Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A Little BPM Package Known As Aquima

We've talked about innovation quite a bit recently and it's quite an important topic, but today we're talking more practically about how you can use innovation.

In the form of a neat little BPM package known as Aquima.

There are many reasons why Aquima is innovative and we couldn't hope to cover them all here, but what we will do, for your viewing pleasure, is pick out the best of the innovation:

  • One thing that makes Aquima stand out is that it can bridge the gap between IT and business, to connect two (seemingly incredibly different) cultures together for the benefit of your organisation.
  • It provides your organisation with dynamic agility, allowing it to adapt to just about any situation or happening. Even in the event of something catastrophic- Aquima has your back.
  • Worry not about having a sea of wires in your office to run this powerful package, Aquima uses cloud computing technologies which mean you don't need to worry about your information- but can still control it- while using it to improve your productivity.
  • It is a bespoke solution and has enough power to dwarf five bespoke systems. Aquima is a platform-independent, fully customisable, all inclusive solution to your problems.
  • Aquima isn't about hidden costs which are why they don't have any- unlike other BPM packages, Aquima is all inclusive and doesn't require any external systems to run any of its features.
And these are just some of the reasons that Aquima breathes innovation in to your organisation.
There are many more reasons, much deeper, and more specific, to almost any organisation in any industry out there. Using Aquima not only makes you more effective, efficient and dynamic- but innovative- and cost-effective and even more!

Thanks for reading, as always, everyone.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Google TV Makes It’s Way To The UK

When it comes to the mediums that it plays in, Google could sit back and remain content with its strong position on the desktop and mobile devices.

But as successful as it is, the company stiill sees opportunity to create a bigger footprint.
One of the mediums in which it's hoping its footprint can extend: television.

The potential of Google's vision for the future of the small screen is obvious: television-web convergence. But no matter how compelling the vision, the proof is in the pudding, and thus far the company's Google TV pudding isn't looking so great.

But that isn't stopping the search giant from trying to move Google TV forward.

Last week, Google confirmed that it will bring Google TV to the U.K. later this year. Will content creators and distributors in the U.K. be any more receptive than their counterparts across the pond in the U.S.? That remains to be seen.

Given the muted interest in Google TV there, it's possible that television players in the U.K. won't be as worried about Google's intentions, perhaps allowing the company a greater ability to court consumers.

The question: how will Google drum up the kind of interest in the U.K. that it wasn't able to drum up in the U.S.? One part of the answer: it needs compelling applications.

So in a natural move, Google yesterday released a preview of a Google TV add-on for the Android SDK. According to the Google TV blog:
While the add-on does not contain all features of Google TV, it enables developers to emulate Google TV and build apps using standard Android SDK tools. It also provides new APIs for TV interaction, such as TV channel line-up.

Not surprisingly, Android apps built for Google TV will be distributed through a TV-specific version of the Android Market that displays only apps that are compatible with Google TV and that adhere to its UI guidelines.

Some developers will be pleased to find that their existing Android apps are already Google TV 'ready', while others may need to make modifications.
Of course, while there will almost certainly be developer interest in TV, Google will likely face a chicken-egg dilemma.

Without consumers, there's little incentive for developers to develop apps, and without compelling applications, consumers aren't going to rush out to buy Google TV-equipped televisions, or add-on hardware.

While one might point out that Google has been successful with Android on mobile devices, the television market is not the mobile market.

Google will need to address that, and it will need to do so relatively quickly. The company's poor showing in the U.S. has caused quite a few observers to write Google TV off.

If the product receives a similarly cold welcome in the U.K., Google itself may be forced to write it off.

Thank You for reading and Please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Goal Driven Processes: The Future Target of BPM

As organizations mature in their use of BPM, they will find the need to more directly and automatically tie process activity and outcomes to corporate performance. The first steps in BPM are around process efficiency and effectiveness. The next steps revolve around continuous improvement and require a significant amount of watching to keep the improvements coming. Goal driven, the next step, directly ties the process behaviour and activity to the desired goals of the process. Imagine processes that flex and define themselves according to goals. It’s kind of like dynamic sets of plays to score a goal in football.

Goal Driven by Outcomes:
The technologies are converging towards being able to tie process activity and resource behaviour to corporate performance as it dynamic redefines itself as a mix of weighted and potentially conflicting goals. As process become smarter and/or linked to decision related platforms, this will become a reality for many organizations going forward. Right now it is the leading organizations, but over time this will become the norm.

Goal Driven by Policies/Rules:
Even if there might not be a direct tie to corporate performance with auto-tuning, the next best thing, would have to be policy/rule driven processes where the process can change behavior as policies and rule change. This is certainly happening today and I expect much more of this kind of activity in the next few years.

Goal Driven by Constraints:
As BPM expand into social and unstructured processes necessary to help knowledge workers, there will be unfettered and evolving best practices and processes. It will be important to set boundaries as these processes evolve. This is where constraints can be set to keep unsuspecting knowledge workers out of activity that may spell issues for their respective organizations as they collaborate. 

Over course, there will be combinations of the above guided by emerging patterns and management guidance, but it is clear that BPM has adaptability that will need to be guided. The guidance will come in the form of goals. We will have arrived at high levels of BPM maturity as more organizations grow into innovate use of goal driven processes.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Where SOA Meets Cloud: The Cloud, Agility, and Reuse

Agility and reuse are part of the value of cloud computing, and each has its own benefit to enterprise architecture.  In the past, as an industry, we've had issues around altering the core IT infrastructure to adapt to the changing needs of business.  While cloud computing is no "cure all" for agility, it does provide a foundation to leverage IT resources that are more easily provisioned and thus adaptable. 

Agility has a few dimensions here:
First is the ability to save development dollars through reuse of services and applications.  It's helpful to note that many services make up an application instance.  These services may have been built inside or outside of the company, and the more services that are reusable from system to system, the more ROI from our cloud computing. 

Second is the ability to change the IT infrastructure faster to adapt to the changing needs of the business, such as market downturns, or the introduction of a key product to capture a changing market.  This, of course, provides a strategic advantage and allows for the business to have a better chance of long-term survival.  Many enterprises are plagued these days with having IT infrastructures that are so poorly planned and fragile that they hurt the business by not providing the required degree of agility. 

