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6/28/2005
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Business Process Management Suites

Network Computing put nine suites through rigorous testing. Its Editor's Choice got the winning bid for satisfying the needs of both business analysts and IT staff with its simulation capabilities and standards support. Find out which offering it was.

   


Order Entry and Fulfillment Process
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This scenario let us evaluate a variety of feature sets and functionality across what appeared to be disparate technologies (see "How We Tested," for more details).

During our evaluation, we acted as both IT staffer and business analyst: For you IT pros, we evaluated features such as platform support, architecture, administrative capabilities, and integration with application infrastructure and identity-management systems. For you business analysts, we examined reporting and analysis features and the ease with which process owners might model and simulate processes. We collaborated with our sister publication Intelligent Enterprise on each product tested. For a more business-analyst focus on the BPM offerings, watch for the review of these products in Intelligent Enterprise's August issue (see www.intelligententerprise.com).


BPM Vendors At A Glance
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We noted similarities to both workflow and EAI (enterprise application integration), but make no mistake: BPM is neither glorified EAI nor workflow on steroids. Although it takes advantage of both, a winning BPM strategy requires features and functionality not found in either. Simulation, reporting and analysis, process management, modeling and rules administration are among the differentiators.

Cross-Functional Strategies

You can't win at BPM unless you integrate with your enterprise applications and leverage existing infrastructure investments. Our deployments were standalone, but we took note of architectural choices that might limit enterprise options.

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