BPM software should evolve and interoperate with other standards and tools – Interview with Judy Fainor, Chief Architect
Judy Fainor is the Chief Architect at Sparta Systems where she is responsible for enterprise software design, technology direction, and architecture. She has over 25 years of experience in product development including leading patent initiatives, speaking at technical conferences and interacting with Fortune 500 customers. Prior to Sparta Systems she was responsible for the architectural strategy of the IBM Optim Data Management portfolio where she led research and development projects that spanned IBM’s global labs including Japan, India, China, Israel and North America while also participating on the IBM Software Group Architecture Board.
What does your day to day look like?
On a daily basis I oversee all technical aspects of our product portfolio. I work closely with our executive team to understand the company’s growth strategy and the technological requirements for achieving those goals. I establish and drive the technical vision across the engineering organization.
I and my team conduct research and study leading edge technologies making determinations on the probability of implementation in our portfolio.
Part of my day also includes leading our Innovation program. This includes education around IP and patents as well as governing our use of Open Source and contributions back to the Open Source community.
Why is a BPM software important for your business?
We are an ISV providing software solutions that manage quality processes for our customers. As a product development organization we focus our efforts on developing features and functions specifically related to quality management and all it entails in the Life Sciences and other heavily regulated industries.
We feel strongly about taking advantage of standards-based, market leading technology giving us more time to concentrate on innovating and adding value in the area of Quality Management.
What functionalities are most important to you in a good BPM software?
When evaluating BPM software, the following criteria was key:
- Use of open standards is important for us and the technology stack we have in place. Therefore, adherence to the BPMN 2.0 standard was a must.
- We wanted a BPM engine that could be easily embedded into our technology stack.
- Ease of use – Having a designer that was easy to use for non-technical users was very important
- Exposed APIs
- We offer SaaS solutions so performance and scalability are a necessity
- Wide community adoption and good support record
What advice would you give other Chief Architects evaluating a BPM software?
We looked at many commercial and open source solutions. The evaluation process we used and I would recommend consisted of:
- Extensive POC of the software using one or BPM models that expose your most complex design patters.
- Run the software in a performance environment to understand how it performs under load and concurrency
- If multi-tenancy is a requirement, ensure your tests include many tenants and that you understand the underlying data model and how data isolation is achieved.
- Understand your business requirements, any current gaps and the vendor’s roadmap
- If open source what is the policy around contributions back
- Lastly speak with the vendors and get to know how they operate and their vision for their software.
What do you hope BPM software can do for you in the future?
Standards are evolving constantly; CMMN and DMM standards now exist. I would hope that the BPM software continues to evolve and interoperate with other standards as well as the tools that support them.
In the future we will be looking to provide more analytics around processes and patterns that are most commonly followed, enabling us to provide our customers with better decision-making capabilities as of part managing their quality issues – out-of-box capabilities in this area would be ideal.
As a consumer of BPM software for building and distribution products I’d like to see continued growth that allow our organization to focus on our value-add; quality management.
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