ProcessWorld was started with a short image video about Software AG's Business Process Excellence. The video started with noting that our world is as connected as never before. This tight integration has improved life for many people around the world. The integration, and that brings us to Software AG/IDS Scheer, is driven by (business) processes. So by improving processes, we basically improve our world.
Of course such videos are always a little bit marketingish, but there is some truth that we have to take care about our processes in order to sustain our level of life. For example, health care technology is improving but also getting more expensive. As a society we can only afford providing the latest health care innovations to everyone if we save costs and optimise the way we deliver it.
The video was followed by a short welcome speech of Peter Gerard, who announced that he will step down from his position as CEO of IDS Scheer soon as both companies, Software AG and IDS Scheer, unite formally.
Dr. Jost, who is member of the board at IDS Scheer and responsible for our products, gave the first keynote. His talk focused on the following main points:
new positioning of Software AG
intended product integration
overall product strategy
The new positioning is not really new to IDS Scheer customers, because also the joint companies will focus on Business Process Excellence (BPE). Personally, I think it is a strong claim as it comprises not only specific technologies and practices, but also the overall philosophy of using processes as driving force of your company.
Probably the most important part for the audience was about the product integration. Dr. Jost showed how the different products like ARIS Platform, webMethods BPMS, Natural, Adabas, and CentraSite come together to form an integrate technology stack to deliver business process excellence. He calls that the overall architecture. For example, processes designed in ARIS can be executed on webMethods BPMS while using middleware like Adabas. Performance of executed processes can be measured and visualised by using ARIS PPM or ARIS MashZone.
In his view, business process excellence can only be achieved if the following points come together:
architecture (see above)
life cycle (or methodology)
The new united company can of course offer all those parts. Products are integrated as solutions. According to Dr. Jost, a solution consists of the following components:
framework (like ARIS or TOGAF)
expertise (industry knowledge)
Dr. Jost showed a new version of the business process life cycle, see the photo below. Compared to the old life cycle promoted by IDS Scheer in the past, some of the phases were split. For example, in the past we had an overall phase "implementation", but now this implementation phase is split into 3 phases implement, compose and execute. Integration of the different products of both companies is done along the life cycle. For example, strategy and design is done in ARIS Platform. During implementation, process design is handed over from ARIS Platform to webMethods. A similar interface is available in the monitoring and controlling phase.
Currently, the engineers in both companies are working on those integration points. Some of the results are already available like transferring ARIS processes to webMethods. Advanced integration will be available in some months.
Dr. Jost made an interesting point. Business process excellence is not a project, but an ongoing process. So it is not possible to do it only once, but instead it must be done as long as a company exists. To do that efficiently so that you can afford it for many years (see my remark about the video at the beginning of this article) you need clear governance. Here, Software AG will provide a unique governance model.
Dr. Jost mentioned that the process intelligence integration will allow putting ARIS PPM and ARIS MashZone on top of webMethods Optimize and webMethods process engine to discover processes and to measure process performance.
An important point for him was stating clearly that ARIS Platform will stay an open platform in the future and not only integrate with webMethods. So the tight integration with SAP, but also with Oracle, Microsoft, TIBCO, etc. will be maintained and enhanced.
Dr. Jost discussed some of the latest innovations in the product portfolio. Of course, he mentioned ARISalign marking it as Software AG's cloud offering. He emphasised that cloud computing is currently a hot topic, but that Software AG will take a careful look at the topic and only provide what is really needed by customers.
At the end of his keynote, he showed briefly some achievements through business process excellence by customers like RWE increasing efficiency by 30%. At the end, he invited all participants to visit the booths and learn about the many new offerings now possible because of the integration of both companies.