Under the concept of reuse, we have a few things we need to determine to better define the value. 

These include:
·      The number of services that are reusable.
·      Complexity of the services.
·      The degree of reuse from system to system.

The number of reusable services is the actual number of new services created, or, existing services abstracted, that are potentially reusable from system to system.  The complexity of the services is the number of functions or object points that make up the service.  We use traditional functions or object points as a common means of expressing complexity in terms of the types of behaviours the service offers.  Finally, the degree of reuse from system to system is the number of times you actually reuse the services.  

Moreover, the amount of money saved depends upon your development costs, which vary greatly from company to company, data center to data center.  Typically you should know what you're paying for functions or object points, and thus it's just a matter of multiplication to determine the amount of money you can save by implementing a particular cloud computing solution

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 22 August 2011

Social Media: What’s In It For Business?

Even if you take all the generous media attention and coverage away, the social media wave seems to be certainly picking momentum. And I don’t say that just by looking at the number of sign-ups Facebook has each day or how many tweets get fired each second. That doesn’t really suggest an organization should invest in this new trend.

What seemed like a fad for college kids has soon made analysts, IT decision makers and vendors sit up and seriously explore various benefits of applying the concept to business contexts. Social media certainly seems poised to provide many benefits to organizations.

So is there a ROI for an organization from social media?

That’s exactly the question,  it’s probably still too early to start looking for proof of benefits .
But put your ear on the ground and listen carefully – you can hear the rumble building up.

And the rumble is approaching us from tens of different directions.

Here are a few that I have noticed
  • Technology Rumble: Look at how seemingly disconnected technology developments are converging – the big thrust by vendors to offer on-demand solutions, increasing availability of innovative technology driven services that allow people to share, collaborate and connect.
  • Recession Rumble: Look at how an unprecedented global economic phenomenon has forced a radical change in spending – and urged a shift in the way organizations assess IT options. Open Source, SaaS, PaaS, and so on.
  • Customer Mind-share Rumble: Look at how businesses are desperately looking for bigger value from customer interactions  and want to reach out to a wider audience, quicker and more directly – This is happening across multiple functions – Marketing, Customer Service, New Product Development, etc.
  • Social rumble: Look at how people are naturally warming up to a new collaborative way of working, of sharing information, of community bonding.Open Source software developmentforums, wikipedia, and so on.
What are the other trends you have notice?

Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Unlock that Revenue Hiding In Your Processes!

The failure rate of software implementations involving CRM has always been a cause of concern for both vendors as well as buyers.

In most implementation engagements, the key aspects of strategic thinking, solution design and delivery are typically sliced apart in silos involving resources with different skills, causing lack of synergy ultimately resulting in the loss of a huge opportunity to unlock value from an implementation. While almost any software implementation has this shortcoming, in a CRM implementation, these silos exacerbate the causes of failure even more, and further render these implementations more operational in nature.

CRM projects demand a not-so-apparent duality of perspective. While maintaining a well planned external view, CRM implementations should also ensure that organizations are able to also look inward to address internal processes and drive them towards more efficiency.
The entire relationship management process has to be an efficient orchestra of inward and outward looking processes, both driven by the twin objectives of revenue profitability to the organization and value benefits to the customer.

If cognizance of this duality is lacking, the core purpose of the CRM exercise is undermined. On the other hand, if the duality is effectively addressed, you have organizational processes aligning brilliantly to create significant value benefits.

Providing such value benefits to customers in implementation situations could result in customers who go beyond being happy – because you end up delivering value that may even be beyond defined deliverables.

Your Revenue Function needs more attention!
In most organizations, the revenue generation function, despite being one of the most important, is still one of the least organized. And what is interesting is that just a little bit of screw-tightening can have a ripple of positive effects.

Let’s take a look at how re-aligning a single aspect of the sales management process can lead to a series of positive effects on subsequent events in the revenue cycle – thereby facilitating improved efficiency of sales efforts leading to improved revenue performance.

A holistic plan – the fundamental need
Organizations have to understand what makes them effective in generating demand and revenue, and of course, what limits their effectiveness. Many organizations, unfortunately, focus on various effectiveness parameters such as closure skills while neglecting efficiency. When revenue realization becomes a concern, organizations are tempted to make investments in marketing, training etc. these may include buying prospect databases, training on effective negotiating, closure skills, etc; printing fresh collaterals and so on. These are all at best, ‘point solutions’, while the need of the hour could be to look at ways to improve underlying sources of dysfunction.

The challenge to sales managers is in viewing sales processes from a holistic perspective. Organizations need strong processes that allow the various players in sales and marketing to work together to meet common objectives and sales managers have to first understand how the right processes and technology make them efficient.

Surprisingly, in many organizations, sales and marketing typically have the least mature processes compared to product development, finance and accounting, service and support and other functions.

Revenue and Profitability must be King, Not the customer!
One of the most widely quoted ‘truths’ in any industry is that the Customer is King. It is a statement with such profound implications, that debating it would amount to blasphemy. But lets take that point as an argument. Organizations need to understand and acknowledge first that if there is only one purpose to relationship with any customer, that one purpose cannot be ‘Make customer feel like King’. Instead it would quite simply be “make a profit”. The relationship occurred in the first place because the organization saw a revenue opportunity and the customer saw a value. Therefore an organization will benefit the most when it acquires only those customers that can help it achieve its revenue growth plan – which means the cost of acquiring, cost of keeping, cost of growing should all contribute positively to that growth plan.Such a carefully selected basket of customers are the ones you should treat like a king. And here starts the process definition basics of the inward looking aspects of CRM.

People, Process and Technology : In-synch
Improving adoption through such tools therefore has to be achieved by empowering the sales people; helping them become more effective and by removing barriers to effective selling. Typical barriers occur because of dysfunctional processes. A process-oriented approach ensures that all related business processes are aligned to both strategic as well as sales objectives. The effort to improve sales effectiveness can lead to more revenue opportunities; better marketing effectiveness, shorter sales cycles and several similar goals.

And the starting point to designing such a process is an enterprise view of how an organization attracts and draws effectively on customer interactions to effectively drive revenue activities. Access to the right information at the right time drives effective internal processes that maximize sales opportunities. And this can happen when people, process, technology and information are all aligned to strategic objectives.

