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Article in Computerwoche about BPM-Software


Computerwoche is one of the most read magazines for IT-Professionals in Germany (I would actually assume it is THE most read one), and therefore I was quite happy I could contribute an article about BPM-Software to their last edition. Well, the article is in German, of course, but if you are brave enough you will download the PDF and try to read it anyway 😉 If not, here comes the core message of it: I divided BPM-Systems into the categories “pure play”, “embedded”, “saas” and “open source”. I consider that useful, although there can be overlappings such as an open source – BPMS that is embedded into a commercial product like an CRM or ERP. Then I thought about the future of commercial pure play BPMS and came to the result, that a shift of market shares is likeley, boosting the relevance of both Open Source BPM and SaaS BPM at the expense of “classical” on premise, closed source BPM products, which was also one of the reasons for our engagement in the Activiti project.

One of the main reasons behind that shift is that Open Source gives you more control over your technical BPM-Infrastructure and therefore less vendor-lock-in, especially if the OSS Stack does not require your Engineers to learn proprietary ways of implementing process applications, but let them do all that with their Java skillset plus BPMN (which is a standard and therefore not vendor specific). This makes OSS the perfect choice for supporting processes that implement your core competences and strategic USPs, while you can go for out-of-the-box SaaS-Solutions for processes that are “just” supporting your core processes, e.g. in HR, Accounting, Helpdesk or similar things (well, depends on your company, of course…). However, that OSS based BPM-strategy works only out if you do have a strong Java team in your company, no doubt about that. Well, I did not say that EVERY company is heading that way, but I am expecting or actually experiencing quite a few companies doing that already, e.g. based on JBoss jBPM.

So, the bottom line is: OSS BPM is not necessarily cheaper, but it makes you more independant, if you fulfill the prerequisites (<= qualified Java Resources).

Already read?

Scientific performance benchmark of open source BPMN engines

Why BPMN is not enough

Decision Model and Notation (DMN) – the new Business Rules Standard. An introduction by example.

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