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'Adaptive BPM' Takes On Unpredictable Processes

Ultimus updates its business process management suite to handle changing products, roles and tasks. Real-time rule tuning and enhanced collaboration help businesses take exceptions in stride.

People change and companies change, so business process management (BPM) systems have to be able to adapt as roles, rules and steps evolve. Responding to demand for process flexibility, Ultimus released its Adaptive BPM Suite Version 8.0 last week, expanding capabilities for collaboration, services-based integration and real-time change to business rules.

To adapt to changing human interactions, Adaptive BPM Suite Version 8 adds a Collaborative Client that let business users share views of tasks and exception items so they can confer and then reassign and respond as required.

"Exception transactions sometimes fall into gray areas that weren't foreseen when a process was designed," says Rick Thompson, chief marketing officer, who adds that new products and new regulatory requirements are common sources of process variance. "If the process can't adapt and you have to take it outside of the BPM system, you lose visibility and auditability. The Collaborative Client ensures ad-hoc exception handling within the context of an established process."

Another feature aimed at easing process change is Adaptive Discovery, which lets business analysts and IT change business rules in real time, each through separate interfaces geared to their respective level of expertise. Changes can be made, for example, in response to process simulation results. The upgraded suite provides simulation test scenarios aimed at continuous process improvement.

Ultimus has extended the BPM footprint by integrating Version 8.0 with Microsoft SharePoint 2007 through the SharePoint Flobot. The technology enables data exchange between Microsoft Word, Excel and Ultimus process variables so users can create SharePoint sites for collaboration and check in, check out and manipulate documents tied to processes. Fostering integration with other infrastructure and systems, the suite's services-oriented architecture exposes process services to any third-party application that can consume Web services.

Giving business analysts more control over process optimization, the Adaptive BPM Suite now includes wizards that guide users through round-trip process optimization efforts as well as "deep-dive" analytics for continuous process improvement. Other improvements to the Adaptive BPM Suite include Community Clients that support mass participation by customers and partners outside the firewall and Adaptive Organization Charts that easily handle role and routing changes among process participants.

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