The role of technology in most situations CRM is more about realizing an opportunity cost. An organization could anyway reasonably manage without such a tool. But when implemented properly, the right CRM product has the potential to give benefits that can surpass expectations immensely because it impacts the very core of an organizations growth engine – revenue.

Opportunities for product and services companies
The need for technology implementations to positively impact business processes has been acknowledged widely. Technology vendors are talking to customers more about business strategy and policies, business models, process methodologies, etc., and less on technology and platforms. Customers are also looking for value differentiators, opportunities to increase margins, reduce costs and so on.

The opportunity cost of re-aligning and improving underlying processes, though undefined, could be more significant than many organisations might imagine. That chunk of additional revenue that comes simply by better alignment of processes, people and information stares as an opportunity right in the face of every organization and waits to get noticed and grabbed. Indeed, this can be a very tempting initiative to any organization. By helping customers realize that, tremendous value far beyond expectations can be added. With enough successes and demonstrable capability to indeed add quantifiable revenue improvements to customers, there is a definite option to link the delivery-pricing model to a percentage of revenue improvement realized by the customers.

Thank you for reading and feel free to Comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Emerging from one era, into another…

Even as we begin to hear about the easing up of the recessionary phase, it is not difficult to see that things are not going to be the same as they were before.

And one of the biggest impacts this recession is likely to have is not in our pockets, but in our minds.
Whether it is you or your organization, the biggest effect may well be the shift in thinking that this recession has brought about. And it does appear to be here for several years to come, for some of the views that you or those that your organization has had – of business priorities, budgets and spending, efficiencies, competitiveness and performance – have all perhaps changed for good.

And in all this, although among the first things you hear often is about cutbacks on IT spend, Technology is, inevitably, going to play that important role of an enabler more than ever before.
But the choice of technology will be different from the way it has traditionally been. From the options that will be available, I think to a large extent, those that are adopted in the coming few years will have to score relatively higher against available options.

The recession does not differ too much from others. We go in, we go through and we come out, unfortunately not without harm being done to people, some more than others.

During and for some time after the recession you will see caution in behaviour of companies. First because they are not sure it is a structural improvement and after that because they remember the pain. Then the market starts heating up, and nobody wants to miss the boat. At that point in time hasty decisions are easily made and risks are often not assessed well enough. This will last until the first few discover that their progressive plans will not be realized and then the “fun” starts all over again. Simplistic view maybe, but at least this is what I saw happening in the last few.

But, after each crisis we have been able to pick up and at each high there has been created more wealth compared to the previous high. New markets, new technologies, new products & services, that enable Customers to improve their lives, and new ways of combining this all (you can call this management or strategies) have emerged. Even during this crisis this process of continuous improvement has not stopped. It is in our human nature or genes if you want. And this is exactly what we will continue to do, but at a higher pace when the crisis is over. Right until the moment that more than a few companies find out that their projections of growth do not fit with reality.

Another interesting thing about this particular cycle is that technology developments like Cloud computing, Social Media etc have also piqued the interest of the technology consuming market and since it coincided with the recession offering low cost alternatives, orgs are looking with more interest at these and I believe they will become part of the mainstream IT investments for the near term future.
To summarise I think the whole thing serves as a periodic reality check, that gives us a need to introspect our excesses and bloat and make a correction of sorts.

Do not agree? Let me know and we can discuss.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 15 August 2011

When The Cloud Becomes The Silver-Lining…

Cutting cost is no more an option. It is a must-do that is high on the priority of every organization that wants to survive this slowdown. And no stone is left unturned to find ways to achieve that.
Interestingly, this anxiety to cut costs will result in a business that IDC expects will grow to $42 billion by 2012. Or so it seems.

Yes, we are talking about cloud computing.

If you are wondering how this business of IT keeps throwing out new jargon and concepts in the air in frequent intervals, let me say that you may already be using cloud computing to some extent.
John McCarthy had predicted way back in the early 60s that Computation will someday become a public utility and it looks like his prophecy is coming true now.

If you use Google docs, you are a participant in cloud computing. Some common Cloud computing applications are, Google apps, etc. Cloud computing is nothing but software or technology made available over the internet as a service.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service(SaaS), Platform as a Service(PaaS), Web 2.0 etc. are all components of Cloud Computing. When you use applications such as those offered by Google Docs (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) you are using Software as a Service. Conventionally, while you paid and had Microsoft Office with MSWord, MSPowerpoint and MSExcel installed on your PC, with Google Docs, you don’t buy the licenses or install any software, but can still access the applications on a need basis – over the Internet. For now, Google docs is free, but imagine being charged for access (by time, by kind of features you use, by frequency etc).

The big difference is that now you don’t need to pay the full license price of Microsoft Office regardless of how extensively you use that investment, but pay only to the extent you use. That is potential saving for sure. When core packaged apps like Enterprise Resource Planning, CRM, etc are made available on demand, there is a huge potential for savings – you don’t pay heavily for license, you hire fewer resources, you don’t invest heavily in CapEx – meaning you don’t need to buy servers and other hardware, and you don’t run huge fixed costs for managing them.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Gartner: BPM Spending To Keep Increasing This Year

Businesses may still be cutting back on other initiatives, but they expect to increase their BPM investments during 2011, according to research by Gartner Inc.

Overall, participants in Gartner's global BPM spending survey were bullish on BPM spending, with 54% planning an increase of at least 5% this year. Nearly 20% expected an increase of 10% or more.
Survey respondents in the Asia/Pacific region, where some countries are experiencing strong economic growth, were especially interested in investing in BPM: Fully 25% said they expect increases of at least 10% this year.

What's behind the overall upswing? BPM is focused on improving business outcomes and explicitly meets the objectives of many organizations' return-to-growth strategies, A Gartner principal analyst, explained in announcing the survey results. Gartner also cited increased interest in SaaS tools, which offer a cheaper entry point, and a shift toward funding BPM projects from business-unit budgets rather than IT, reflecting emphasis on BPM's business benefits.

But Gartner cautioned companies against becoming over-optimistic about process-improvement potential. There is a mismatch between what users think they will achieve from BPM and what they actually achieve. Understanding the real benefits and how to measure them will help organizations create better business cases and get the expected business results.

