Oracle Turns To Germany To Compete In Business Process Management

Its upcoming Oracle Business Process Analysis Suite is based on software from IDS Scheer. Oracle wants to bring the competitiveness of its Fusion middleware up to par with the top vendors in the field.
Oracle is turning to a German consulting company to make its Fusion middleware competitive for both integration and business process management purposes.

This fall, it will make available the Oracle Business Process Analysis Suite based on software from IDS Scheer in Saarbrucken, Germany. IDS Scheer made the equivalent of $477 million in revenue last year as a seller of business process management software and consulting services. The firm has 2,500 employees and 6,000 customers in 70 countries, according to its Web site.

Oracle wants to bring the competitiveness of its Fusion middleware up to the level of the top vendors in the field, such as IBM with its WebSphere suite, including WebSphere Business Integration Server; and Tibco Software, which in 2004 purchased the business process management line of Staffware in the United Kingdom.

Oracle will resell IDS Scheer's ARIS Platform for Process Excellence, a business process design, assembly, and monitoring system, as its new suite. By doing so, Oracle will gain a comparable "end-to-end system" for business process management, says Rick Schultz, VP of Oracle Fusion middleware.

In the early days of business process management, the software helped enterprises design a business process and identify the underlying systems that would be needed to run it. Today's business process software adds the ability to monitor a process while it's running, measure its effectiveness, and provide feedback on how it might be improved. In short, it's a "round trip" system capable of supplying information back to the system that designed it, says Schultz.

One of IDS Scheer's strengths is that its ARIS Platform is already integrated with the leading business process design and management software firms, such as Lombardi Software, Intalio, and Tibco's Staffware. The ARIS Platform has modules for managing business processes springing out of SAP application operation and is closely integrated with SAP's NetWeaver, as well as Microsoft's BizTalk Integration Server and IBM's WebSphere.

Microsoft early this year made a bid to make BizTalk the integration server of some Oracle customers by offering BizTalk adapters for JD Edwards, Siebel, and PeopleSoft applications, all owned and now sold by Oracle.

Tibco has carried its business process management forward into "events monitoring mode," letting an automated system watch business processes for abnormalities that may indicate employee deceit or fraud.

By reselling the IDS Scheer integration platform, Oracle gains greater compatibility with competing business process systems without actually being required to do all the integration work itself.

Oracle will offer the Oracle Business Process Analysis Suite at $9,000 per user, with a starting price of $90,000 for a minimum of 10 users.

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