Monday, April 24, 2017

bpmNext2017: Giving Digital Lift

Process is a key part of Digital Transformations and is unfurling it's wings to provide lift for those vendors and clients that leverage it. There were industry experts, vendors and consultants speaking to the value of process itself or interacting with process. Big Digital Business Platform (DBP) vendors like Oracle, Itesoft/W4, Red Hat and SAP that were showing new ease of use capabilities to make their offerings more acceptable to business types. There were new and exciting offerings from a number of vendors in the Decision Management (DM), Robotic Program Automation (RPA), and Customer Journey Management (CJM) categories. There were some interesting surprises and vendors emerging here at bpmNext in Santa Barbara California. I will try and summarize two days of intense 30 minutes presentations. While the attendance was up a tick, the quality this year increased significantly.



The Thought Leaders Bottom Lines:

Nathaniel Palmer demonstrated with Google Trends the interest in BPM and Digital were neck and neck. This means that while BPM and process is no longer a CIO shiny object, but folks are still interested in the value of process.

Jim Sinur, from Aragon Research, built the case for Digital Business Platforms (DBP) by showing all the contributing technologies and how they contributed to digital success at a summary level. He previewed the Digital DNA material that will be published on Aragon Research's Website by the time you read this post. Click Here for more on the Digital Business Platform.



Neil Ward-Dutton, from MWD Advisors, said we need to change our thinking. We need to think about infinite digital resources and limited physical resources was we design digital solutions. Knowing where to employ technologies on the automation continuum is crucial. The higher volume, the more automation should be employed.


Clay Richardson, of the newly minted Digital Fastforward, talked of engagement models that brought the people together in a creative environment. Clay expounded on results from his digital planning sessions that employed the notion of Escape Rooms where you have to innovate your way out before the bad guys get you. Love this idea especially with zombies !!!


Derek Miers, recently joining MWD, gave us all a scolding on focussing on technology and not people engagement to build skills and competence necessary for digital transformation. Derek shared his framework for business transformation which he has been improving over the years.



Interesting Vendor Presentations (Sinur Order of Interest):

Digital Transformation by IYCON:

There was a demo of leveraging process definitions with process mining to create use matrices leveraged for project sequence and monitoring. While the tool has been used for more than processes, the idea of creating a plan based on the real processes today makes sense in understanding the current state. The tool can also be used to describe the "end state' plus all the intermediate steps.


Combining RPA, Decision Management and Process by Sapiens Decisions:

There was a demo simulation of these pieces interacting as a set of decisions and processes interact with existing systems. With the decisions driving the interactions with process snippets and legacy, there is a significant layering of complexity from the business users and flows. 


Visual Process Mining was Demonstrated in a Light Hearted Way by Minit:

This was the easiest to operate and coordinate process mining and visualization tool I had ever seen. 



Processes Operating at the Edge in a Coordinated fashion by Camunda:

As the notion of the shared process and intelligence at the edge takes off there will be a need for networked process engines. Camunda showed the effect of process at the edge by shear volume of tasks supported.  Instead of hundreds of concurrent process steps per second, the new edge version supported 40K plus per second. Unlimited digital resources coming your way soon.


A Cognitive Customer Experience was Illustrated by Princeton Blue:

An slide emulation walked us through a customer experience leveraging AI



The Three Contributions of RPA to Digital Were Demonstrated by Kofax:

We all saw robotic keying, robotic integration sequences and robotic program changes all on the fly.


Process and BlockChain Together was Shown by Bonitsoft:



3D Modeling and Simulation supported by Capital Labs:

The demo showed the ability to port in BPMN models, exchange execution models and build processes from scratch. The importance of simulation and animation to drive to business results has gotten easy. 


Parallel Tasks Support Leveraging Timers, Events and Precedence from BP Logix:

Along with Gantt based process execution, we were shown visual data layering 


Net; Net:

BpmNEXT gets better every year. Nathaniel Palmer, Bruce Silver and Heather Palmer deserve respect and thanks for putting this gem together. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

For Those Who Celebrate Easter or Passover

Peace be to all. If you don't celebrate Good Friday and Easter, please pass by this one. For those who do, Easter is the celebration of our freedom and peace. Happy Easter !!!!  I created a new painting last year based on my past visits to Israel to see Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed painting it. I have also included other past years paintings celebrating the wonderful Gospel and our forgiveness. For my Jewish friends, I wish you a happy Passover and have completed a painting for you as well. 

                                                              Risen




 
                                                           Star of David 




                                                          Mercy Mountain 
     

                                             


                                                               Flying Cross







Thursday, April 6, 2017

Art for 1Q 2017

This quarter was mostly about experimentation, so I tried a bunch of new things. If you like any of it, let me know. I completed two paintings that leveraged some past lessons of combining water based paints and alcohol drips. I completed three new fractals as well 


Web Presence:




Purple Haze



Blue Lagoon




Sky Diamond



Kewl Cliffs


Curves


Elastic Rainbow



Previous Quarters Pieces:


4Q 2016 click here
3Q 2016 click here
2Q 2016 click here
1Q 2016 click here 





Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Blog Activity for 1Q 2017

The topics of interest in this quarter were around Cognitive Processes, the Digital Business Platform, Modeling in the Digital World, Cognitive, and IoT. The monthly totals are hovering over 10K hits even with a cut back of posts on my part because of work load balancing. I am heads down working on a Customer Journey Mapping rating. While my readership is world wide, the US dominates the hit count. You might find it interesting what the rest of the world is doing the chart below.

                                                               Top Posts




                                                                 Upcoming Topics

                                             
                                              Activity by Non-US Countries


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Explosion of Interest in Process / Workflow

It seems that the BPM gurus are lamenting that the traditional BPM market is not growing at an explosive rate and are debating what to rename it while process is exploding. The number of vendors that are buying or building lighter weight workflow or process management is too numerous to list. It has even gotten Apple into the game with the acquisition of an automation and scripting app called workflow. While it might not be a low code approach like many other vendors offer, it gets Apple into the game. All of the important digital business platforms have process in them. It varies from light process flow to "big BPM". but work management, which almost all DBPs have, requires flow and collaboration of some sort.  Salesforce, SAP and Oracle have flow capabilities. New entrants to the process world like Box and Hellosign are adding fuel to the process fire. 













Big BPM Drivers: 

Case Management is crucial for managing complex and evolving situations (called cases). They tend to be long running, complex, emerging and involving deep knowledge / skills. This is a growing area yet and usually requires fixed milestones. 

Goal Directed flows are pretty new, but for situational flows where the goals or milestones change it provides a good solution. In situations and times of rapid change, goal directed process win the day. Carried to an extreme, these flows involve smart bots, cogs and APIs that bid on work. 

End to End Journeys (Customer, Employee, Product, Partner)  is about managing a journey from beginning to end giving it visibility, nudges and orchestration. End to end process management is coming back strong especially around customer journeys. This is causing processes to define themselves in terms of complex goal sets that put equal or high priority to the unique customers goals and needs.


Little Process Drivers (also in big BPM with less overhead here):

First Mile Content Management journeys are a popular use to capture, sign and manage documents as they hit all of the required stops to cement an ongoing relationship managed by the governed and guided by those documents. 

Cross Skill / Departmental Flows are the life blood of organizations. While often quite simple, they help manage organizations and the resources that are included / guided by these processes. This is one of the fastest growing areas for process today. These usually are driven by low or no code and light weight process capabilities. 

Event Response is where events, expected or not, trigger off appropriate actions to deal with the situation of pattern of events. While there may be a pause for decisions before any action because the event pattern may be new, but canned process responses can be inventoried and pulled out when needed. 

Net; Net:

Work, content and data tend to flow when action is taken in response to attaining a set of goals or responding to events. Process is hot again in terms of use in new emerging solutions. The benefits for operational improvements are proven, so process persists.  I'm sure folks will be fighting about a new name, but I say enjoy the ride. 




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

InterConnect 2017: IBM's Digital Approach Will Change Businesses & Society

Over 20,000 folks got to hear the latest from IBM through main tent presentations, breakouts and the vendor exposition named "Concourse"



The main message was "It's not about just changing the way we deliver IT,  it's about the next era of business. It will allow all of us to things we have never been able to do." IBM has always been enterprise strong, but the new demands from cognitive AI baked in the cloud, IoT, Blockchain and always active Security is going to push IBM to new capabilities already emerging. It seems obvious that IBM and their clients are pushing things to a new level and IBM is trying to stay ahead of the demand that digital will put on cloud infrastructure. IBM is building a very capable Digital Business Platform (DBP) that is cloud centric. To hear more of the Ginni Rometty Keynote, please click the highlighted words. To read more about Digital Business Platforms (DBP) click here and search for DBP.



