New "adaptive discovery" technology helps organizations deploy automated processes without complete maps.
Today, Ultimus, a provider of business process management (BPM) and workflow automation solutions, announced the available of Ultimus BPM Suite 7.0. Included in the new version of its flagship product is its new "adaptive discovery" technology that enables organizations to deploy automated processes without requiring all business rules to be defined ahead of time. Instead, process experts can create business rules on the fly to manage exceptions and control flow. The process "learns" from each new rule created so that it becomes more sophisticated and streamlined as it is used.
Ultimus BPM Suite 7.0 simplifies process definition by allowing process teams to focus on the most consistent, infrastructure-like aspects of processes, such as data, integration, and forms, while adding the more dynamic elements like rules and recipients while actually using the system. Because process rules are separated from the process infrastructure, changes can be made faster and easier. And since there is no need for full discovery of rules ahead of time, enterprises reap the benefits of BPM in much less time than was previously possible, according to the company.
"We see people mired in these discovery efforts, agonizing over rules and nuances, and this helps them get past all that, and put the system into production with total flexibility to use real data to drive changes to the processes on the fly," said Hank Barnes, vice president of marketing for Ultimus.
Spectrasite is a telecommunications services firm based on Carey, North Carolina, and uses Ultimus for everything from routing documentation across remote locations to streamlining the process of renting out space on its telecommunications towers. In the latter application, Ultimus helped Spectrasite realize a 44 percent reduction in time from a vendor expressing interest in renting a tower until the cash started coming in.
Regarding the upfront work required to begin implementing a new business process using traditional BPM software, Hewitt Neagle, a senior systems analyst with Spectrasite said the firm would spend three to four weeks "trying to understand the workflows," and even then "we couldn't guarantee we had captured all the possible flows." The notion of adaptive discovery is therefore a very attractive one.
There are three main components to the adaptive discovery technology:
-Ultimus Director. A .NET client application used to process experts to creat, test, and change process rules.
-Alias/Actions Editor. Within Ultimus BPm Studio, BPM teams can define aliases and actions for use in Ultimus Director.
-Ultimus Rules Engine. This run-time rules engine uses Web services to evaluate and apply rules for process incidents automatically, or at the request of Ultimus Director.
The beta version of BPM Suite 7.0 will be available fourth quarter 2004; the release version will be available first quarter 2005.