You say "Tomato", I say "Tomahto"...
Interesting article in Intelligent Enterprise magazine (print and web) called “Prime Time for Real Time”. Crappy headline – good content. One part of the article tries to distinguish flavors of BPx like Business Process Management (BPM) and Business Process Automation (BPA). I say – whatever.
What I liked about the article was the way the author abstracted Process (with a capital “P”) away from technology/development/systems. He does so via a virtual fourth tier – like shown in in this graphic:
I like this approach. Too many folks wrangling with process integration/management/automation are focusing on the technology and how to mash it around to fit this model or that without having a conceptual framework to fit to. I think the opportunity is in harvesting the best pieces of the existing infrastructure and applications (web services-enable them if you can, I say) and melding them into the improved process. This does not mean you do one little part of the process with this toolset/user interface, then have the user switch gears/systems/mindsets and do this little part of the process THIS way, etc. It does mean hiding the spaghetti of existing systems, data, protocols, etc. from the user and presenting them with a rational interface to the (virtual) process/application.
If you’re working on these kinds of projects and want to learn something from someone who REALLY knows what she’s talking about, as opposed to me, try Sandy Kemsley’s blog at www.kemsleydesign.com.