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Redefining BPM, BPM Software, and How Work Gets Done

Ben Farrell
July 27, 2011

We had our quarterly company meeting yesterday. Everyone was in a pretty good mood based on our success in the first half of the year. As usual, our executive team did a great job talking about numbers, goals and strategies. Our CEO Matt Calkins, however, spent most of his time on something much bigger. He talked to us about redefining Business Process Management by redefining BPM software - how it looks, what it does, and where it does it. By doing that, he said, we will change the very nature of how organizations operate and how work gets done.

These are exciting times for the BPM industry, and for Appian in particular. Gartner has announced a very encouraging prediction about BPM spending this year. Vendor market shake-out continues to crystalize customer options between BPM innovation and mish-mashed, bolt-on approaches. Awareness of BPM software is at an all-time high. With the advent of Mobile BPM and Social BPM, active use of BPM software is poised to explode. And that, as Matt said, will herald a transformation in business.

He wasn't talking about optimizing some percentage of the thousands of individual processes and process fragments that create an enterprise. He was talking about the unified management and orchestration of all of those processes through a new business system. He was talking about using that business system to extend process beyond the corporate walls, to involve everyone, whoever and where ever they are. He was talking about the next evolution of the Mobile Process Enterprise - a new system for business control that is sensitive, dynamic and intuitive.

In this new business system, process presents a single and holistic view of the enterprise in real-time. Executives can see it, make decisions and take action on a mobile device. All siloed applications and data sources will be simply "surfaced" where and when needed by the meta layer. Process will act as the glue that links employees, customers and partners to the organization.

Appian has been driving towards that vision for more than 10 years. With each product release, and with each customer "ah-ha" moment when the real potential of BPM software is glimpsed, we get closer. That's what our new Tempo interface is all about. As Matt says, "Tempo is not a new means to an old end. It is a new end unto itself."

Exciting times, indeed.

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications