bpmNEXT 2016 (part 1)

This year, I’m attending bpmNEXT for the first time.  
It a nice conference, currently the 4th year, where BPM vendors, analysts and researchers collectively show their innovation, vision and research and discuss among each other.
Now in its fourth year, bpmNEXT is the definitive showcase of the next generation of Business Process Management software – including intelligent operations, the Internet of Things (IoT), case management, business decision management, and goal-directed processes.

bpmNEXT has consistently been the defining launch pad for the ideas and innovations surrounding technology-led business process innovation. Presentations are not case studies of past successes, but vision statements on where we need to go next.
This is no typical “how to” conference aimed at BPM newcomers. It is designed specifically for those already chest deep in BPM and wanting to get in early on the next generation of process innovation technology – touch it, see it, and influence it.
– See more at: http://www.bpmnext.com/#sthash.Q0RZDMoe.dpu

I’m presenting on ‘Case-driven applications’ on the second day, but looking forward to see what others have planned as well.  And the discussions and networking around it of course, probably one of the best selling points of this conference (although the Santa Barbara location comes close as well ;)).

Here’s a quick overview (from my point of view) about some of the key topics of the first half of day 1.

BPM 2016-2020
Bruce Silver and Nathaniel Palmer are kicking off, with an outlook for the next 5 year, how all companies (and he gave Tesla as a prime example) are becoming software companies, where there’s increasing focus on process and the battle for the end user is turning into a battle of easy-to-use UIs (not UI, but a combination of multiple different UIs).

Schroeder’s BPM revisited
Neil Ward-Dutton talked about digital transformation, as a digital thread that you have to weave globally across your entire organization (and even outside that boundary to customers) that focuses on decisions, agility, etc.  There’s need for a platform to manage your knowledge efficiently.  And BPM offers a lot of building blocks to achieve this, but maybe it’s time to think about rethinking / repackaging some of this to focus on the customer’s bigger picture.

Positioning Business Modeling
Panel: Clay Richardson, Denis Gagne, Kramer Reeves (Bruce Silver moderator)
BPM modeling can no longer be seen as something separate, as when talking about modeling there’s other areas like modeling cases, decisions, organizations, KPIs, etc. and they are all related.  Is this ‘business modeling’ and how do we bring them together, how do we as vendors sell this story to analysts and customers?

  • Incredible appetite from business analysts for building (almost any kind of) models to quickly prototype
  • How do we measure ROI?
    • BPM has operational automation benefits
    • Is it about speed to market?
    • Capturing knowledge in a standardized way (for long-term sustainability)
  • Is the BPM approach sustainable?  Can we keep adding more models / adding more capabilities as minimal requirements to BPM products?
  • Aren’t some models throw-away (high-level communication vehicles rather than operational model)?
While there’s no clear answers on some of these questions, I guess the consensus seemed to be that we can all work together on this to make a bigger pie for all of us.
Building a Value-Added BPM Business
Panel: Pramod Sachdeva, Scott Francis, Jonathan Sapir (Nathaniel Palmer moderator)
How, from a customer’s point of view, is the market changing?  What are customers looking for?

  • Customers are looking for much more than just a process, they are looking for complete solutions.
  • Is BPM shifting, or are the applications that we are building with BPM shifting?  Are BPM products growing or are they becoming part of a bigger ecosystem?
  • Can we get end users more involved?  Can everyone (end users, developers, QE, etc.) each participate at their level? What is preventing this, as this isn’t purely a technological issue.
  • What skillsets are required when looking for business analysts or IT to be involved in such an effort?
  • We need to be realistic about what end users can change, by constraining what they can change we might be able to allow them to do so.  For example by extracting decision logic in rules (that could be updated).
  • We want to give users a low-code environment where they can take control.


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