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Pega World 2017 – Flashback [Report]


The Intent of this Report is only for Learning & Sharing purpose. Kindly let me know your thoughts /suggestion and any correction required[if any]. Happy to address and incorporate the changes 🙂

Disclaimer: The views and thoughts presented in this Report are my OWN and not my Employer’s.

Happy Learning!! 🙂

The BPM Brunch!


BPM is no more a Healthy Salad Diet of plain & bland Process & Rules. It has matured and become an amalgamation of all the disruptive technologies and digital trends. In a nutshell, it has become more of a  BRUNCH Meal.

The asks of the customers and market trends are cherry picked an packaged in a BPM Product – making it a self sufficient enterprise solution  [at times] but on a lighter note Bulkier too [day-by-day the size of the BPM Product Installable is getting increased]  🙂

bpm_brunch

BPM Products (these days), keep adding some new feature into their kitty to make life easy for the Business as well as IT stakeholders. With new disruptive technologies getting mushroomed everyday, BPM packaged tools provide some flavor or slice of the new technology/trend. Its no longer an a-la-carte menu kind of offering for enterprise, instead a Packaged Combo Meal serving a set of business audience or business challenges/pain-points.

The features that were the key drivers and engine of BPM a decade earlier [during its inception] are getting enhanced [no doubt about it] but at the same time getting shadowed by the competitive chaos and disruptive tech. trends.

For every customer the four-walls within which they can experiment and play around with technologies / trends are the following : [these become the key focus areas for BPM Product Vendors]

  • Un-parallel Customer Experience inline with the Enterprise Ux[User Experience]
  • Enterprise Architecture – Guidelines/Standards/Compliance
  • Cost-Pace-Quality [CPQ] Factor
  • Business Strategy & Workforce Productivity

ilovebpm

When we are at the verge of bidding farewell to the current year and welcoming the New Year. The curious question that keeps popping / itching at this time of the year

  • “What are the BPM Predictions for the Next Year?” or
  • “What’s cooking for BPM, in the next year?” or
  • “What the Master-Chef BPM Product vendors have to Offer?”
  • “Is the coming Year going to be BPMlicious”

…Stay Tuned for the Next Post on BPM Predictions for 2017!

Please do share your comments, thoughts and suggestions !!

Happy Reading 🙂

Last Year’s Post : What are your Predictions for BPM 2016?

Image Source: Link1 [The intent of using the images was to pictorially share the thoughts and share the learning. Happy to share Credits for the photos and images] Some of the pics have been taken directly from my Breakfast Table 🙂

Pega BPM Acquisitions


Pega BPM Acquisitions
With Changing Times: The BPM Product Stack Offerings have matured, enriched and also increased the size of the Installable Packages by few GBs 🙂

Pega_Acquisitions_v2.jpg
Reference Image Sources:

[Disclaimer: The intent of using these images is just for reference to showcase the acquisition journey. Please do post and send me your inputs in case of any concerns]

Happy Learning!! 🙂

Why #BPM should be Fun ?


While browsing I just came across this statement in one of the articles “Why BPM Should be Fun ?”

My thoughts :

Why BPM should NOT be a Fun Journey/Game.

It’s basically the way we see it. On a lighter note, just because we deal with Business Groups, does not mean it should be a very serious scenario.

BPM is one of those journeys in the Enterprise landscape where we deal with each and every corner of the business, be it :

  • the user experience
  • process design
  • process modeling
  • end-to-end view of the business landscape/usecase
  • development
  • integration
  • testing
  • performance
  • feedback loop (with improvization)

It should be like a game, let’s say we are playing Level 2 of the Angry Birds, and we failed or lost it by few points to make it to the next level. The question is Do we stop there ? – I would be presume the answer as NO!! (We as humans always have the tendency to compete when challenged – the adrenaline rush)

AngryBirds

The same scenario hold good for a BPM implementation too. In the first instance when we design/build a process, work does not stop there, we also need to manage a lot of factors, user experience, process optimization, performance metrics, response time, query normalization and many more. Thus it becomes a iterative and optimized business process with rich user experience similar to the different levels in a Game.

