Tags: acm, adaptive case management, bpm, collaboration, ecm, Enterprise Content Management, enterprise information management, strategy
Being formerly into enterprise sales and currently into professional services and having served on both vendor and client side in the Middle East (more specifically the GCC countries), I have witnessed a clear pattern that validates my analysis that OpenText’s purchase of Global360 means nothing out here.
A typical procurement sequence is as below:
- Release RFP for Software to the BIG vendors.
- Vendors present their organizational muscle and software features
- The techies debate over the technology stack for the specific requirement.
- Hard bargaining on prices unless client management is a “friend”.
While the world is debating over the smartness or stupidity of this recent buyout and its impacts on the industry, out here, it’s not even in the local media!
A recent meeting with a senior IT Management representative of a large corporate disclosed that they chose OpenText over EMC because they felt EMC was more storage-focused than content-focused. I think he hit the nail on the head on that. He also felt IBM was too “we-will-deliver-everything-under-the-sun” oriented. Another fact that is difficult to refute.
OpenText are purely content driven for sure, however, no one here puts a thought into it if the content thinkers of say, IBM, may be better with their strategies than those of OpenText. All this is in addition to the quality of vendor representation in this region.
While features and cost are extremely important when choosing your solution, it is important to also look at the future of the solution in your organization. That does not come from version controls, access control lists and audit trails. They do not come from OCRs and ICRs either. These come from gaining a good understanding of your line of business, internal organizational culture, operational practices and the vision and objectives you have for the future.
One may definitely purchase a Documentum or a LiveLink for a government entity, an automotive dealer or a healthcare provider, but their business strategies, operational practices and their culture would be completely different. Have you ever experienced the same behavior and environment when dealing with a government clerk, a car mechanic and a nurse? Highly unlikely and this is enough to understand that your content behaves like your organization behaves and never like the software system you’ve purchased. Hence, defining your ECM-BPM strategy requires you to understand your enterprise and its philosophy.
Choosing your partner, though, is a different exercise and apart from the traditional software evaluation exercises, it is recommended to evaluate the strategies of the principal vendor and the CSI partner. As an organization, if the vendor’s strategies are focused more on Collaboration and less on Records Management and your strategies are focused vice versa, I don’t think it would be a match made in heaven. Now, let us assume that both the vendor and you have strategies focused on Records Management but your CSI partner have invested their strategies more on Collaboration because they have more customers in Collaboration, you would again find yourself engaged is a rather disappointing threesome.
In essence, any content management procurement must be driven by 5 key factors
- Organizational Culture
- Business Strategy
- IT Strategy
- Vendor Strategy
- CSI Strategy
Only a synergy of the above 5 will lead you to a best fit solution.
The Middle East misses this and until then, who cares if OpenText buys Global360!!!
Bigger Shirt or Better Diet? March 15, 2011Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management.
Tags: automation, bpm, business process automation, Business Process Management, change, change management, culture, strategy
Four years ago, not long after our wedding, my wife bought me this new shirt. I wore it once, received compliments and never wore it again. A few post-wedding parties and dinners meant I could never get into this colorful slim-fit shirt. Today it languishes in my wardrobe waiting the day I can get rid of my paunch and wear it again.
Through the health conscious cooking of my wife, I have prevented myself from bloating beyond recognition. What is missing is a good exercise regime to get me back into that shirt. Not just for the love of my wife and her cooking, that shirt remains hanging there as a reminder of better physical days. I do aspire to reach there someday.
Over this period, I have continued to purchase new shirts demanded either by wear and tear, fashion or occasion. These shirts have always matched the size I am at the point of purchase (obviously bigger). Every time I purchase a new shirt I remind myself that I need to lose those inches, but still end up buying a new one to maintain myself with a presentable wardrobe.
It’s always a battle between a “bigger shirt” or a “better diet”.
So, how does my wardrobe-waistline story have anything to do with BPM? Well, I believe every organization faces such a conundrum when it comes to its BPM program
This is the stage when every business is at its peak. All resources are optimum and profit margins look heading northwards.
An organic growth occurs and before it realizes, the resources have increased and the northward profit margins have now changed directions.
New (bigger) Shirts
Demands of the business environment and ambition mandates further investment and expenses to ensure expansion and growth. Adaptive? Innovative? Perhaps both.
The Slimming Effort
This is where the BPMS makes its entrance. In an effort to get back to shape, the business begins to start automating its activities, streamlining them where pragmatic and not necessarily optimum. Much like my diet control.
Back to Slim-fit
This is where the BPM struggle lies. My struggle with exercising is similar to a business deploying BPM as a discipline. Just as I need to find that commitment and effort to get on that treadmill and sweat it out, businesses need to find itself committed and make that effort. It’s not easy, but, it’s not impossible either.
I shall continue to enjoy my wife’s awesome cooking in acceptable quantities but , first, let me try to convince myself to jog away the dust that collects on my treadmill and the fat that accumulates around my waist.
Everything’s in the Name! February 5, 2011Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management, Others.
Tags: bpm, business analysis, business architecture, business process automation, Business Process Management, change, change management, culture, enterprise architecture, information management, knowledge management, knowledge transfer, process, strategy
The name game has now creeped into Business Process Management. A former manager of mine kept referring to BPM only to see a demonstration from Metastorm’s Enterprise Architecture software and exclaim that this is the BPM tool I was looking for.
Initially, as a BPM evangelist, I was peeved, peeved enough to withdraw myself from the program and request to be assigned to conventional IT project management. The industry had suddenly fallen in love with BPM and it was the buzzword everywhere.
As a committed BPM-er, I continued to pursue personally my passion for BPM. From Aris to Adonis to Tibco to Interfacing to Metastorm to IBM Blueworkslive, my shallow time-permitting evaluations confused me at times too.
Aris calls it a Process Platform or Aris House.
Adonis calls it Business Process Management.
Tibco calls it the same.
Metastorm has both Enterprise Architecture and BPM
Interfacing calls it Process Center.
Today as I tried out the BPMN Modeller Visio add-on from Interfacing, I realised one thing. Whatever name you call them, they all aim to achieve the same objective. However, because of the difference in scope, standards and methodologies that may be adopted by different tools, it is important that when you ask for a solution, you ‘name’ it right.
Platform, Architecture, Management or Center? They can all mean the same, yet behave different. They can all produce the same result, yet look different. They are all good tools and will serve very well. However, would they fit your organization easily?
I have chosen the Visio add-on to introduce to my employers. Not because I really liked it, but because every one has a Visio on their desktop and over 5 years, there are more people who know to use Visio than just the single me who has used a BPMS before in my organization. Without a BPMS coming into the organization anywhere soon, this tool allows me to introduce the principles of Business Architecture and Business Process Management.
I would call it BPM although I know I am only Architecting/Modelling the processes. Simply because, management and others in my company call it BPM. Any other name and it confuses all. Hence, everything’s in a name.
And yes, I do not blame my manager anymore. He was merely an outcome of the industry fad to outdo each other with different fancy names.