It's Getting Crowded In This Cloud

Clay Richardson By Clay Richardson

 

Based on the recent wave of announcements flooding my inbox, BPM vendors are now stampeding to the cloud party.  Over the last two months, I have received no less than 6 cloud-related announcements from various BPM vendors.  So here's the running time line:

Bpm_saas_stampede

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Not Your Daddy's IBM

"Big Blue."  That's the image of IBM I grew up with - bloated, rigid, complicated.  Come on, you've heard the joke, "How many IBM engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb?  More than you can afford!"  And I've seen this first hand in the past with IBM Websphere Process Server (WPS). 

In 2006, I supported a major enterprise BPM evaluation for a large federal agency.  Several vendors were brought in, including Big Blue, to demo BPM functionality.  I have to admit, the functionality and depth presented by IBM the federal customer - they literally shook their heads with disappointment.  At that time, IBM was force fitting the WPS product to be a human-centric BPM platform.  I described it as a "headless horseman" - nice integration functionality under the covers, but missing the required interface for users to interact with their tasks and workflow.  The end result of the evaluation:  IBM lived up to its Big Blue image and the agency decided that Big Blue was not the right platform for their fledgling BPM initiative (which would go on to become a multi-million dollar, multi-year BPM program).

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