Approach your projects from an agile perspective with BPM

Applications built on IBM’s award winning Smarter Process suite™ provides businesses with the foundation for rapidly deploying solutions across their organizations. Working together with key partners, and IBM will accelerate the ability to deliver core, reusable elements to automate and optimize key business processes.  Fir example in the Insurance market, business are using BPM to automate processes such as billing, enrollment, provider contracting in addition to new product development and authorization management. As an organization is in the adoption phase of BPM (first few projects), it’s important to take advantage of this ability to accelerate.  Taking advantage of the IBM partner eco-system provides an advantage with a set of solutions offered by the partner along with best practices offering business leaders new opportunities, value driving growth, productivity and compliance.

Gaining  Agility – Amidst frequently change regulatory landscape, the BPM paradigm provides highly agile methodologies and techniques in developing an application as apposed to a build from scratch java or .net apps; IBM BPM™ provides acceleration across multiple functional areas.  For starters, the idea of BPM itself is a paradigm shift in thinking and operational capabilities.  An example of this is the ability to drag and drop shapes into a process model, connect them together and immediately play back the application demonstrates a powerful capability that is not matched with traditional development methods.  This functional agility is inherent in BPM simply because you can change the diagram on the fly and immediately see the change in the application during play-back.  This simple capability is extremely effective in reducing the overall development life-cycle.  IBM BPM takes this concept one step further then our competition; IBM BPM’s modeling environment is based on BPMN2 standards. These standards are well accepted in the industry, making IBM BPM easier to learn while other BPM tools utilize a proprietary modeling environment which carry a longer learning curve.  Two things are important here; 1. readability of the model 2. developer training to build an individuals Time-to-Value.

Business needs the ability to deliver solutions faster, that are fit for purpose.  IBM BPM teams approach a business problem with the capability to develop solutions that models the business requirements more closely.  IBM BPM meeds that goal, while other vendors provide pre-built frameworks that rarely get used as is.  Most of the time, the frameworks are market-ware and the application that gets developed looks nothing like what the framework was intended for, bringing new meaning to the term: Build for Change!

Prescriptive approach – IBM offers a “Quick Win Pilot for Business Process Management” which drives rapid results in a short duration.  Also with IBM Partner community, clients are able to quickly establish a reference solution that drives value within your organization.  As business leaders approach transformation in their organizations, the undoubtedly begin to look for ways to reduce costs, and fill the gaps that exist in their current operations.  They are looking for a way to deliver a valuable quick win to their business.  That’s the point where they make the decision to get on the path of your BPM journey.  IBM has an opportunity here to gain the confidence and demonstrate affordability with  “jump-starts” in quick win projects, and support for augmenting a clients staff with services as they ramp up their ennoblement.  IBM “Quick-Win” program is designed to deliver a tangible solution to the business in 10 weeks or less.  IBM Lab Services or GBS is able to implement this engagement as help a a business accelerate their BPM adoption.

Standards adherence and learning curve
IBM BPM provides the most open and comprehensive development environment based on standards such as BPMN 2.0, BPEL and XPDL. IBM supports standard databases and open languages and development paradigms including AngularJS and Boostrap to build responsive UIs. It is far easier for a developer to become productive on the IBM BPM platform.      Pegasystems does not adhere to these standards and forces developers to learn a propriety ERP-like development programming model, where one has to learn a completely new way to develop software. Proprietary lock-in is expensive in the long-run.

Collaborative process discovery tool for business users
IBM Blueworks Live is simple and enables business users to quickly derive value. Only BWL is a near-0 learning, collaborative, process discovery environment that can be applied immediately to, for example, Fifth Third’s need to discover and document regulatory processes and tag compliance control points. As adoption grows and businesses decide they want to automate the processes they have modeled, work done in Blueworks Live can easily be migrated into BPM. Fifth Third’s investment is phased and based on value creation.  Pegasystems limited process discovery capabilities are positioned with a methodology known as Directly Capture of Objectives (DCO), which forces users to dive deep into their proprietary tools.

