Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Disruptive Rise of the Digital Business Platform

Organizations that are facing a digital transformation would benefit from having and leveraging a Digital Business Platform (DBP). Up until now there have not been a description of just what a DBP is, what it does that is different and how to recognize one and when one see's a real DBP.

Vendors looking to help organizations transform and ride the digital wave need to understand what a DBP is and how to either qualify as one or partner with one to leverage the rapid growth of the DBP market that is forming as we speak. 

I have written a paper for folks to read to get in front of this trend and here is the outline and the link to follow

Table of Contents

Identify the Right Digital Business Platform with a Logical Architecture
Potential Market Size and Impact
Digital Business Platform Architecture
Major Characteristics of a Digital Business Platform
Major Elements of a Digital Business Platform 

Aragon Advisory
Bottom Line
Pages = 10

Monday, April 25, 2016

New Research for You this April

We recently announced our partnership with Practically Digital, a Chicago based technology consulting firm which specializes in digital strategy. | Aragon Research | 555 Bryant St #480 | Palo Alto, CA | 94301 | P:  888-650-2586

Aragon Research | 555 Bryant St #480 | Palo Alto, CA | 94301 | P:  888-650-2586

April Newsletter
Image Title
Aragon Research Consulting
We recently announced our partnership with Practically Digital, a Chicago based technology consulting firm which specializes in digital strategy. Our strategic partnership uniquely positions us to help clients formulate and execute a digital business strategy. Try a free consult and discover how Aragon can help your enterprise leverage technology to win in the marketplace.
Start Today
Featured Content:
Unified Communications is fading. Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC), equipped with Voice, Video, Collaboration, and Messaging, is about to take over.  This months edition of our Featured Content provides you with the tools and knowledge to facilitate better collaboration in your enterprise. 
UCC Consolidation: 
Mitel Buys Polycom for $1.96 Billion
Polycom RealPresence Immersive Studio.
First Cut Analysis

UC is Dead and UCC is the Future: 

Leverage Mobile Messaging to Facilitate Better Collaboration

May 5th | 10 am |Calendar.ics

UC is Dead and UCC is the Future:  Leverage Mobile Messaging to Facilitate Better Collaboration
UCC Webinar Sign Up
The Future of Unified Communications and Collaboration is Mobile and Video
The Future of Unified Communications and Collaboration is Mobile and Video
Latest UCC Research
Upcoming Events:
Aragon Breakfast Briefing – The Race to Digital Thursday, May 12th | 7:30 am – 10 am | Redwood City, CA
Aragon analysts Jim Lundy and Jim Sinur will be hosting a complimentary breakfast and accompanying presentation at the Sofitel in Redwood Shores. Hear from our guest panel composed of leading Silicon Valley Executives on digital disruption.
Aragon Breakfast Briefing – The Race to Digital

Thursday, May 12th  |  7:30 am – 10 am  |  Redwood City, CA

Analysts' Choice:
Google Goals Will Help Marketers Focus On The Long-Term
Chat Bots are the Future of Work
Process Applications: The King Of Business Agility
Featured in Aragon Insight:
  • The Future of Unified Communications and Collaboration is Mobile and Video

  • The Aragon Research Technology Arc™ for Sales and Marketing, 2016

  • The Aragon Research Technology Arc™ for Digital Transaction Management and Content Management, 2016

Schedule a Free Analyst Inquiry

Friday, April 22, 2016

Shabbat Shalom to My Jewish Friends

For those celebrating their Passover Seder, I would like to pass along my latest painting. This is to celebrate my Jewish friends and their freedom from slavery in Egypt. The angel of death passed over the Jewish homes marked with the blood of a lamb. This is like my life given grace under the blood of the lamb.  Shabbat Shalom !!  The top of the Star of David and God's holy light and the bottom of the star is where man sits in darkness with God reaching down to bless us with his salvation

bpmNEXT 2016: Checking The Gravitational Pull of Process

bpmNEXT is aimed at attracting the best ideas and implementations of process from a provider's perspective while checking the pulse of process related momentum. It is mostly attended by the process thought leaders and vendors that play in the process and intelligent process arenas. This includes BPM, Modeling, Collaborative BPM, Workflow, Cognitive and Decision focused vendors. This is where the emerging ideas are exchanged and innovative demos are displayed. This post will summarize interesting themes and point out ideas that I found compelling.