Much of the time in general sessions revolved around announcements and IBM efforts rather than customer stories. This says to me that IBM is changing itself to adapt better to digital based on projections and real needs from early projects.

IBM Announced Several Partnerships:

Red Hat for deeper collaboration on open source
Salesforce for AI & IoT collaboration
AT&T for infrastructure support for media
PlayFab for pushing real time high demand ecosystems
Galvanize for filling the training gaps
Dalian Wanda for Cloud in China
Many States for Schools to produce New Collar Job focused graduates

IBM Announced New Capabilities:

IBM Digital Business Assistant
IBM Cloud Object Flex
HIPAA Understanding in the Cloud
Financial Services Patterns and Developer Tools
Watson Discovery to accelerate "Speed to Insight"
Hyperledger Blockchain Fabric for Enterprise Business

Interesting Customer Stories from the Main Stage:

Everledger talked about how they are leveraging blockchain to assure diamond provenance using IBMs cloud.

H&R Block talked about leveraging Watson to absorb tax regulations, content and experiences to create tax wisdom. This wisdom was used to get larger refunds for many US tax payers and giving H&R block a set of happier customers. I love the idea of using Watson to deal with government red tape :)

Interesting Breakout Sessions:



IBM is using Watson to assist the help desk folks and customers deal with questions, error messages and support. Watson is helping to serve 40,000 request a week through several channels.



SparkCognition talked about applying leveraging AI and analytics for security and the new industrial world.



A private bank, Brown Brothers Harriman, talked about using chatbots in an omnichannel environment for customer service

Bottom Line:

IBM gets digital and is leading their prospects and customers to the digital world in an incremental fashion for some and new business models for others.













Thursday, March 9, 2017

Google Next 2017: On to Innovative Infrastructure

There were literally lines wrapped for blocks around the Moscone Center West, here in San Francisco as 10,000 folks tried to get registered and seated for the first days general session. The major theme was that while Google was still making their cloud the best, it needed to be expanded to support not only individuals, but organizations and ecosystems with a growing ability to conjure creativity and innovation in new ways. It is clear to me that Mobile and Cloud are now table stakes for organizations and migrating to the Cloud is no easy task yet, but it's getting better. It is also clear that the speed to leverage the results of being on the cloud is at least an order of magnitude faster.



Google did a great job of putting some big name companies on stage to show enterprise levels of prowess and results. While most were business operational or spreading personal productivity, there were glimmers of innovation in a few of the case studies. I would suggest reviewing the following YouTube Video starting at the hour thirty mark (1:30 mark) where it gets increasingly interesting. I was especially captivated by the Ebay example at the (2:26 mark) Day General Session. EBay is combining its history of purchases around the world for the last 20 years to provide not only a concierge shopping bot, but a pricing bot leveraging gobs of data in the cloud, natural language chat bots processing, machine and deep learning to create some real innovation with Google's new and traditional cloud services.

My Key Highlights So Far: 

Aggressive Partnering with Solutions Providers to Push the Creative Cloud
Completing a Partnership with SAP for Functional Transaction Access
Proof Points on Speeding up the Cloud Migration Process with Logical Phased Steps
Leverage of Machine Learning in a Democratized Fashion
The Proof Points of a Resilient Cloud (Security, Elastic, Dynamic and Cost Effective)
Great Improvements in Google Hangouts Supercharged by the Jamboard
The Application of AI to Image and Video Recognition on a Portfolio Basis
The Tilt Brush 3D Art Booth (being an artist myself, I was drooling)
The Integrated Use of Geolocation and Big Data to Visualize Opportunity
The Emphasis on EcoSystem Creativity and Reach


                                                          Immense Cloud Network


                                                         Visualization of Big Sensor Data


                                                        Power of Geolocation Context


                                                      Leveraging Video with Hangouts


                                                Video Indexing of Semiotic Themes


                                                    Collaborating with a Shared Jamboard



                                                       Tilt-Brushing it Baby


My Low Lights So Far:  

