Category Archives: Business Process Management

“BPM is only a milestone in the journey of process excellence”

With Ovum’s 6th Annual Business Process Management Forum taking place in November 2014, we gathered the thoughts of Deepa Tambe, Business Process Management and Improvement Manager at Lloyd’s Register, on her experience, her hopes from the event and her thoughts on enterprise BPM.

Firstly, something that we are always interested to find out is whether BPM experts have a mantra that they would recommend BPM practitioners to recite when undertaking their projects. Deepa has, and it is an excellent one: ‘BPM is only a milestone in the journey of process excellence’.

Our thoughts move on to BPM Forum; Deepa is discussing Organising BPM at the event, believing that an organisation’s culture plays a major role in the success or failure of the BPM project. When thinking about other case studies on the day, she is particularly looking forward to hearing from Alistair Watters from B&Q, on ‘Culture eats Strategy’, as she wants to hear his view on “transformation in the retail market, as it is changing very fast”.

With many years’ experience under her belt (or should that be under her Black Belt?), and with extensive experience of implementing business process management and improvement projects within various sectors including IT, Telecom, Education, Manufacturing and Engineering, we talk about some of the challenges of her job. Straight away, the main one is “encouraging people to use any system”. In an organisation where there is a mixture of experienced (30 years plus) colleagues, and a younger generation who are more intuitive with new technology, it is challenging to keep a right balance to enthuse all people. While younger colleagues easily take in, and almost demand, technology automation and updates, it can be sometimes seen as a complexity for the senior members of staff, who are the pillars of the organisation. So what is the best way to deal with this? “The only way to manage is through communication – at all levels and types”.

Going from the actual to the conceptual, we ask Deepa what one thing she would implement tomorrow if she knew success was guaranteed. Her answer is straightforward (and in fact echoes a recent Future of Work interview with Walsall Council): “Green Power!”. Specifically in terms of the volume of chargers and power leads, which accumulate with each new gadget that is launched. “If only we could have all gadgets on solar or wireless power, it would make life so much simpler”.

Finally, and still looking to the future, we ask what Deepa sees as the coming trends in BPM, and how to prepare for this. She replies that “social media, collaboration and mobility in terms of processes, people and technology are the trends impacting ways of working. The only way to prepare for this is by listening and engaging with people”.

Wise words, for sure. You can view all of the topics to be discussed at BPM Forum on the event agenda, and you can discuss these topics and more with Jacqui, and all our speakers, by registering today (enterprise end-users can claim a complimentary pass).

New BPM Ovum Live

The challenge of BPM: “Do more, better, as efficiently as possible”.

Ahead of Ovum’s 6th Annual Business Process Management Forum, we gathered the thoughts of James G Smith, Head of Process & Systems Improvement, Birkbeck, University of London and Tomasz Jasinkiewicz, Account Director, Bizagi. In an insightful overview, James talks about his view of BPM in the context of the Higher Education sector, and Tomasz gives some excellent best practice advice for enterprises that are embarking on BPM projects. James and Bizagi will be delivering a joint case study at the event, entitled Achieve Operational Excellence through BPM: Accelerate administration processes and improve student services. Enterprises can claim a complimentary pass for the event, and solution providers/consultants can register here. Make sure you’re there to join the biggest hitters in the BPM industry!

Ovum: BPM Mantras – please share with us with your favourite BPM or work adage?

James Smith: There’s no such thing as an IT project!

What is your job function with regard to BPM, and what are you most looking forward to at the event?

James Smith: My role at Birkbeck entails both the day to day management of our Corporate Information Systems, and the developmental improvements to those systems, and crucially the business processes that rely on them.

At BPM Forum, I am most looking forward to hearing from professionals in other industries who are facing the same primary challenge – translating business requirements from process owning departments into executable processes – because the difficulties are usually the same, but the creative solutions are often not – which is exciting as it means we can learn from each other.

Ovum: What do you see as some of the key challenges facing higher education, and how can BPM assist in meeting these?

James Smith: The challenges are almost certainly not unique to HE! Do more, better, as efficiently as possible. This is particularly true for our support services – our students are now consumers paying significant fee for their education. We aim to make their experience with us as slick as possible, minimising the impact of non-value-add processes – both in terms of how our students experience them, and the proportion of what our students pay us that we spend on them. Streamlining our processes is critical to this effort.

Ovum: Business and IT often have completely different understanding and expectations about BPM, where do you feel this difference lies, and how do you align these?

Tomasz Jasinkiewicz: There’s often a miscommunication and distrust between the two communities that impedes alignment of strategy and execution which in turn undermines the true value of BPM.

Business stakeholders come with a lot of potentially conflicting requests from BPM – strictly enforcing procedures to increase productivity; quickly and flexibly adapting those procedures which don’t deliver; measuring and analysing the KPIs with all the data in the world – but all immediately and on a single plate. A lot of “what-ifs”, “maybes” and moving targets.

On the other hand, IT quite often sees BPM as yet another integration layer. And they want everything written in stone.

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OIC speaker interview 7: Martin Stepanek, Consultant, Financial Services Industry, Generali

Our latest Ovum Industry Congress speaker interview is with Martin Stepanek, Consultant, Financial Services Industry at Generali. Martin will be participating in a Financial Sector Breakfast Briefing, and a Business Process Management Workshop at the event, both in collaboration with Business IT Strategy Sponsor, Bizagi.

Martin StepanekMartin Stepanek: At OIC, I am very much looking forward to hearing more about ideas and opinions on transforming workplace productivity and improving customer experience. I have spent the majority of my professional life addressing such issues that I believe helps IT to deliver to Business people cost-effective and “industrial-like” values rather than just being a “manufactory”.

Ovum: From a learning experience viewpoint, what has been your most valuable lesson in your working career, or your most successful failure?

MS: I have had the luck to participate on several large scale projects/implementations, covering tens of millions of business transactions (e.g. online stock exchange, insurance policy administration systems, nationwide privatisation, etc.). The most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is the better understanding of how Business and IT domains relate. This Business/IT relationship comes from the “Business Entity” concept (i.e. in insurance industry: client, insurance policy, claim, coverage, benefit, location, account, etc.). I think that by looking at business entities first, it is possible to address properly both business issues (i.e. processes, people, value, etc.) as well as IT issues (i.e. applications, integrations, infrastructure, etc.).

Ovum: What are some of the challenges of your job?  

MS: The major challenge of my job is the gap between Business and IT. I have seen many scenarios like this:

IT: “Business people do not provide us the right specifications!”

Business: “IT does not deliver what we need!”

In my opinion, the source of this conflict is that analysts and methodologies (Business and IT) are often not able to fully identify and address the complexity issue. By “complexity issue” I mean multidimensional relationships between various components of the business enterprise (e.g. business entities, capabilities, value streams, people, technology, strategy, etc.). I am afraid that traditional methodologies like “Waterfall” are rather “sweeping the complexity issue under the rug” than really addressing it. I think that real value for business can be delivered by understanding complexity issues and addressing them in IT solutions. I can see the emerging areas of Business Architecture and Business Process Management together with the “Agile” approach heading in the right direction.

Meet Martin at Ovum Industry Congress, 13-14 May 2014 at the Victoria Park Plaza, London, to discuss these issues and many more. Enterprise IT professionals can claim a complimentary pass, here.

How has the PPI scandal re-shaped business processes?

The PPI mis-selling scandal has rocked the banking industry in recent years, with an estimated £1.1bn having been paid out in compensation so far, and billions more set aside for future claims. This has a massive effect on the business process of banks and financial institutions, but also has a wider effect on all B2C organisations; an increasingly litigious population, able to feed back immediately to the world via social media (see the Twitter user who recently bought a Promoted Tweet to complain about British Airways), can hold enterprises to account publically. Therefore all companies need to make sure that their business processes are watertight: attending Business Process Management Forum will help you achieve this.

The day commences with a plenary session, featuring keynote presentations from experts including Oracle, Gary Barnett, Ovum’s resident BPM expert, and end users including BP. Session titles include:

  • BPM – the saviour of the CIO?
  • Does your process drive your people, or do the people drive your process?
  • BPM: demonstrating business value
  • BPM and the customer experience

The day then splits into two tracks: BPM Art, dealing with the business practices and excellence required to roll-out business improvement in your enterprise, and BPM Engineering, looking at the technical know-how required to foment better business process.

The day concludes with panel sessions covering The Place of BPM in enterprise architecture, and Trends to Watch for BPM in 2014.

Take a look at the full agenda at a glance here.

With support from Oracle, Appian, Estafet and IBM, and registrations from many delegates in the Financial, Public, Manufacturing, Utilities, Transport and Retail sectors, now is the time to secure your participation at the event next month. End-user enterprises can claim a complimentary pass for the event – claim yours today, and start looking forward to how Ovum and its partners can inform your business processes.

Get the latest Business Process Management insight from Oracle and Ovum

Oracle, Platinum Sponsors at Ovum’s 5th Annual Business Process Management Forum, have shared some insight with us, and by extension, you, on the topic. This is right up-to-the-minute, insightful stuff, so download the whitepapers and register for the webinars today. There is more information here, and below.

The Business Process Management Forum is a must-attend event for professionals engaged in BPM, for the following reasons:

  • Learn all about how BPM helps organizations become more agile and effective by enabling them to better understand, manage and adapt their business processes
  • BPM is Ovum’s longest standing event and is now in its 5th Year
  • With 25+ speakers in one 2 streamed information-packed day, be inspired by the thought leaders in BPM including GKN, Barclays Bank, Centrica, Co-Operative Bank, TNT, Balfour Beatty, Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Access in-depth business intelligence from Ovum’s expert analysts. 2 of our most senior and specialised BPM analysts will present and host discussions, and you can also book a session with them in the analyst clinic
    • Maxine Holt, Practice Leader, Software – IT, Ovum
    • Gary Barnett, Principal Analyst Ovum
  • Network amongst peers and industry visionaries. We will help you arrange unlimited pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings either via our speed networking sessions or our networking app, maximizing your chance of doing real business at the event
  • All of the above is free to IT decision-makers
  • Meet leading suppliers and source practical “how to” advice in our exhibition

The Oracle BPM resources are as follows:


Whitepaper: Transforming Customer Experience: The Convergence of Social, Mobile and Business Process Management

Business processes are at the heart of what makes or breaks a business, as well as what differentiates it from the competition. As organisations strive for greater efficiency and effectiveness, they create or adapt technology to fill their needs. BPM, Social, and Mobile technologies are helping to drive a fundamental business transformation.

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Whitepaper: The New Business Imperatives: Social, Mobile and Cloud

In order for organisations to use a mix of private and public cloud services, an effective integration is needed for a secure hybrid cloud environment This white paper will explain how a unified strategy that will enable you to deliver both on-premise and cloud-based services through a single cohesive platform

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Webcast – New Directions with Business-Driven BPM

This webcast highlights the new functionality of Oracle BPM Suite: making processes more consistent, eliminating brittle customisations, enhancing the visibility of business transactions across applications, extending applications to social and mobile capabilities, and improving user experience by streamlining navigations.

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Webcast: Extend Your Applications with Oracle Business Process Management

Watch this webcast and demo to learn how Oracle BPM Suite helps you unlock your applications that are stuck in silos, better manage end-to-end processes that span multiple applications in multiple departments, and work more collaboratively.

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