The survey, which included nearly 600 midsize-to-large companies in 14 countries, indicated that companies' initial BPM investments fall somewhere between £100,000 and £200,000. Gartner calls that range low in comparison with the cost of many BPM-suite implementations. The upshot: Many companies want BPM capability--but aren't ready to buy a complete suite.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Apple Cloud vs. Google Cloud

The Google cloud

Google’s entire strategy and approach to the cloud is based on the future, and not the Internet as it is today. Google is betting that the world will have low-cost, ubiquitous Internet access in the not-too-distant future, including fiber connections in offices and homes and super-fast mobile broadband in virtually every nook and cranny of the planet.

It is building its cloud for that world, and it’s hoping that by the time it has its application stack refined and running like clockwork that broadband will be everywhere. That’s absolutely necessary, since all of Google’s apps are connection-dependent and all of the data is stored on Google’s servers in the cloud. You’ve got to be online to take advantage of many of the best features, like simultaneous editing of Google Docs where you can see your co-workers’ edits happening in real time.

I love Google’s optimism about the future of broadband, but it’s not going to magically happen on its own solely based on free market forces. There are too many places where it’s just not financially profitable to deploy high speed access — and probably never will be. In order for Google’s vision to come to light, there will need to be more competition in the big markets and much stronger public-private partnerships in the smaller markets.

Google has started talking about making critical apps available offline, especially for Chromebooks. The company has already taken a few baby steps in that direction with Google Gears. However, the fact that offline access is an afterthought and not an intrinsic component of Google’s solution tells you where offline and local syncing rank on the company’s priority list.

The Apple cloud

Apple’s approach is not to use the cloud as the computer-in-the-sky the runs all the cool stuff. It doesn’t want or need everything to happen in the cloud. Instead, it views the cloud as the conductor of Grand Central Station who makes sure all of the trains run on time and that they make it to the right destinations.

With iCloud, announced on Monday, Apple uses the cloud to orchestrate data streams rather than control them. This is the cloud as a central repository for apps, music, media, documents, messages, photos, backups, settings, and more. A decade ago, both Apple and Microsoft talked up idea of the Mac and the PC, respectively, as the central hub of our digital life and work, with a variety of devices relying on it to coordinate content. On Monday, Apple clearly stated that’s no longer the case. For it, iCloud is now the hub.

In this way, Apple is taking an approach unlike Google (which essentially mimics the old mainframe approach). Instead, Apple is doing something similar to what the popular start-up Drop box does. It is allowing users to sync their personal data and media purchases from their computers and mobile devices up to a personalized central repository. Then, that central repository on the Internet syncs all of the data and media files back down to all of the user’s devices, so that all of them have the same data. Users no longer have to worry about constantly managing their files and music libraries in order to keep them up-to-date across a bunch of different machines and devices - a computer, a tablet, and a smartphone, for example.

Geeks, technophiles, and IT pros tend to love this approach because they still control their own data and have local copies of everything. However, syncing can also get a little complicated, especially if you choose to not automatically sync all of your devices (to save on performance and bandwidth). It remains to be seen whether mainstream users and business professionals will grasp the syncing concept and easily make it work.

Still, Apple’s approach is probably more practical for the Internet as it exists today. But, in a world with ubiquitous ultra-fast broadband, will syncing still matter in 5-10 years? That will depend on whether users prefer to have local copies of their data for performance, security, and peace of mind.
Naturally, there have been heated debates about Apple iCloud in social media since. In Apple’s vision, the cloud makes native apps better. Others see the cloud as a substitute for native apps.

Final analysis

All that said, let me try to boil this down into two sentences that shouldn’t surprise you. For Google, the Web is the center of the universe. For Apple, your device is the center of the universe.
Can they both be right?

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 8 August 2011

Achieving Business Agility

The combination of business process management technology and business rules puts organizations in the driver’s seat to maximize their business processes and hand that power off to their users.
Today, business success is not just a matter of how effectively an organization can create or sell products. It’s also about how fast it can react to changing market conditions. Speed, flexibility, and organizational agility have become critical success factors for all companies.

Many companies are experiencing some of their fastest rates of change and the most important process requirements at the “edge” of their businesses or the front of the value chain. That’s where the business connects directly with customers, suppliers, and partners. It might be through something as simple as supplier communications or something as complex as customer self-service or business-to-business (B2B) supply chain integration processes.

Improving a business’s agility increasingly depends on the ability to quickly and easily modify the decisions and business logic that drive and manage its fastest-changing and most dynamic business processes.

As a result, business processes and applications must be brought out to the front of the value chain in order to meet rapidly changing customer requirements, increased user expectations, and more competitive market pressures, coupled with the need to increase revenue, customer satisfaction, and other key performance indicators. Unfortunately, most companies have realized that too much of their business logic is tied up in apps that are difficult to modify rapidly and adapt to the challenges at the edge of the business.

Rolling with the Changes
Over the years, some organizations — especially ones in markets such as financial services, banking, or insurance — have relied on specialized business rules solutions or technologies in order to help address the ongoing need for change. In general, these business rules technologies have traditionally focused on providing greater flexibility for back-office applications. Now, however, times have changed, and as the challenges that companies are facing have changed, the market for business rules is changing too.

What’s needed are new business rules approaches that dynamically cross a wide range of front-office business processes and applications, both stand-alone and embedded. Think of these as dynamic business rules solutions for customer-driven applications.

To enable faster, better responses to customer requests, to integrate more rapidly with business partners, or to create more compelling applications that meet changing market demands, business logic and business rules need to be pushed from centralized, monolithic applications out into appropriate components that can be managed locally — often at the edge of the business — by the business user. Moreover, they must be deployable quickly to reduce time to market.

That’s where business process management (BPM) coupled with business rules comes in. Business rules are an increasingly important aspect of complete BPM solutions. For most organizations, BPM solutions are just one part of the answer for creating a flexible and agile set of automated business processes. Business Rules are an important complementary technology that will enable organizations to realize the full value of BPM and reduce the amount of work required to modify critical business processes.