Model governance
IBM provides a collaborative governance model within BPM to help control updates, and set predefined activities. This provides insights and visibility across the organization as well as change tracking and compliance adherence for task execution.    Pegasystems does not have tooling specific to governance, but provides a set of published guidelines called guardrails. Provides a loosely coupled set of guidelines that warrant no more that a 30-minute presentation during developer training.

Enterprise-ready content integration
Integrated CMIS content repository unifies the mechanism(s) to integrate rich data types such as documents, images, video other media into your process giving users a unprecedented user-experience (UX) while allowing organizations to migrate to an external system such as Filenet, Alfresco or even Sharepoint and grow when the time is right.  With Pega, uses drag and drop within their attachment upload dialog, and also utilized CMIS integration for content repository. However, the storage of content in the built repository is cumbersome and provides no external integration for other enterprise application to access the internal repository.

Mobile development
IBM BPM includes MobileFirst framework out-of-the-box which provides entitlement to develop and test BPM / MobileFirst applications that leverage BPM APIs and Coaches. Developers create responsive UIs deployable across popular open desktop and mobile platforms Responsive AngularJS and Boostrap Mobile Coaches are purpose built for a responsive user experience (UX).  Pegasystems provides a set of frameworks, sold separately for the base BPM package. It’s a set of CSS-based screen restrictions. There are at least 4 directions based on a recent acquisition in the mobility space. Their original mobile platform now being replaced while providing a totally different mobile solution within it’s Pega 7 Express. It’s hard to say which approach is the right one for clients today.

Social streams
Interactive process specific communication amongst team members by allowing them to collaborate, comment, and view process activities as they work.    Does not provide true real-time collaboration between process participants, but instead provides a pass-the-buck approach requiring check-in/check-out.

Human language rules
Rules designers benefit from IBM’s Human Language rules capabilities by making learning easier as well as providing the catalyst for imparting business knowledge embedded within a rule (the policy) easier to relay to others within the organization. This makes the artifacts (the rules) more consumable to line-of-business (LOB) rules owners allowing SMEs instead of IT to maintain decision logic.  Pegasystems is not really an Enterprise rules engine at all.  These rules are made up of multiple complex structures, giving developers a choice of multiple ways to solve the same problem. However there are no human Language or Cognitive approaches available. Over time, one user might say an Activity rule (a complex developer oriented procedural construct) is the right choice, another says Map Values or Transformations, Decision Trees, and Decision Tables, and so on and on forth.

In reality, the end result of this most likely will be a combination of these and in any order, all of which are defined using proprietary definitions that are not translatable to other areas of the business. The results can be highly complex and need expert level knowledge to build.

Market share and marketplace skills
Diverse global partner ecosystem. IBM train our partners in the same methodology we use to deploy IBM BPM, and 28% of market share.    Also has a good partner ecosystem, but only 8-12% of the market. Long learning curve and proprietary development paradigm has led to a lack of qualified talent in the marketplace.

Enterprise integration
Because Pega tries to be a one-stop-shop, there is inherent overlap with other industry leading solutions more focused on specific problem spaces such as BRMS, Analytics, CRM and Business Activity Monitoring (BAM).

Finding and keeping Pega resources has been a challenge for organizations.  Compare the time to Value, getting resources up to speed quickly

1 or 2 months lead time – IBM tools

6 – 24 months lead time – Pega tools

Once an individual reaches their target level of certification with pegasystems, they will ofter churn – seeking the big-bucks!  At that point the business needs to backfill, and find the skills needed to continue the work.

To conclude, the total cost of ownership relates to more that just the license costs.  Consider also costs associated with operations, resources, and business readiness.  As resources are enabled to execute, consider the level of attrition relating to a more complex development tool as these folks get certified, the level of churn increases.  Training resources with standards reduces this problem, as more and more folks are enabled.  With IBM BPM, the training costs to grow and keep resources is much lower that the competitors.

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