Health Check Panels:


Clay Richardson, Denis Gagne and Kramer Reeves discussed the battle to augment detailed requirements with models. Because models only live for a short time, like requirements, they don't get the respect they should. There is a strong pull to move modeling to execution earlier to iterate to completion, though there was a good bit of exhortation to model early and often. There were good discussions on linking models to measurements and actual process mining (audit trails of process executions).

Value Added BPM Business:

Scott Francis, Jonathan Sapir and Parmod Sachdeva discussed where BPM was being used in business. The common theme was that customers want to leverage system, people and cognitive resources to dynamically chase changing goals. There was plenty of discussion about encouraging business professionals to be involved the building of resource leveraging processes, but the traction is spotty. The theme of "low code" for the developer seems to be gaining with developers. 

BPM Analyst Panel:

Maureen Fleming, Sandy Kemsley, Clay Richardson, Neil Ward Dutton and myself discussed the momentum and trends in BPM. I was unable to objectively evaluate this session other than there was a strong leaning towards easier to use technology to attract more developers. I had an agenda of pushing Digital as the umbrella for process. "Process is the Secret Sauce of Digital" was one of my themes along with customer delight and smart process resources such as smart devices plus cognitive assisted people and systems. Process should enable collaboration between people, machines and systems. 

Key Notes:

Nathaniel Palmer:

Nathaniel said that the future of work and process was the 3 Rs. Robots, Rules and Relationships. He  presented an architecture that was change proof until the year 2020. He emphasized that the mobile first efforts that are going on now will be the legacy we will want to get out of later. He also thought that swarming and learning technologies would emerge to lead the future. Amen to that brother, but we will have to accelerate our ability to accept and leverage potentially uncomfortable change.

Neil Ward-Dutton: 

Neil emphasized test and learn platforms that support the fail and scale fast approaches needed to move to Digital. Neil said that digital would be the grease that enabled better communications between employee engagement, operations, external engagement and products. Digital transformation is the big challenge facing organizations, but the application of emerging technologies will allow the convergence of customer delight, operational improvements and new / innovative products & services. 

Jim Sinur:

I gave a pitch on digital disruption the emerging pressures to lead in revenue increase, cost reduction and market valuation. This will require improving customer engagement, improving business operation and augmenting or changing business models. There were live examples given for each theme.  Business and technical pressures were identified and highlighted along with necessary digital transformation activities that will be enumerated in my new book that will out in the coming month. An improved version of this presentation will be shared in Silicon Valley on May 12th 

Interesting Ignite / Demos:

Business Modeling & Process Intelligence :

8020- Ian Ramsey:

Ian demonstrated a way for a business professional could create process model from lists without knowing what process modeling or BPMN was. This is a good shot at modeling for the masses as it could generate a model usable by any BPMN enabled tool. 

SAP - Joachim Meyer:

SAP assisted by Hana and process mining from Celonis was able to show an inclusive dashboard for an end to end process, with hot spot drill down, to manage an monitor out comes. Looked great for root cause analysis based on real time data. 

Cognitive Process Assists (Cog me baby):

Princeton Blue - Pramod Sachdeva:

Promod semi-demonstrated a cognitive assisted sentiment analysis across several sources of social media data. With the combination of cognition,  analysis and escalation rules, proper actions could be spawned to respond to negative comments. This was less a demo than an extended presentation, but impressive in that it went beyond dash boards for visual recognition to real actions. 

IBM - Eric Herness:

Eric demonstrated image recognition driven by Watson and Spark to adjudicate vehicle crash claims. Eric demonstrated the processes ability to become better by training Watson and Sparc to deal with new images and contexts for a better process. While this was a simple example it showed the promise of cognitive and real time analytic assists for changing rules and processes.  

Collaborative Goal Driven Processes (including Case whose goals are milestones):

BP Logics - E Scott Mentor:

Scott showed a set of activities that all want to execute right now, but are constrained by different rules including precedence and external event / pattern occurance. The activities could either be single actions or process snippets of complex actions, but everything is happening in real time driven by global goals. 

W4 -  Francois Bonnet:

This demo showed process / case collaboration being enhanced by internal or external resources whose experience and reference was visually tagged for opportunistic interaction. It also found the best and free resource for collaboration. Image a cog figuring this out and linking you to another person or cog? 


OPENRULES - Jacob Feldman:

Jacob elegantly showed how the combination of rule sets and optimization could be leveraged for tuning rule sets and making decisions with a sense of confidence. Jacob ran through both simple and complex problem sets showing off the ability to test rules through a range of alternatives from minimum optimization to maximum optimization. 