Any organization evaluating or deploying BPM should be sure to understand and explore the role that business rules play in process-oriented solutions and where they may gain benefits from using a business rules engine. Business Rules enable an organization to gain control of these valuable assets and manage them in a way that is both more efficient and increases the company’s agility to respond to competitive opportunities. Combining a BRE with a BPM system will enable an organization to maximize the power of business processes and put that power in the hands of the business users.

Thank You for Reading and please feel free to comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Agility Challenge For BPM

Business Process Management (BPM) software is becoming an increasingly relevant option for the day-to-day management of business processes. BPM controls process lifecycles with support for process modelling, execution, monitoring and optimization. The conventional system’s process control was not capable of governing highly variable change requests in a situation-specific and purposeful manner that is, adapted to change request content and project context. For example, both minor and drastic changes followed the same process steps, which placed unnecessary strain on the organization and reduced overall process efficiency.

The Agility Challenge
The recent economic turmoil has elevated the importance of “agility” for enterprises. There are way too many systemic factors that are causing chaos and volatility. In this climate, agility – meaning the rhythm of rolling forward new solutions and rolling back current offerings – has to be synchronized with both market oscillations and anticipated market receptiveness. BPM suites are the critical enabler and catalyst for achieving such dynamic agility.

There are two interdependent and critical requirements for agility in business process management solutions:

·         The first is the ability for business stakeholders to quickly – and incrementally – introduce change. The change “delta” from business analysis to execution has to be almost seamless and instantaneous. What is required to change is what gets executed is the new mantra. This “change” spans creating new solutions for existing and new markets. It also includes deprecating or re-positioning existing solutions.
·         The second – and perhaps more important— is the ability to respond quickly and adeptly to a given situation. This “ability” to respond, based on a situation, applies to business functions, lines of businesses, as well as the enterprise as a whole. Here you have the execution of adjustable process machines that can manoeuvre, adjust, and respond for a given context.

For BPM to be flexible, agile, and dynamic, it needs to adapt to situations, applying the best BPM asset (process, policy, etc.) for the given situation. Newly discovered processes or policies could be enacted. Others could be deprecated. The granule of the situation can be an entire mission- critical BPM solutions or specific user interactions.

All this may sound a bit like process fiction. But it is actually achievable. More importantly, it is a fundamental requirement for true business agility.

Thank You for reading! And please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Standardization or Flexibility

You probably know experts who state that standardization is critical for work and information processes. They dogmatically declare that you get reduced variability, cost reduction, better quality, and consistency across the organization with standardization. In fact if you don’t have standardization you can’t make improvements because people and business units do the process differently to start!

Yet, on the other side there are experts that say that flexibility is critical, the only way to stay current in the market place, to satisfy varying customer needs. Flexibility allows your process to respond to specific demands, to be agile, to use the human decision making that is necessary in so many decisions.

First, let’s agree on some definitions. Standardization of work and information processes can take many forms. At the basic level, standardization means that processes have exactly the same steps, in the same sequence, and completed by the same roles for all units doing the process. At an even more stringent level standardization means that the process runs at the same speed and maintains a stated level of inventories. There is no variability between processes across units and there is no variability in the process on Monday vs. Tuesday vs. Wednesday.

Flexibility on the other hand means that the work process is different under varying conditions, and these conditions created the need for differences. The most obvious need is a difference in customer type which demands a different output from the process from the commoditized standardized process. The customer might demand a different level of service or different elements in the product.

So how do you know which is more important for your process – standardization or flexibility?

It is true that the more standardization you have the less flexibility you have but there are many examples where you can have a combination of each. And I assert that you need to have both. Standardization and flexibility are both strategies for maximizing return and they bring different results, but you need to consider both to get the best result for the customer and the organization.

Let’s look at the benefits of each: standardization and flexibility

·         Repeatability
·         Consistency across units
·         Means to gather conforming information
·         Quality
·         Cost
·         Easier for training personnel
·         Easier to implement changes
·         Eliminates variability in steps and outcomes

·         Ability to respond to different customer requirements
·         Ability to alter processes based on specific needs
·         Agility – in marketplace
·         Ability to meet different geographic or cultural needs
Allows for experienced human input with special cases
·         Allows for use of different decision models 

Standardization and flexibility are both important in understanding and improving your processes. Standardization moves the needle toward a single method, process, and outcome. Flexibility provides for variation where the customer situation requests it and it make sense for the business. Both can differentiate a product in the marketplace, one more for price and consistency and the other more for distinctive customer requirements. In order to get to the best combination, and to get both sides seeing the common goal, it is best to look at several instances of the way the process is done today, see what is the same and what is different, and standardize where you can but keep distinctions where different processes and different approaches make sense for special customer requirements.

Thank you for reading! And please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 1 August 2011

Scope of Artificial Intelligence in Business

Business applications utilize the specific technologies to try and make better sense of potentially enormous variability (for example, unknown patterns/relationships in sales data, customer buying habits, and so on). However, within the corporate world, AI is widely used for complex problem-solving and decision-support techniques in real-time business applications. The business applicability of AI techniques is spread across functions ranging from finance management to forecasting and production. 

In the fiercely competitive and dynamic market scenario, decision-making has become fairly complex and latency is inherent in many processes. In addition, the amount of data to be analyzed has increased substantially. AI technologies help enterprises reduce latency in making business decisions, minimize fraud and enhance revenue opportunities.

AI is a broad discipline that promises to simulate numerous innate human skills such as automatic programming, case-based reasoning, neural networks, decision-making, expert systems, natural language processing, pattern recognition and speech recognition etc. AI technologies bring more complex data-analysis features to existing applications.  Enterprises that utilize AI-enhanced applications are expected to become more diverse, as the needs for the ability to analyze data across multiple variables, fraud detection and customer relationship management emerge as key business drivers to gain competitive advantage. 

They stretch from the military for autonomous control and target identification, to the entertainment industry for computer games and robotic pets, to the big establishments dealing with huge amounts of information such as hospitals, banks and insurances, we can also use AI to predict customer behavior and detect trends. 

This generally involves borrowing characteristics from human intelligence, and applying them as algorithms in a computer friendly way. A more or less flexible or efficient approach can be taken depending on the requirements established, which influences how artificial the intelligent behavior appears. The potential applications of Artificial Intelligence are abundant. 