Not Enough Capacity for Breakout Sessions
Not Enough Repeat Sessions for Hot Themes
Too Product Driven; Not Real Market, Sales and Customer Driven
Too Many Products Vying for Attention
Need to Emphasize Google's Growing  Digital Business Platform Capability; Not Just Cloud
More Emphasis on Other Parts of AI; not Just the Beating Drum of Data Driven Machine Learning

Bottom Line:

Drinking from a firehose where the water is sweet for the most part. I wish there was two of me to get a grip on this large and overwhelming conference.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Better Fan Experience with Connected Processes

The Sacramento Kings new entertainment and sports center is the first digital coliseum of the 21st century. Given the mission – to deliver a truly connected experience – the Kings needed to ensure the arena, app and anything under the hood remain ‘future-proof’ by delivering continuous innovation and upgrades to the overall experience for years to come. A seamless and frictionless fan experience that begins long before you get to the arena and last beyond the final buzzer. 



The Solution Phase I
The first step was to build an app for the 2015-16 season – the final year at the Sleep Train Arena – to provide the best experience possible and test future integrations in an app. With features like realtime stats, experience upgrades, in-seat food ordering, merchandise browsing and Uber integration, the app has already provided Kings fans with an invaluable experience leading up to the opening of Golden 1 Center. It also allowed the Kings to deliver an updated app even before the new Golden 1 Center opened for the 2016-17 season.

The Solution Phase II
To this end, they needed a highly scalable platform to power their mobile app, bring together many different services and also demonstrate the ability to be constantly updated. In addition, the app environment needed to facilitate the testing and deployment of yet-to-be-released features for the upcoming season. However, connecting the world’s most technologically advanced arena and making it work effortlessly with a mobile app was a daunting task. 
The Results:
The app’s connected infrastructure supports everything from realtime stats and play-by-play updates to the ability to order an Uber, giving fans a reliable means of connecting with the team in the buildup to the opening of the new arena. Continual advancement has been the cornerstone of the Kings, and will assure the Kings App stays ahead of the pack even after Golden 1 Center opened.
“The new platform provides us with a nimble and robust technology foundation. We’re able to test and iterate innovations with fans on demand. We can try out new services at any time and if our fans like them, incorporate them into the mobile app. Or, if we come across a better offering, we can unplug the existing service and plug in the upgrade. Having a dynamic platform allows us to foster an enhanced fan experience that continually evolves” said CTO Ryan Montoya.
Using a combination of advanced flow and integration products is hailed as an enterprise-grade best practice by the Kings team for the following reasons:
  1. By investing in ‘products as a service’, the Kings ensure that adopting new technology is seamless and does not require continuous in-house maintenance and upgrades.
  2. The platform auto-scales and is highly synchronous, so no one has to do anything to keep the app running and deliver the latest game details. Under the hood, the apps runs 1,500 flows, or automations, per game across 10 different APIs spanning the NBA, Urban Airship and PubNub. This automates a realtime game experience with up-to-the-moment scores, play-by-play details, shot charts, team and player stats, as well as daily news and multimedia updates.
  3. This combination of products is the backbone that accommodates the massive number of integrations (30+) that will be present in the updated Kings App to be released prior to the opening of Golden 1 Center.

Net; Net:
The new infrastructure has put the Kings in a position to achieve the objective of a worldwide fanbase. The fans are really pleased with the experience no matter the outcome of the games.

This Case study was powered by Built.io  https://www.built.io/


Monday, March 6, 2017

Opportunities to Collaborate in 2017

It looks like I have another busy quarter and great opportunities to interact/collaborate with many folks on the advancement of Intelligent Digital Businesses Platforms and BPMs role in better business outcomes. I hope we can chat in the next few months :)






                                            EVENTS

Date               City              Sponsor             Content

3/7-3/10      San Fran          Google              Next
3/19-3/22    Vegas               IBM                    Interconnect
4/7               Web                 Aragon              Digital Business Platforms
4/18-4/20    Santa Barbara BPM.COM         bpmNEXT
5/11            San Fran          Aragon              Executive Dinner
6/5-6/7        Vegas              Pega                   Pegaworld 2017


Net; Net:

I look forward to interacting with many to move the intelligent & digitally equipped processes into the mainstream.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Worlds' First Rating of Digital Platforms

Aragon Research, a technology focused research and advisory firm committed to providing thought leading strategic research and trusted advisory services, introduced its Tech Spectrum™ Market Evaluation Report for Digital Business Platforms, 2017. In the first market evaluation report of its kind, Aragon Research provides an introduction of the Digital Business Platform (DBP) market and evaluates 23 providers who are at various stages of DBP enablement.

