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New standard increasing BPM software's potential

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
January 25, 2013

Business process management software is widely regarded as a prime tool for organizations striving to make frequent process improvement an integral part of their operations. However, the sector is still relatively young and evolving, leaving some companies wondering when some of its limitations will be overcome. One of the most prominent issues with BPM solutions - being able to run simulations over multiple generations of software - has been dealt with in the new BPSim standard from the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC), a BPM standards body made up of multiple vendors and stakeholders.

What the new standard accomplishes

The release describing the new standard explained that many organizations considering an investment in BPM software have run into problems because process simulations are not interoperable across multiple generations of the technology. The core problem stems from the architectures used to support simulation. This represents a major issue in the sector because simulating processes is one of the important elements of BPM solutions. Simulation provides insight into how process changes will impact operations, and allows organizations to streamline innovation. The new standard simplifies the underlying architectures that make simulation work, enabling process simulations to be carried between generations of software platforms.

Denis Gagne, chairperson of the WfMC working group that developed the standard, explained that the improvement to simulation architectures fills a key need across the industry as a whole.

"A business process simulation standard has been a long time in waiting," said Gagne. "With the release of BPSim, the new business process simulation standard from WfMC, business process simulation can now take its rightful place as viable technique to support process design, reduce risk of change and improve efficiency in organizations. Not only does BPSim provide an open interchange of simulation scenarios, but it also provides a framework for the specification of simulation scenario data and results as a firm foundation for implementation."

Using simulations to make the most of BPM platforms

Simulations enable organizations to maximize the value of their BPM solutions. At their core, BPM software systems enable organizations to present data and applications to end users in an intuitive, efficient way. These end-user benefits, however, are created by extensive back-office technology improvements that streamline the workflow and automate processes so infrastructure can function socially. Simulations give companies the ability to identify how process changes will look in the back office and project how those improvements will impact end users, providing vital insight before putting plans into action.

Malcolm Ross

Vice President of Product Marketing