It is difficult for business to see general relevance from AI. This is probably one of the reasons for the compartmentalization of AI into things like Knowledge Based Systems. Business should not lose sight of where AI could go because there are many potential benefits to current and new businesses of future research. 

Thank You for reading! And Please feel free to comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Your BPM Mantra: Enable, Empower, Improve, Unlock

BPM should be about exercising and asserting your firms business priorities, along its lines of control, especially lines at the top and the bottom.

Sure, you’ve heard it before that BPM is about the business. But indulge me for a bit.
Let‘s say the CIO of a manufacturing company A buys product X because it can help optimize inventory and reduce costs. He gets the software implemented and X nicely fixes not just that bloated inventory but also that big headache he’s had for months.

What‘s more, Marketing is happy because they could reduce product price a little bit, and therefore so is the customer, and, despite the price drop, a slight improvement in the margin makes Finance happy too. Meanwhile, Purchase and Production are happy, and well, there are smiles all around and all that. You get the picture.

Now, what if B, a competitor of A, decides to also buy for much the same reasons?  We now have two competing firms, both depending on product X to address inventory issues. Will happy smiles appear on faces in firm B? Will folks at A continue smiling and nodding at each other?
How will it affect their relative advantages? Their differentiators?

Here are two different ways of looking at it –
(i) Product X minimizes the relative competitive advantage between and B, bringing them both on the same level playing field. They will each have to think of other ways to get one up on the other.
(ii) Product X has the potential to sharpen their competitive advantages by highlighting each of their more unique differentiating areas.
Which one would be your pick?

If you pick (i), you are saying there can be no competitive advantage from IT as IT eliminates differences between how organizations function as IT becomes more commoditized, the value from IT would also diminish.

On the other hand, If you pick (ii), you are saying IT can be used as a weapon to find competitive advantages that complement your core competencies.

Product X in our story, as you might have already guessed, would typically be a packaged application promising ‘industry best practices – acquired from consolidating experience from thousands of implementations’. So, consider this – if both and B apply the same best practices, would they truly get competitive? Or would those common best practices merely help them stay on equal footing?

And so to our firms and B, the situation they find themselves in is not very unusual. As I had written in my earlier post,
…these are situations that our technology consuming customers continuously battle – most top market players have access to similar technologies, products and service providers; similar investments and budgets.…. Therefore, where is the competitive advantage from IT investments? The point I am trying to highlight, or rather reiterate, is that, this is precisely where the power of BPM lies. BPM can give you the wherewithal to deal with such situations –  In unlocking competitive advantage from areas in your business where packaged applications are, by and large, ill-equipped to address, In making a substantial difference to your bottom-line, and/or your top-line.

There have been several discussions, on how BPM is different from conventional packaged application implementation/application development. The idea of IT-Business collaboration, business benefits of BPM, building a business case, etc. have been discussed in ample measure. Some of the best minds in the industry have tried to impress upon these critical success factors in BPM.

Yet, there still are many who under-utilize BPM. In my experience, these are really areas where many firms miss the bus when it comes to delivering BPMS that truly delivers. Treating BPMS implementations like conventional IT projects is a common first big mistake.

And on the point of looking beyond operational efficiency, Most of what people think about regarding BPM benefits comes down to efficiency savings, and this can be a big part of the story. But even in the operational realm, there may be benefits that go beyond efficiency. One is increased scalability through smarter (re)allocation of resources. Another is improved customer satisfaction (which although it can be difficult to directly ascribe a monetary value to, should drive sales over time if sales and marketing teams are doing their jobs – and will often help protect revenue by reducing customer churn). Apart from the operational realm, benefits can come from increased business flexibility, quicker introduction of new products or product bundles, and stronger competitive differentiation.

Think ‘Enable, Empower, Improve, Unlock’. These are words that should be top-of-mind when we are designing BPM to deliver its promise. As we move on every year real benefits from BPM come under the spotlight – as it is bound to, it assumes more importance.

Thank you for reading! And please feel free to comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Are You Letting Good get in the way of Better?

To me, if there is only one striking difference between a BPM solution and a conventionally developed application, then it is the opportunity to unlock hidden potential for improvements.

Many organizations at the crossroads of a decision do overlook this aspect and decide against BPM. I have come across a few in the past. Reasons, however, maybe attributed to high license costs or other such considerations. Of course, while this may well be true, the question I often ask myself is if they did see and consider the full potential of benefits from a BPM solution before deciding against it.
And if indeed they did, why did they still decide not to invest in BPM? Did they calculate ROI? If so, how did they calculate it? What were their considerations? Why would they rather invest in either building the application grounds-up or, in a packaged application when in all likelihood neither can provide several of the additional benefits possible from a BPM solution?

For sure, there must be ample wisdom supporting their decisions. Apparently their final authorities did agree it was a good decision before they signed on the dotted line.

So, why would they let Good come in the way of Better?

Today we have survey findings from organizations that have decided in favor of BPM – many analyst firms have done some research in that area. But I am not sure if anyone has researched organizations that have decided against investing in BPM. Their reasons could be very interesting in many levels.
Did they make the right decision? Or have they only held-off jumping into the BPM wagon for the moment? Have they considered a logic that others have not? Do they think they are too small for BPM? Or is it more of a contextual thing – of BPM just not fitting into their particular context?
What is your take? What has been your experience in this aspect?

From my experience with organizations that have decided against BPM I could hazard one generalization – you tell me if I am way off mark here – that organizations where IT has a strong influence in the decision making may look less favorably at BPM.

I also think it has less to do with IT participation itself or with their influence (negative or not) in the decision but more to do with the lack of intense business participation, active involvement and drive.

What do you think? What could be other reasons?

Thank you for reading! and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 25 July 2011

BPM and Change Management – Time to Tie The Knot

Call it culture, resistance to change, fear, politics or just old fashioned pig-headedness, but BPM initiatives are seldom without change issues and internal friction of some kind. And as we see BPM adoption increasing, there is increasing proof of the existence of such a thing called BPM Inertia. And it compromises the degree of BPM success.

It seems to me that almost any firm running a BPM initiative acknowledges the need for change management at the beginning, but not all of them actually take the effort to address it directly and methodically as the initiative rolls forward.

