Wednesday, April 19, 2017

bpmNEXT 2017 (part 2)

This afternoon the demos are starting, where the conference is again using the Ignite format: every presenter first has a 5-minute presentation (15s per slide) followed by 20min of live demo.  This format is used to force presenters to focus on the demo itself.

Creating a Digital Workforce with Robotic Process Automation
Anthony Yung - Kofax

Kofax is showing their Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution.  As a use case he showed a "Customer due diligence process" (also called Know Your Customer) where a custom application is used to collect the necessary information about a customer and then a "robot" is used to analyze some of that information, for example do a google search on this customer and analyze the results.
He showed the Kofax designer where the google search was defined as a number of manual steps (open the google page, put in the query, perform the query, collect the results from the results page, etc.), without requiring any scripting.  This "robot" was then exposed as service (available through REST) so it can be reused.  These robots can then be called from your business processes as well.

BPM with Blockchain
Michuel Valdes-Faura and Lionel Palachin - Bonitasoft

Bonitasoft integrated their BPM platform with Blockchain, to achieve mostly the following advantages: allow multiple partners to trust the common process, customer engagement and end-to-end traceability. The use case they showed was a car order management process, where a car is being sold to a customer (including payment and notification).  The car is modeled as a Blockchain asset, and they implemented several connectors to interact with blockchain from the process, to for example create a transaction, etc.
They made a case for integration of BPM and blockchain in both ways: have your processes interact with blockchain but also having companies building on top of blockchain to use BPM to offer custom applications for their use case.

Real-time Process Deviance Monitoring
Michal Rosik, minit

Minit is using process mining techniques for deviance monitoring (i.e. searching for abnormal behavior at runtime). Their tools allows you to look at collected data (where it's not a requirement that the use case is already modeled as a process) from different perspectives, like frequency (how many time is some activity executed), time (which activity is causing delay), financial (what's the cost associated with each activity), etc.  The mined process diagram is annotated graphically with the relevant information.  By defining which variants are acceptable, at runtime they can monitor for any deviations using dashboards that show runtime information and allow you to drill down in case deviations are detected.  It is also applicable in the context of IoT, where a much larger number of events is typically expected.

Analytics for leveraging BPM assessment and management action
Jude Chagas Pereira, Frank Kowalkowski, Gil Laware - IYCON

Afterspyre uses analytics to look at data (that is pulled in from different data sources) to help analysts get better insights and make better decisions. For example, it can look at existing BPM data and help make decisions on which projects are most optimal to optimize, etc.  It can also compare two different processes to detect how much similarity they have, or they can be ranked based on different attributes.  Charts present this information at a higher level for managers to consume.  It also supports semantic analysis of text and keywords used in processes.

The recipe for successful digital transformation
Derek Miers - Structure Talent, MWD Advisors

Derek made the case that digital transformation isn't just process + technology & stir.  BPM isn't the silver bullet that will solve everything.  You have to engage your audience to get there.  Business transformation requires you to rethink and change everything you do (up to the entire structure of your company) and it needs to be customer-centric.
He presented a framework for business transformation that starts from understanding your customer's experience.  He mentioned BPM sometimes seems to be focusing much more on improving the existing processes rather than helping people to rethink them and to help co-create their future. Sometimes you need to redesign outside-in.  And BPM vendors should think about how they can help their customers doing that (rather than optimizing the process they don't need).

Now we're off to the roof top for some drinks and dinner !

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