Over on IT-Director, Simon Holloway from Bloor Research has published a review of BP Logix’s Process Director version 3. It’s a useful overview of the current capability and direction of the product — social media integration is the new hot topic in version 3 out last month.
When I read reviews of products that I am unfamiliar with, I always looks for what makes this product unique in the market. How is it different or compelling?
In the review, there is an emphasis on ‘the time dimension’ as Process Director’s unique selling point.
The Time Dimension
The article explains the time dimension in the following terms:
BPM solutions have focused on getting the quality and governance of business processes. But time is a critical element of the planning, management and improvement of business processes. Time allows business users to gain additional control over their processes and creates the opportunity to predict how later stages in the process will be affected by changes introduced in the earlier stages.
I don’t know any BPM customers or clients that aren’t worried about the elapsed time, cycle time and throughput of their processes.
In fact, most customers usually conflate time and quality in a dangerous manner — mistaking the concept of efficiency with effectiveness. I also think that managing time is something that all BPMS vendors tackle — with various approaches and various degrees of success.
BP Logix seems to have a solid approach to problem:
To support this new predictive concept, BP Logix has introduced a patented technology that fuses project management methodologies with BPM, called Process Timelines. Business users design Process Timelines by answering two questions as they add each step to the process: What must complete before this step can begin – the dependency question; and how long will this step take to complete – the duration question. Each activity will begin as soon as its prerequisites, if any, are complete.
In action, it looks like this:
And, here is my biggest quibble. That simply doesn’t look at different from the Gantt Chart view in version 8.5 of IBM BPM that was released in May:
BPM Market Maturity
More than anything, the similarity in these interfaces represents a convergence not only of features but of how the features are implemented in the market.
It is a sign of BPM market maturity.
Differentiation becomes harder so, perhaps, the market might be ripe for a low-end disruption from a simpler product. But, that’s probably a post for a different day.