Aragon Expects the DBP Market to Reach 50B Quickly 

Aragon Research predicts that by the end of 2019, 65% of enterprises will retire many legacy processes in favor of those based on the Digital Business Platform, leading to the proliferation of DBPs. This proliferation comes from the benefits that the DBP aims to provide, including business automation, faster time to revenue, and overall cost reduction. Digital transformation is about the speed of business, and the DBP will help organizations make their business activity fully digital.
“The primary driver for the rise in DBP is the need to make businesses more responsive with faster and more effective processes or applications while dealing with frequent change and increasing demands for customer-driven approaches,” said Jim Sinur, VP of Research and Research Fellow at Aragon Research. “Aragon expects that the DBP market is poised to grow into a $50-billion market by 2021.”
To learn more about the Digital Business Platform and the 23 providers, read the full Tech Spectrum™ report.
About Aragon Research 
Aragon Research is the newest technology research and advisory firm. Aragon delivers high impact interactive research and advisory services to provide enterprises the insight they need to help them make better technology and strategy decisions. Aragon Research serves business and IT leaders and has a proven team of veteran analysts. For more information, visit https://www.aragonresearch.com.






Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Top Seven Myths of AI

I think we have all realized that 2017 is the year of AI or at least we are out of the 30+ year AI winter. When AI first appeared on the big stage in the mid to late 80s, it over promised and under delivered for the most part. While there were spotty successes, AI was too hard and expensive to leverage. This time there are some great differences the successful use of AI, but myths still abound. Here are my top seven myths of AI today.



AI is a general intelligence that mimics humans:

While this has always been the dream, the reality of successful use today revolves around specialty problems that involves specific knowledge, rule and constraints. This is a great way to focus around beneficial application of AI to special problems that require fast learning and adaptation.

About half of all our jobs will disappear soon because of AI:

While it is true that certain jobs will be displaced, there will be other jobs created. They said the same thing about computers. Yes robots and AI will take some jobs away, but the majority of AI applications will help people be better at what they do in a more efficient way.

AI is data, math, patterns and iteration only:

While a number of early AI problems used this formulaic approach, today we have natural language processing, knowledge, voice, image and video/vision approaches to AI. There we a growing number of approaches emerging over time that will cross leverage and converge over a long period of time.

AI is only for the supper intelligent technology elite:

At one time, AI was programmed by only the expensive and elite types. Today however, machine learning, model driven and simple knowledge representation can be used as a starting point for iterative learning. Today we all can use chat bots.

AI is only for difficult or expensive problems:

AI is easily accessible today and embedded in a number of digital business platforms. The overhead for creating a solution is much less expensive. You can even find libraries of cognitive components to leverage (COGs) as a developer.

Algorithms are more important than data: 

Yes we love our algorithms, but data has embedded knowledge and can be learned from to create rules and processing optimization's. Mining data can teach us much about a problem domain. In fact a large number of robotic programming approaches start with data.

Machines are greater than humans:
Yes machines are available 24 by 7, extremely accurate, faster than humans and don't complain, but humans can handle emotions, are creative and handle unexpected situations naturally. we need a balance of each helping the other. 
Net; Net:
AI is better this time and will be stickier, but the problems are greatly exaggerated. AI is here to stay after a long winters night

Additional Reading:

Top Seven Uses of AI 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Free Breakfast Briefing on AI

Meet Aragon's new research VP!


Meet Our Panelists

We're excited to announce the panelists that will be featured at our March 1st Artificial Intelligence and Automation breakfast briefing. Hear from your peers at BolsteBuilt.ioSeal Software, and Zenefits, as they address the topic "Automation in 2017: How Does AI Play a Role?"
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Reserve Your Briefing Spot

See you on March 1st!
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