Smart Process/Case Applications (SPA) and Case Management Frameworks are new categories of applications software that are combinations of people and machine interactions that are highly adaptable and loosely structured to handle dynamic change happening in near real time. I will combine these into one category called smart process applications(SPAs) as they are aimed at the same jump start approach with a dynamic technology engine under the covers. They are just a little different in how they handle the adaptability and dynamism in their core event action engines, but they are both usually goal directed,and they both can contain flow directed portions of logic as well. The question is which approach is most prevalent in the end to end process.
They both deliver quick benefits because don’t start out with a blank page, but deliver configurable pre-built process and case structures plus configurable pre-built business actions. Consequently, there is reduction of specialty logic and custom code for the core business functionality provided by these smart process/case applications. There is generally a core life cycle that is common and foundational base business capability representing current best practice starting points (either horizontal or vertical). The beauty of SPAs is that you can adapt the best practices to better practices along the way. The greatest reason for SPAs is that they help manage heterogeneous work streams well.
The Core Life Cycle; Seven Steps to Success:
Create a Goal / Milestone Models
Create a Process Instance / Case
Prepare the Instance / Case
Instance / Case Sharing or Routing
Instance / Case Approval
Instance / Case Actions
Measure, Monitor and Improve Instance / Case
Horizontal Business Function:
There is business function that spans different industries that adds value to an organization and can glean benefits quickly if pre-written, configured and customized with local / customer variations. Typically these things have a common core across many organization types. Examples would be customer relationships, human capital management, infrastructure management and facilities management. Prebuilt models, templates and accelerators can help organizations save money and time by starting with these jump start components on top of a very adaptable engine that can change in near real time.
Vertical Business Function:
There is business function that is unique within in an industry or specialty that has very specific business models implied in their behavior. Variations are sometimes baked in ahead of time, but in other cases the variation can be made at the time of process instance or case execution. Examples would be Government, Healthcare, Insurance, banking and lending. There is probably something for every industry out there, but make sure you have a good look at the underlying approach to adaptability and customization.
Prebuilt models, templates and accelerators can help organizations save money and time by starting with these jump start components on top of a very adaptable engine that can change in near real time. Smart process applications have these and more for delivering results quickly for a lower cost than custom code, but still offer adaptability because of the underlying BPM / Case Engines. Some BPM engines are not adept at handling dynamic change that is not pre-planned, so the devil is in the detail.
My top ten key players in Smart Process Applications are Newgen, Pegasystems, IBM, Appian, Lexmark, Tibco, SAG, DST, OpenText and PNMSoft, but this is an emerging area.