The other anlogy I can think of is, “BPM is like a Lego game“. Thing through, Spend some time, Play around and your New craft/toy is ready.

The same lego blocks can be arranged to create a mobile phone, a piggy bank or a military machinery etc. Same goes with the BPM journey as well.

fun6fun7

The various components of the BPM stack the UI, Process, Integration, Database etc, should never be tightly coupled as a packaged solution (there should always a room to breathe and improvize).

If I am not mistaken BPM is one of those few areas in the Enterprise Business/IT landscapewhere we dont have some rigid steps that this is step 1 and this is step 2. We can always play around and make it better unless we are “BPM TOOL JOCKEYS” bound and limited by the tool boundaries and offerings.

Lastly, I have been playing and having FUN with BPM for the past 8+ years. How about you ? What’s your take ?

Happy Reading!! 🙂

Image Source

How Important is the Cloud to BPM?


There is an interesting discussion going on @ BPM.com (click here for the link).

My thoughts :


Business Process Management does not have any direct dependency on Cloud for its implementation or functioning. It is just yet another approach or way to implement BPM based solutions. It’s not that BPM solutions cannot be developed in the absence of Cloud Solutions.

All the BPM Product Suites are Web-Based, it hardly makes a difference, whether you are launching the Developer Portal/User Portal from an on-premise hosted instance or a cloud based instance. Yes, when it comes to networking or operations team, some minor changes more or less might be there.

It is more of a trade-off between cost vs maintenance vs implementation vs infrastructure

I would like to highlight my thoughts based on a comparative analysis.

2BPMCloud

 On-Premise based implementation :

  • With the On-Premise based implementation, the entire server setup, development of flows, screens and integration with data-store/external systems etc. happens on-premise.
  • A dedicated data-center for maintenance of the servers and a bunch of resources for monitoring are allocated for the same
  • Sometimes it is a feel good factor 🙂 (though you don’t physically take the blocks of data and store it – but yes you can see and touch – this is the data center which has the Golden Source!)
  • Some consider it as an old-school way of implementation (with the current trends like mobile, social, analytics and cloud buzzing in the enterprise market)
  • This is a tested and proven way of implementation (lots of stories and case studies to share)

1BPMCloud

Cloud based implementation :

  • “Cloud” is something everyone is talking about these days and want to embrace it overcoming the reluctance and hiccups most of the companies had when Cloud was introduced in the market
  • People now understand the power of Cloud from an enterprise wide adoption perspective (PaaS is the most sought after approach)
  • With the Private Cloud way of implementation, the fear from a security standpoint is ruled out to some extent
  • The interesting factor for attaching BPM with the cloud implementation is from the various Cost Options like pay-per-use, per per transaction, pay per case, pay per user etc.
  • With cloud based implementation, the server maintenance and other support activities are expected from the Cloud Provider – though it always comes with a tagged price.
  • This is where the enterprise has to do the homework and raise the hand if the business really demands for a Cloud Based implementation

Also, apart from just going by the Cost, Infra and Maintenance, it is crucial to do a thorough analysis as to DOES MY PROJECT REALLY NEED A CLOUD BASED SOLUTION ?

For instance, if I have the Data Store On-Premise and I plan to move all my flows, user screens and business rules to a cloud environment – It sounds OK. But, if we see it from a practical standpoint, every instance/case that gets persisted will be a cloud/on-premise transaction which will add to the latency and response time.

Similarly if my application has all the flows, UI, DB in the cloud environment but it makes multiple calls to On-Premise based legacy systems – Is Cloud a Viable Option for me ?

The other case could be, lets say the implementation if for a ARMY/NAVAL wing of a country. From a security / compliance / regulation standpoint, is it fine if I have my Data in a Cloud Environment ?

These are some of the preliminary assessment and  questions that needs to be answered and agreed upon before BLINDLY moving to an UNKNOWN territory. It should not be judged that My Competitor has adopted BPM on Cloud …Why not Me!!

