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5/18/2009
04:25 AM
Cristian Sturek
Cristian Sturek
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Cloud Computing And More With IBM's Dr. Angel Luis Diaz

What exactly is IBM's BPM BlueWorks? At IBM's IMPACT 2009, Dr. Angel Luis Diaz and I talked about BPM working in the cloud and how he sees Business Event Processing (BEP) differ from traditional Complex Event Processing (CEP).

What exactly is IBM's BPM BlueWorks? At IBM's IMPACT 2009, Dr. Angel Luis Diaz and I talked about BPM working in the cloud and how he sees Business Event Processing (BEP) differ from traditional Complex Event Processing (CEP).Dr. Diaz is the Product Management for BPM and Connectivity Director in IBM's Software Group.

CS: What can you tell our readers about BPM BlueWorks? Why would anyone be interested in doing BPM "in the cloud"?

ALD: Folks approach business process management within the context of SOA from different lenses: understanding how they run their business, trying to optimize cost by eliminating waste from their systems, and making their people more effective and more efficient. To help people be more efficient, we created BPM BlueWorks. It is a community of business leaders that will be launched in June where you can go, learn, experience, feel and touch. It will be a unique place that marries the social things in our world today - blogging, twittering, with stuff that's real. It's good to collaborate, exchange messages online or through mobile phones, but there needs to be a reason. We added value content to this community, process models, diagrams, business cases, industry reports, etc. In addition to the content, we have a hosted BPM platform in the cloud that people will be able to use, author, be able to persist what they've done, and collaborate. All the stuff build can be brought into execution and further optimization. What makes it stand out is that they can take what they have done and use that to build the business case.

A concrete example - you have a process, you do a simulation, perform optimization on a process, you automate certain tasks, and after you've done the analysis you cut the cost of the everyday process by let's say $100,000. You can now make that business case. With those savings, you can perform additional tasks, resulting in additional revenue. Making that clear and using the technology to help you make that clear is what we're doing with BPM BlueWorks.

CS: What is Business Event Processing (BEP) and why isn't IBM calling it Complex Event Processing (CEP)?

ALD: Complex event processing is a discipline, a science that certainly exists and people do it today. As you look at use cases within CEP, there is incredible value that can be driven when you start thinking about it from the lens of what it is that the business really cares about. With SOA, we shifted from the notion of "get row number 3 from the customer database" to exposing a service that says "get customer information", which behind the scenes does Master Data Management, giving you a "holistic" view of that customer. We wanted to do something similar with CEP, by adding value to it. From a technology perspective, we've made a couple of acquisitions in the last couple of years, AptSoft in particular. By calling it BEP, we're making it clear to the market exactly what it is what we are doing and also trying to enable this new and larger market.

CS: With Cognos in your cadre of products already handling "traditional BI", would you consider Business Event Processing (BEP) IBM's answer to "real-time BI"?

ALD: BEP can be a part of a very healthy business intelligence initiative. BEP is also a very healthy part of BPM. When it comes to real time understanding of patterns, being able to act on those, BPM gives you great context, control over the process. BEP can be a very healthy part of SOA connectivity, in the messaging infrastructure; you can analyze the events and handle the volumes. It's really an ingredient that can stand alone, but it also works really well when mixed with other disciplines.

CS: It seems that everyone is talking about cloud computing today, but the problem with public clouds is that they are not something companies complying with HIPAA and SOX will ever be able to take advantage of. Private clouds seem to be the perfect fit for these companies. What is your take on IBM's Cloudburst appliance?

ALD: There is a progression, and the progression varies from industry and application solution type. We announced 2 parts of this progression. BPM BlueWorks is part of a public cloud. We have our technology running, multi-tenant, adding value to business people. For a certain market, a certain use case, the public cloud makes a lot of sense. But there are places where public clouds don't make sense. The Cloudburst appliance is geared specifically at provisioning or dispensing images as needed. You can now have efficient license management and efficient configurations of your applications. What I hope people are not missing is that the appliance provides you with the ability to configure your own patterns. In your shop, you develop your best practices so you want to put that, codify that and perhaps parameterize that so that it's easily replicable. That gives it the extensibility to support additional aspects of our technology to be delivered through a similar approach.

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