Here is a truth pill you must take: change issues threaten BPM success much more than you ever cared to admit. If you really want to tackle every force adversely affecting your BPM success, you need to stand up and look at that BPM Inertia in the eye.

Vendors and System Integrators will offload slide after slide of wisdom, frameworks and methodologies as you prepare your approach to tackle the change demon. All good and necessary, but don’t get swayed –  it’s all only like a recipe. You still need to figure out how much salt & spice works best for your family; what shade of rare, medium or well-done the meat should be, by considering each unique preference of those about to gather at the table.

The avatar that change issues might take is different in each organization. It could be a manifestation of one or more factors, those that may not be directly related to BPM or even Biz/IT. Not all of those will be evil, negative or wilful. They could simply stem from a lack of appreciation, or awareness of the nature of change or its benefits.

So an important ingredient that goes into the creation of a Change Management program is deep insight into organization culture, people, and a sense of understanding of cause and effect, all coming from a great position of strength that of firsthand experience from being part of it and acquired from being one of ‘them’.

Your vendor may have great experience and track-record of successes in running a change management program, but let someone from within, that knows the pulse of your organization be an influential, driving member of that program.  At the same time exploit the fresh, detached perspective that your vendor/SI brings in.

One key pivot that I am increasingly beginning to believe Change Management success hinges on is when everyone involved is aware and truly believes that  the ‘change’ can improve their daily work life, and can indeed help them work smarter, easier and better.

In the end though, the crucial ingredient to leading a successful change management program is to address the cause, not the symptom.

Thank you for reading! and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Aquima: Like No Other

While most BPM software possesses similar qualities, we here at Aquima are proud to differentiate ourselves as leaders in innovative ways in realising the most practical solutions that would yield short and long term benefits to our client. 

Aquima is not an ‘off the shelf’ solution but a bespoke system which can be tailored to your needs and can be developed to combat the problems you encounter most frequently.

The software is designed to empower a business oriented person to design the entire system and tailor it to meet their individual requirements by specifications rather than programming. This feature is our strongest USP due to the fact that even our closest competitors are unable to provide a package that can match these features. As most of the BPM software requires a programmer to design the software process a very complicated process requiring an advanced coding knowledge. A very common issue that an organisation faces is the breakdown in communication between the IT specialist and the business oriented person leading to time consuming alterations that can be very costly but may still to prove ineffective. Giving the power to the client to design their software can open the door for innovative and practical solutions that can never be realised by an IT specialist. 

Business Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is one of these revolutionary changes as it has allowed computers and software to think for itself. Not to the levels of functional intelligent machines, sentient beings or some such, but to the level where a system can work out some problems by itself without user input. This can be likened to many of the newer features of the Windows and Mac OS operating systems which provide many tasks without the user specifying. They “just happen” and the systems take care of the rest.

So where does all this lead? Back to Aquima!

As these are things, two very important things, that Aquima incorporates which gives it the revolutionary edge over the competition. Artificial intelligence powers the system while cloud computing gives it the accessibility- together they provide a unique system which requires no extra components. Thanks to it being platform-independent and useful on so many devices there’s no need to upgrade hardware, buy extras or to spend needlessly on new components.

Everything that Aquima can do it does straight out of the box and with exceptional results thanks to technological innovation. And, of course, a need to provide a BPM package that is more technology than marketing. Something that is universally useful to all organisations. But without the feeling that you’re getting a half-baked cookie cutter system which tries to force you in a preset profile or system.

Most organisations are expanding, whether into different fields or by vertical and horizontal integration, this means that data will need to be re-entered or shared, while it is virtually impossible to share the data effectively using the common BPM software it is simply a click away when using Aquima. For example, if a bank is using CrediCube (Aquima's risk management program) to score their customers and the bank expanded its business into the insurance industry using CLAIM-IT (Aquima's insurance program) the data can be easily transferred saving time, money and possible mistakes when re-entering the data.

Whereas most of the BPM programs in the market are concerned with defining and arranging process on an abstract level Aquima covers every aspect of the modelling process meaning that we have an executable process. What this means to a business is that you are able to model the entire business process this point is truly significant in determining the future position of the company and how it can proceed to achieve its objectives.

Aquima has been described as the most dynamic BPM and at least 7 years ahead of its time by one of the most respected information technology research organisations (the Gartner Group). Due to the features offered by this package, the remarkable flexibility that gives the users limitless potential on improving every aspect of the business and the speed that is unheard of in the world of BPM packaging. Flexibility is one of the main issues contributing towards major companies going out of business, many organisations simply can't react to the rapid change in the market, and, thereby, are providing products and services that are no longer in need. Aquima's agile package gives a business the ability to react to change in real time giving the firm a competitive edge.

One of the most practical and unsung features of the Aquima software is cloud computing. This feature allows the user to access data from anywhere in the world, thereby eliminating the need to worry about transporting your data physically from office to office risking the data being lost or stolen. Another advantage is that data can be amended and updated easily by anyone authorised to do so at any given time enabling the firm to have relevant and up to date data at all times, giving the company the platform to make informed decisions.

The Aquima system has many more features that are of great benefit to companies operating in the petroleum industry that would be discussed in detail at a later time. 

Thank you for reading! And please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Social BPM Requires Balance and Flexibility

The problem with IT folks defining the next generation of the BPM discipline is that IT folks come with technology and architectures biases. The process folks want to process model the world, data and content folks want all the data and states predefined, the rules folks want to define all the logic ahead of time and the events folks want to look for events they deem interesting beforehand. The application math formulas to static data by the business intelligence folks require a fragile environment. What’s wrong with this picture? None of these approaches are balanced and none are flexible by nature.

Social BPM will require a flexible and integrated approach to these four facets. Dynamic BPM technology is the process answer to the next generation of BPM but that’s not good enough alone. Adjustable content management is the content/data answer to the next generation of BPM, but that’s not good enough alone. Boundary constraints is the policy/rule answer to the next generation of BPM, but that’s not good enough alone. Complex events management is the event answer to the next generation of BPM, but that’s not good enough alone. Real time BI that leverages in-flight data is the BI answer, but that is not good enough alone. Are you catching a pattern here? Flexing each individual approach is good but falls short of the goal.

