Archive for the 'BPM' Category

BPM & Steak: A Great Combo, Part 1

I had the pleasure of co-presenting with Connie Moore, VP & Research Director at Forrester last week for an invitation only Executive Roundtable on leveraging Microsoft investments in support of business process management (BPM). The food was great and the discussions even better. I wanted to share some interesting ideas and observations from our event. I will start with some of the key points from Connie’s presentation: 

Connie discussed how BPM suites (BPMS) have evolved from two technologies; those that are human centric coming from traditional document centric workflow and integration centric BPMS evolving from enterprise application integration (EAI)  technologies. She sees continued consolidation in the BPMS market and these two technologies along with their respective strengths coming together and converging.

Connie provided another interesting peak into the future of BPM where she envisions BPMS technologies moving toward self correcting processes. This is an exciting possibility where exception handling and realtime feedback on business process performance can be brought together automatically to make corrections or adjustments to the process on the fly.

Her view of the future based on the continued maturing of technologies that support services oriented architectures (SOA) and the platform software vendors (IBM Microsoft, Oracle) continuing to more tightly integrate BPM and collaborative technologies includes originations enabled to focus on the “whole” process. By using technologies that span the three types of business processes; people, decision, and document intensive processes which in many cases will span across all three can be effectively managed as a continuous process.

In Part 2 of BPM & Steak: A Great Combo, I will share some of my slides and key points I made regarding supporting BPM by leveraging an investment in Microsoft and Partner technologies. And finally, as a bonus in Part 3 of BPM & Steak: A Great Combo, I will share my Top 5 New BPM Features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

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On The Road Again…

In approximately two weeks I am hitting the road for a four day, four city tour, where I and some of our partners will be presenting our seminar entitled “Building SharePoint Business Solutions With Workflow”.

This seminar has been presented several times in the Washington, DC metro area and been well received. My presentation is called “Three Keys to Successfully Building Business Solutions With SharePoint”.

I will be posting my presentation in the next couple of weeks and we will be making an accompanying eBook available.

Here is the itinerary:

Monday, November 6, 2006
Microsoft Corporation Offices
9606 N Mo Pac Expy, Austin, TX 78759
(512) 795-5300
Register Online:

San Antonio
Tuesday, November 7. 2006
Team Momentum Offices
8000 W IH 10, Suite 240, San Antonio, TX 78230
phone: (210) 268.1149
Register Online:

Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Microsoft Corp
2000 W Sam Houston Pkwy S #350, Houston, TX 77042
(832) 252-4300
Register Online:

Baton Rouge
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Team Momentum Offices
450 Laurel St. Ste. #1501, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
phone: (225) 295.4130
Register Online:

I hope to see some of my loyal readers at one of these events.

Oh yeah, you can catch my “Top Ten New Features of MOSS 2007″ which I added at the end of the “Three Keys…” presentation.

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Spreading My Blogging Wings A Bit…

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I will also be Blogging about the intersection of Business Process Management (BPM) and ECM over at BPM There are some great resources about BPM and the roster of contributing Bloggers as well as the BPM Enterprise Staff offer some useful information and perspectives.

The fact that many ECM suites include workflow and in some cases include many of the capabilities of BPM suites makes this intersection and interesting phenomenon to discuss.

So, is the ECM suite an enhanced BPM suite which has broader content management capabilities? Or, are ECM suites just content management platforms which in some cases include workflow which ranges from simple to more BPM-like? Not sure what the answer today is and definitely not sure where everyone is headed but with your participation and discussion I look forward to exploring this interesting set of question.

So, if you find BetterECM useful and informative stop on over at the BPM Enterprise Blogosphere😉

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BPM and ECM Intersecting?

Leonor Ciarlone from the Gilbane Group has a good post on “The ECM and BPM Intersection”. Her comment:

I am positive that this is not a “never the twain shall meet” situation when it comes to content strategies and ECM technologies. Process and content are siblings; it is only a matter of time before many of the isolated technologies that support both will merge in a more tangible manner than simple workflow.

Made me think…The mature ECM suites all have document centric workflow as a core capability. More of the larger ECM vendors are expanding this functionality to include full fledged BPM as defined by the Gartner research report “Business Process Management: Preparing for the Process-Managed Organization” last year.

BPM is a management practice that provides for governance of a process environment toward the goal of improving agility and operational performance. BPM is a structured approach employing methods, policies, metrics, management practices and software tools to manage and continuously optimize an organization’s activities and processes.

I think this intersection is already happening and is being fueled by three things:

  1. The move to open XML file formats like Open Document Format and the alternative from Microsoft, Open XML File Format
  2. Web Services being embraced by not only by customers but being supported by the major ECM vendors
  3. The growing buzz, hype, and popularity around BPM and the fact this BPM market is heating up

The ECM vendors do not want to be left behind and see the “ECM Lite” or core content management services being provided by Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft (oh yeah, and Alfresco for Open Source) being combined with stand alone mature and functionally rich BPM suites to replace the “single belly button” ECM value proposition.

I think the acquisition of ProActivity by EMC can be looked at two ways: First, not really an intersection but maybe EMC Software Division recognized that the current “BPM” capability in Documentum was not up to snuff and needed a boost; or could it be that like Oracle (The Oracle Buying Spree), they see the smaller companies out there with specific technical capabilities and niche set of customers an annoyance as well as opportunity and they find it easy to just gobble them up and remove the unnecessary competition and add another capability to the toolbox.

What do you think?

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Dabbling With ECM in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

One of the Blogs I read regularly is Patrick Tisseghem's Blog [MVP SharePoint]. Patrick always has informative posts about how to leverage Office & SharePoint for building business solutions. I really like the fact that although he is making a living as a Microsoft Partner he freely shares his knowledge and insight with others.

He beat me to the punch and broke the following:

"Another thing, Microsoft released the Enterprise Content Management Starter Kit. This is an excellent set of ECM feature extension code samples, supplemental developer white papers, and Microsoft® Visual Studio® project templates for workflow in Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 (Beta 2 version)."

But hey, he is currently in Singapore conducting some training for Microsoft and has a 12 hour head start!

Anyway, the ECM Starter Kit provides some useful tools for exploring the ECM capabilities of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

The Enterprise Content Management Starter Kit (Beta 2) is a preliminary release for solution providers, independent software vendors, value-added resellers, and other developers to learn about how to extend the new ECM features and platform in Office SharePoint Server 2007. It contains the following:

White Papers

  • 2007 Office System Digital Signatures Developers Guide
  • 2007 Office System Encryption Developers Guide
  • Information Rights Management – Pluggable Rights Management, Technical Overview

Code Sample Projects
Content Processing

  • Term Replacement Document Inspector Module
  • Document Converters (server-side custom property remover, docm-to-docx converter)

Records Management and Policy

  • De-Duplication Router
  • Document Integrity Verifier
  • Records Repository Web Service Console Application
  • Search, Collect, and Hold Tool


  • Custom ECM Activities
  • Hello World Sequential Workflow
  • State Based Approval Workflow
  • Modification Workflow
  • Replication and Contact Selector Workflow
  • Collect Feedback Workflow
  • Multi-Stage Workflow
  • Server-side Collect Signatures Workflow

Visual Studio Project Templates for SharePoint Workflow

  • SharePoint Sequential Workflow Library
  • SharePoint State Machine Workflow Library

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This Blog focuses on how to effectively use enterprise content management (ECM) technologies to solve business problems. I also try to debunk some of the myths floating around the ECM market.

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Russ Stalters is Director, Information & Data Management at a global oil and gas company. Everything in this Blog is his personal opinion and does not represent the views of his employer. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License

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