the part of industry analysts to ask tough questions. Maybe they need to track more metrics on repeat customers and not just focus on revenue growth.
In general, it feels like a big problem in enterprises who spend $300K to buy magic pixie dust is the same with any new technology in that they may not know what questions to ask. How about coming up with a proper RFP that shows enterprises how to become smarter. Most of the guidance provided by industry analysts in this regard is lightweight. Did you ever ask Bruce Silver what he could do to help customers avoid this problem?