Tools for Business Process Management

A look at some of the leading BPM vendors and their offerings

The business process management (BPM) vendors below were identified as leaders in Gartner's "Magic Quadrant," signifying a combination of vision and execution.

Pegasystems | The SmartBPM Suite is a highly integrated product with many features to support agility, accelerate the modeling of process workflow and deploy applications across a variety of thin-client and rich-client user interfaces.

Savvion | BusinessManager 7.0 is one of the most mature BPM suites, able to handle high-volume workflows requiring tight coordination of people and systems. Boasts process-modeling and repository tools that are accessible to business users.

Lombardi | Provides an environment for incremental, business-driven process improvement. Lombardi Teamworks 6 earns high marks from both business and IT. BEA Systems | Its AquaLogic BPM Suite lets business users collaborate with IT during all phases of the business process life cycle. However, integration with other BEA middleware products is a work in progress.

Tibco | Business Studio 2.0 is an Eclipse-based, unified design environment that supports business process analysts and developers and is compliant with key standards. Provides a highly graphical process simulation tool. Integration with other Tibco middleware needs work.

Metastorm | As the leading BPM vendor on the Microsoft platform, it has broadened its suite with a string of acquisitions. Built-in rule processing technology is "somewhat simplistic," although the suite supports external rules engines like Fair Isaac's Blaze Advisor or Microsoft's BizTalk Server Business Rules Engine.

Appian | Appian Enterprise provides a thin-client architecture for design time and run time, which also allows the company to offer a software-as-a-service version of the system known as Appian Anywhere. Another strength is a complimentary business intelligence product, Analytics Everywhere, for analysis of process data.

IBM | IBM brings a broad array of technologies, consulting resources and partners to bear on accelerating user adoption of BPM as a management discipline. IBM's BPM strategy encompasses many products from divisions including WebSphere, Lotus, Tivoli, FileNet and Rational, so that customers are presented with a menu of choices rather than a single suite.

Global 360 | Best known for its Process360 BPMS for the Microsoft platform, although it also offers process management components (including some for the Java server market) for those enterprises that don't want to purchase a full suite.

Software AG | Its webMethods BPMS appeals to business users that need to continuously modify and improve business processes via a model-driven approach, while also addressing IT requirements such as process life-cycle governance.

Others | Gartner ranked Oracle and Adobe as challengers with a less complete vision of BPM, and identified SunGard as a visionary that needs to improve its ability to execute. Since the report was published, Oracle has completed the acquisition of BEA and broadened its BPM portfolio.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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