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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Can BPM Keep You From Getting Fired?

Okay, I have to admit it:  “My name is Clay and I am a political junkie.” They say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. I am also a policy geek and I love watching C-SPAN.By now, I’m sure you’re wondering “What the heck does this have to do with I&KM pros?”

I believe last Wednesday’s House Hearing on Madoff and the SEC should be required viewing for all I&KM Pros – particularly for those of you that want to understand how BPM can keep you from getting fired.

If you caught the hearing in its entirety on C-SPAN (I had a front-row seat on my couch, thanks to being taken down by a nasty flu-like virus last Wednesday – this will become relevant a little later), you saw the whistleblower, Harry Markopoulos, rip into the SEC, FINRA, and other industry regulators. Mr. Markopoulos raised numerous red flags to the SEC about Madoff’s Ponzi scheme over an eight year period.

Pulling no punches, Mr. Markopolos called the SEC "incompetent" and FINRA "crooks" to their faces – senior representatives from both organizations were in the audience listening to the hearing and waiting for their opportunity to respond.  Following Mr. Markopoulos’s testimony, I thought "Hey, its time to get some popcorn, the fight’s on!" Then I recalled why I was home in the first place – sick, right? 

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