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Making Process Optimization Easier

Nimbus control-ES facilitates business process design for Global 2000 companies.
ERP systems are not at all established to facilitate process design, and in many cases, implementing a design is not as straightforward as it should be. Some CASE (computer-aided software engineering) tools exist to translate (or instantiate) business processes into code, but offer little or no support for the collaborative aspects of the process, and are geared more toward IT department requirements rather than general business needs.

Ventana Research believes most companies do not attain the full business benefits their ERP solutions can provide in supporting performance improvement initiatives (see “Enhance ERP to Improve Business Effectiveness,” 5/13/04 ). Companies can find ways to redefine and automate processes to promote operating efficiency, achieve greater value from company assets, and improve management’s decision-making capabilities. Ventana Research has found that companies can facilitate complex process design efforts using control-ES. In one instance, a global company discovered its customers were frustrated when they had to interact with the organization across multiple countries because of significant differences in how they executed similar business processes. Harmonizing these disparate processes became a high priority, and was accomplished using control-ES.

In addition, Nimbus has formed a partnership with Cognos to build a linkage between process and performance measurement. This will enable companies to improve efficiency by examining existing process performance that is directly linked to the process model.

Market Impact

Ventana Research sees the business process software market as part of a larger set of applications used in to design, manage/optimize, and monitor processes. We expect this market will grow rapidly over the next several years as companies focus on enhancing their performance by optimizing and harmonizing the way they execute business functions.

The challenge in the existing business process management software market is that most software providers do not provide a people-centric method to manage business processes. The majority of vendors have business rules and a workflow-centric approach that requires a high level of resource and technology investment in their platform and tools. This process management software market will continue to evolve since the technology is a required component of the application server, business intelligence and enterprise application markets.

Recommendation

Ventana Research asserts that companies can achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by optimizing business processes. Ventana Research advises Global 2000 companies to re-examine key business processes to ensure they are optimized and aligned with their strategy and tactical strengths. We believe software like control-ES can facilitate the design process, increase the likelihood of the new processes doing what they are designed to, and speed acceptance of the changes by improving collaboration and communication.

Editor's Choice
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer