Today's RPM release marks the first integration of process management technologies gained in Progress Software's January acquisition of BPM vendor Savvion. The integration starting point is a Control Tower interface in which business users can "see and automate the response to what is about to happen in their business, not just what has happened," according to a Progress statement.
"We acquired Savvion because our customers wanted the benefits of rapid process development, process visibility, and business-IT collaboration, but what BPM lacks is a central nervous system that can quickly sense and respond to changing conditions," Progress Chief technology officer Dr. John Bates explained in an interview. "Many companies have done everything they can do statically, but now they want to be able to do it in real time."
The differentiator in RPM is Progress Apama complex event processing technology that detects changing conditions and important events in data as it streams through transactional systems rather than having to wait for historical reporting.
Event detection is combined with Savvion's process modeling and automation capabilities and Progress Actional technologies used to monitor networks and automatically discover data flows. Within RPM, these data flows can be mapped and monitored as part of a business process. When events are detected by the Apama event-processing technology, Savvion automation features can trigger a response.
In an application scenario, Progress said an airline could use RPM to monitor systems for crew or flight delays and then automatically kick off scheduling changes and notifications to minimize the impact on airline customers.
"You build dynamic applications on the RPM platform and then use the control tower to see and change the model with the help of integrated dashboards, key performance indicators and real-time alerting," Bates said.
Progress will initially target financial services, telecommunications, and transportation and logistics firms, markets in which the vendor has customers including Southwest Airlines, State Street Global Markets and Italian telco 3Italia. Automation and fast response are critical in all three industries, and Progress says it's planning related prebuilt solutions that will be released within the next few months.
IBM, Oracle and Tibco are among the other vendors that have process management, event processing and monitoring technologies. None have introduced products unifying all three capabilities.