A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Ultimus User Conference in Munich, Germany. The conference was quite refreshing and encouraging from many different perspectives, starting with its unique theme: Empowering People, Driving Process. Why do I say it’s a unique theme? Every single BPM conference I have ever attended over the past 15 years has always zeroed in on one thing — how to use workflow or a BPM suite to automate the predictable and structured part of a business process. In other words, most business process management conferences explore how to drive business processes while ignoring anything about empowering the people who participate in business processes.
What a shift in thinking and maturity this get together demonstrated. Empowering people ran the gamut from the need to integrate collaboration, business intelligence and content into business processes, all the way to addressing user acceptance and people management issues that always surface whenever companies embark on changing or continuously improving their business processes.
Another real eye-opener at this event was the significant number of large, medium and small sized companies throughout western, central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa that are getting tangible and measurable benefits from business process management suites. BPM clearly isn't just a US trend or a large enterprise only trend — it’s clearly gone global and also moved into medium size businesses in a big way.