The intelligent application of all of these approaches will be necessary going forward. Biases will have to be left at the door and the intelligent inclusion of all of these aspects to tie human and machine interaction in the next generation of BPM technologies and disciplines will be the way of the future.

Thank You for reading! And please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Technologies to watch in BPM

There are two technologies I’d advice watching, as we enter the second half of 2011: Enterprise Streams and Mobile

Enterprise Streams
One of the annoying technical issues BPMS tools need to negotiate with – is Outlook. It’s the rugby player in the middle of the field that we are all trying to avoid, tiptoe around quietly. Most BPMS solutions use emails to deliver tasks. Most organisations use Outlook. Even if there is a tasklist portal, Outlook will still be used.

Outlook is not a technical friendly partner for integration. Yes, you can create an Outlook Add-on, but most organisations will not allow users to download add-ons and change security settings. (And I’m not even talking about those companies that reset security permissions every night) And yes, you can start embedding fancy client side tools, but if you need to deploy them to an organisation with 15,000 users – it’s a nightmare. Different versions, different languages, different browsers… I’m not saying that its not doable… I’m just saying that Outlook is not an integration friendly application.

The new era of social tools like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook are changing the communications landscape. Users desire same level of innovation and functionality from their business applications as they get from their home applications. Outlook will not disappear, but will be used less. (Mobile phones did not kill handsets) The idea of using Twitter-like tools inside the organisation is gaining momentum. There are already two BPM vendors that have Enterprise Steam offerings. It’s just a matter of time till more vendors jump on the wagon.

But the competition isn’t between the BPM vendors. The biggest competitor is Google. Google will (one day) offer a great Twitter-like tool for businesses to bypass Outlook. The three functionalities that Enterprise Streams need to have, in order not to be ‘obliviated’ one day by Google are: Workflows, Integration and BI. These will be the three key differentiators between any future Google “Twitter-for-Business” offering and a BPM Enterprise Stream solution.

Don’t think of Mobile BPM as just another way of interacting with the system through a small screen. Think about the things that make your mobile phone different than your laptop.

You talk on your mobile, email, sms and communicate in ways your laptop doesn’t. You take pictures using your mobile. Mobile devices know where you are. Your laptop doesn’t. You never go anywhere without your mobile. Mobile also includes smartphones, tablets, IPods.. the future of communication.
Most BPM vendors “support” mobile. “Support” means that they can send emails to mobile devices. Luckily for them, most organisations are not at the stage where mobile functionality is a deal breaker. It’s more of a “bells and whistles” gizmo for the demos.

From a technical point of view – Any BPM mobile solution needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. We have not reached “the promised land” yet. Every mobile device has its own operating system, its own programming language, even different versions of the same device. Trying to make one BPM mobile application that would fit all mobile devices, all versions, in an mobile industry that hasn’t yet been able to agree on one communication standard – is not (yet) possible.

And anyone that tells you that you don’t need a client application – “you just approve from email links on your mobile” is blowing smoke. If you can’t authenticate the mobile device (see reasons above) then you are using anonymous authentication to enter the BPM system from outside of the company. You don’t need to be an Einstein to understand that this opens the system to abuse. Most BPM systems are secure closed systems, accessible only from inside the company’s domain. If I can click on a link from the mobile and bypass your security, I can also hack my way into your system, expose information or bring it down.

That said, mobile technology is progressing, it won’t be too long till they come up with an industry standard and solve security problems. And any BPM mobile solution offering will enjoy the “fruit” of any future feature that the mobile industry comes up with.

Thank You for reading! And Please feel free to comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Understanding the need for BPM

We are living in interesting times. In the blink of an eye old orders are swept away (you remember Lehman Brothers, don’t you?). Companies everywhere are being forced to improve the way they do business in order to survive and to flourish.  Managers are trying to make their organisations fitter and smarter.  All these changes need to be implemented at a rapid pace and with limited budgets. But how?

Well, the first step is to understand your business better.  It’s not enough to know what your business does (let’s call this strategy), it is just as important to know how your business does it (let’s call that tactics). How are new products launched? How do new customers sign on? How is corporate travel approved?

The second is taking this understanding and using it to identify the business’ strengths and weaknesses. The third step is to find the quickest and smartest way to first fix when it’s broken and improve when it’s not optimised. Too often, in implementing a solution (particularly software) companies find that “solution” just becomes another problem – implementation takes longer than planned, costs more than expected and generally doesn’t live up to its hopes. Today, you need to be able to rely on getting the job done right and on time.

If all of this sounds familiar, you’ll immediately understand why our Aquima business process management suite is so critical to companies. It’s because Aquima let’s managers make changes to their business fast. Aquima helps managers make the bold changes necessary to turn the current challenges to their benefit – by making their businesses stronger, fitter and smarter, as Albert Einstein said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." So rise to the challenge and embrace the need for change.

Carkean solutions employ a very pragmatic approach. We simplify the project complexity associated with BPM implementations by focusing on four key principles:

  • 1. Identify a Business Problem: one that will deliver a big benefit to the business.
  • 2. Prove the Value: creating a business case to demonstrate a measurable ROI.
  • 3. Implement Fast: A focused business requirement, an iterative design and build approach combined with the feature rich capabilities of the Aquima Platform makes it possible to deploy solutions quickly.
  • 4. Extend Further: Having implemented the first process successfully and in a short time, it easy to measure the business value of Aquima.
The foundations are not there for further incremental releases of the same process and/or the introduction of new business processes. Adopting this approach ensures business managers and stakeholders can identify, prioritize and deliver automated business processes that deliver measurable business value on an ongoing basis while mitigating risks and delays.

We Do It Differently
Unfortunately, many organisations experience frustration and even failure when trying to implement software solutions. Problems often start with missed deadlines, perhaps because the implementation team did not fully understand all of the activities and steps required. Delays lead to cost overruns, and soon the organisation is forced to take shortcuts and scale back its solution to avoid further expenses. Moreover, once the original deadline is missed, organisations often must adapt the implementation to new business developments and strategies, thus spurring an endless cycle of change and delay.
Using the Aquima Platform, organisations can achieve savings and efficiencies that streamline and automate business activities.

Thank you for reading! And please feel free to comment! 

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation