Getting A Red Alert On Poor Business Processes

An add-on to Tibco's integration software lets companies know when business processes aren't performing as expected.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

May 19, 2004

2 Min Read

Customers of Tibco Software Inc.'s integration software have been able to add business-process monitoring on top of the vendor's integration package, BusinessWorks. This week those customers got a new option: flagging business processes that aren't performing as expected or reviewing them with a "performance scorecard."

Tibco introduced OpsFactor 1.0, a plug-in to its BusinessWorks integration software that can use heightened visual displays to portray how a business is performing. OpsFactor extends the capabilities of previous business-process tools. Unlike business-process-modeling tools that diagram a business process across systems, or established business-process-monitoring tools that show whether business processes are running, OpsFactor is intended to interpret actual business performance in graphic ways.

It gives visibility to processes "that have dollar signs in them," such as customer orders, customer-support tickets, and service-level agreements, says Scott Fingerhut, Tibco's general manager of business optimization.

If a company's help desk isn't addressing a complaint from a top customer, "we can associate a dollar value with that business process," Fingerhut says. "We can say, 'This delay is costing us a lot of money.'"

OpsFactor has dashboards that graphically show the status of running business processes and offers the ability to build metrics that tell the viewer what the performance of the process means.

A business analyst would use the BusinessWorks modeling environment to generate rules and associate "roll-up rules" with the process. The rules provide metrics as to how well the process is performing. Long before a process slowdown triggers an emergency alert, an OpsFactor scorecard or graphic display of key business indicators would indicate how the slowdown was costing the company money. If the slowdown accelerates, OpsFactor, in addition to triggering alerts, could show when it would cause a violation of an existing service-level agreement and how much that would cost the company.

Because BusinessWorks is already providing integration for the enterprise's software infrastructure, it knows how to go to a Siebel Systems Inc. application, for example, and pull out sales information that tells the OpsFactor application what type of customer is associated with a current business process and what that customer means to the company.

OpsFactor is priced at $125,000 per server. It's an add-on to the BusinessWorks integration package, which is priced at $350,000 per server.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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