Net; Net:

Process is healthy and will stay that way as long as we can leverage the new kinds of goals driven and emergent processes along with our favorite processes types of the past. We will be living in a hybrid process world for a while leading to dynamic processes auto configuring with swarming resources. Then the only process model will be an audit trail of what happened putting a premium on mining and better practices combined with growing best practices. Waiting for bpmNEXT 2017 :) 

For More Information See Aragon Research & Aragon Research Blog 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bonita BPM’s Strengths as a Digital Business Platform

A goodly number of organizations are on a path to incremental transformations of their business to digital. There seems to be a consensus that the user experience is a great place to start. Some organizations are starting with a "Mobile First" approach while others are looking at customer journeys. Still others are looking at end to end processes that usually include value or supply chains. Since there is pressure to get going, decisions are being made on technology bases that might create regret later. While technology should not be the driver, looking at the opportunities and constraints that each type of technology platform brings should be an exercise that organizations should be doing soon.

Bonitasoft’s Bonita BPM, as a digital business platform (DBP), brings capabilities that allow for experimentation and incremental development of digital capabilities quickly while leveraging instant feedback on the resulting living digital system. Let’s drill into some of the details of those digital capabilities outlined in one of my previous blog posts.  

How Does Bonitasoft Aid Digital Transformations with Bonita BPM?

Bonita BPM was built and enhanced over time to create living digital systems with personalized interfaces leveraging process and speedy updates of the resulting digital capabilities. Interfaces can be built, customized, altered and tweaked. Processes can be easily changed and optimized to match the shifting needs of customers. Business people get exactly what they want or can change the system to their needs and desires without Herculean efforts to define detailed requirements. Bonita BPM is a true business / developer collaboration tool with fast feedback on the resulting changes.
The power here is that Bonita BPM empowers incremental approaches because it can be modified quickly even in production and leverages power testing that allows for speedy iterations. This is ideal for digital experimentation and rapid development.  As business needs and requirements arise the resulting applications, user interfaces and processes can change with great agility and speed.

Process Platform Strengths:

Bonita BPM has a great strength here in that it was designed to follow a process improvement cycle of model, design, execute, measure and adjust. In fact Bonita BPM is ideal for all kinds of rapid development methods and gets to initial benefits early. This helps in funding more digital efforts down the line and helps executives gain confidence in their digital transformation efforts. While Bonita BPM is both a development and deployment platform, like other BPM players, the user experience can be designed and leveraged independently from the business logic.  All of this while supporting long running complex cases and having scalable processes running millions of concurrent cases. Bonita BPM has proven itself strong in this area thus making it ideal for process enabled digital efforts. 

Analytic and Cognitive Strengths:

Bonita BPM is great on visibility throughout the progress of any one case or process instance. The analytics are quite capable and linked to the living processes and systems. There are strong monitoring and dashboard capabilities for KPI measurement and subsequent decision-making. Imagine watching your digital business operate visually and make adjustments when necessary.

Integration and Development Strengths:

In addition to process, this is Bonita BPM’s biggest area of advantage. It was built with developers of all kinds in mind and has power testing capabilities that gives feedback early to those developers. There is strong support for reusability of form fragments, process snippets and data structures. Integration is also a plus in that Bonita BPM was designed to play well with others. In fact connectors combined with Bonita APIs permit workflow integration with other information systems including existing legacy systems. The process engine can interact with other systems in an overarching way.

Internet of Things (IoT) Strengths:

Bonitasoft can support signals and events, so it should be capable of linking to devices, but it may require some support from an IoT focused set of technologies. Its data handling would be through APIs.

Application Strengths:

Bonitasoft’s strategy for vertical solutions and domain-specific applications is to develop them through partners. An ecosystem has begun to develop through partners with solutions in banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, education and insurance for example.

Net; Net:

If you are looking for a DBP that grows with you that gives you quick start benefits with business professional control, you can’t go wrong with Bonita BPM.  Bonitasoft designed a set of capabilities that were meant for incremental transformation and can help the evolution of processes and applications alongside of their customers in their digital journey.  If you want to know more about Bonitasoft and Bonita BPM link here 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Race to Digital: A Free San Francisco Area Briefing

For anyone on the west coast who can easily get to the Sofitel Hotel, near Oracle, in the San Francisco on Thursday morning May 12 to join us for breakfast, Aragon Research is offering an interesting briefing on Digital. Jim Lundy, others and I will be offering the following presentations / discussions below.  Please register by clicking here

      Dealing with Digital Disruption and the Rise of the Digital Business Platform
 - Jim Sinur

      Chat Bots and Mobile Collaboration - The New Future of Work and Digital Business
 - Jim Lundy 

Panel – Hear from leading Silicon Valley Executives on Digital Transformation, Mobile, Collaboration and the shift to Messaging based Work

We would love to see you and chat afterwards

Monday, April 11, 2016

Break Away From Cookie Cutter Apps to Process Applications

In the new digital world, the emphasis will be on differentiation not on rigid best practices. While we don't want to walk away from the steady applications of the late nineties and the early 2000's, the demand for speed, change and business differentiation make smart process applications that dynamically configure and reconfigure ideal for the future. Traditional packaged applications are really useful for standard and best practice focused application and it's best to use them there. Smart process applications have the adaptability levers and the built-in analytic capabilities to adjust to emerging conditions. This makes smart process applications ideal for wrapping traditional standard transactions, tasks and actions with emerging business differentiating features.

Traditional Packaged Applications:

While traditional packages have excellent best practice transactions and actions, the nature of business today is rapid change. Though some of these packages can be reconfigure through data driven methods, they mostly fall short on agility. They can support social, mobile and cloud with expensive and painful upgrades and want to leverage your pocket book for expensive additions for big data analytic capabilities.

Traditional Bespoke Applications:

While your custom built applications are not closed off to changes like packed applications, they need further investment to get to digital. Many organizations are surrounding these applications with smart process capabilities, with or without pre-built logic to bring them into the digital age. Along with this many custom applications are being retrofitted with rules engines or data driven parameters to give them a longer shelf life.

Smart Process Applications:

If you are starting with a new green field organization or functions, a smart process application makes sense to avoid the problems with frozen applications and plain horizontal process technology without any jump start applications. Even if you don't want the provided jump start apps, the process tools are perfect for the digital world if they support emerging processes or cases.

Net; Net:

Speed and agility are necessary to keep up with business change in the emerging digital world, so traditional applications will not cut it going forward. In fact some of the providers of those packaged applications are also offering process applications themselves as to not to lose their customer base over the long haul. Some of the smartest CIOs are looking at their application portfolios to retrofit explicit rules and processes into some of their key applications. Other smart CIOs are buying new smart process applications now.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Process Applications: The King of Business Agility

We all know the power has shifted to the consumer and the organizations that are agile enough to take advantage of their emerging needs will be significant today and the foreseeable future. The power to move quickly and easily is one of the major competencies that organizations have to develop to thrive in the digital age. This will require organizations to develop acuity in change and the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly that engender change. Not only will organizations have to be able to change behavior and people, but they must have a software infrastructure that supports agility. This is where smart process / case applications (SPA) come into play. Not only do SPAs provide jump-start benefits of ready business functions, they provide superior agility because of BPM /Case features. SPAs provide agility by one or more of the following features:

Emergent Processes / Cases:

There are several reasons for emergent processes. One is that there is no know solution to solve the process instance /case to satisfactory closure. The other is that something changes in the middle of the processing of an instance / case such as new information that affects the outcome or a new policy or rules is instituted mid completion. SPA handle emergent very well in that they are designed for change, but they can also support tradition sequential tasks.

Explicit Policies and Rules:

Agility not only surrounds the process aspect of the process instance or a case, agility is also available the dynamic changing of rules that guide the knowledge workers, content, information, accepted outcomes or governance tolerances. By being able to change rules or policies rapidly through externalized and changeable rules, SPAs can quickly change their behavior and outcomes. 

Dynamic Collaboration:

All the resources in SPAs are given great levels of collaboration through human to human interactions, shared data / content and shared visualization mechanisms. SPAs have many ways of having resources work interactively to completion of a task or process instance / cases such as unstructured communication, enabled conferencing, coordinated activities, communities and better practice guidance.  

Goal Seeking Behavior:

SPAs not only have great visualization for shared results improvement, SPAs have many analytic capabilities to measure inflight progress and potential corrective paths and actions. Many SPAs are goal driven my nature and can dynamically shift flows and rules to accommodate goals changes.

Resource Optimization:

Resources are well tracked in SPAs and they can be optimized individually or in combination with other resources. The optimization can be measured and changed context of a process instance / case, an end to end process or across multiple processes for shared resources.

Net; Net:

SPAs have many levers for the agility necessary to match business change. These are the five most common agility approaches found in the majority of SPAs, but not all. It is important to know the extent of change and how the combination of change levers work together for the good of the resulting process application.

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.