3BPMCloud

Few questions that needs to be validated are :

  • Does my Application really Need a Cloud platform ?
  • Is my Application an eligible candidate for Cloud ?
  • What portion of my application involves lot of Complex Calculations – which can be the candidate for the Cloud Movement ?
  • In my BPM implementation (Flows, Rules, UI, Database) – which are the ones, I want to have on-premise and the ones on the Cloud ?
  • How much will I save, not just in terms of Dollars($$) but also in terms of Response Time ?
  • Will it encapsulate and solve all my problems ?
  • From an infra implementation and maintenance perspective – am I going the right way ?
  • Does my company Regulation allow me to adopt a Public Cloud or I have to invest on a Private Cloud setup ?
  • …..and many more!!

With the implementation like Mobile, Social, Analytics -> the WoW!! Factor gets created by the End User!! coz..they believe what they see. The same analogy does not completely go with the Cloud (though there are a lot of advantages which the IT Team, Operations and Business can feel it)

For an end user – it is always the USER EXPERIENCE!! – whether the underlying platform is on-premise or cloud – never-mind!!

Please do share your thoughts and comments!!

Nice Read Articles :

Happy Reading 🙂

Image Source

Customer Service via Social Media


A large majority of organizations are planning to use social media for customer service/support. Companies like Freshdesk, Salesforce.com, and HootSuite provide tools to help social enterprises manage tons of customer service queries.

KLM

It was really very interesting to see KLM Airlines leveraging social media (Twitter) as one of the channels for providing Customer Service.

ID-10075635 (1)

Going with the latest trend where people walk with their heads down, eyes glued and fingers moving frequently on their mobile phones/pads – the social media savvy generation, KLM has taken this step to help their customers.

The simple question that arises is “How is it helpful ?”

  • Firstly, you dont have to call the customer care number multiple times, keying in the options 1-2-3 for IVRS and keep holding the phone next to your ears with an angry/expression on your face.
  • With the new update status flashing on the twitter screen image(regarding the wait response time), you can get a response for the army of customer executives lined-up for responding to your feeds
  • Based on using the twitter channel – the customers can be rewarded with some goodies (in one of the instances KLM rewarded the customer with a movie ticket for using the social channel)
  • It improves the social visibility, transparency and dominance based on the customer feedback and experience
  • it also reduces the infra related costs incurred in maintaining IVRS and other systems along with the training for executives (agreed to the fact we cannot totally shutdown the customer service setup via IVRS as all users may not be comfortable with Social Media )

Being a techie ‘am interested in the technicalities as to how it is implemented @KLM ?

  • Does Twitter provide a medium for every company to integrate their customer support systems ? The answer is “NOT YET”
  • Basically, what KLM has done is, it keeps refreshing the twitter cover photo/image every 5 minutes. The data for the wait response time is picked up from the datastore and displayed as a new image. In simple words, KLM has automated and is updating profile cover photo every 5 minutes.

Are there any other way where we can leverage social media to trigger a Business Process or vice-versa. Yes, many other organizations have taken similar steps in this regard. You can refer to some of these scenarios :

SocialBPM was talked about topic on the internet few months back, and good to see companies and organizations making an effort to unleash the benefits of using Social Media in serving their customers

Reference Link – venturebeat.com

Image Source – Thanks

Happy Learning!! & Happy tweeting!! 🙂

PDC-2013 – Day-2 Summary (Data Mgmt/Int Track)


ImageThe Day-2 of the PDC-2013 was full of breakout sessions and were split into 4 different tracks:

  • Optimizing System Operations
  • Data Management / Integration
  • Business Visionary
  • User Experience

The attendees were allowed to choose any one track and stick to it for the entire day. There were restrictions in swapping or attending sessions from multiple tracks. From a personal front, I did not like this idea as it was more forced to attend all the sessions pertaining to one track. Attendees should have been given session selection, along with the tracks.

The deep-dive sessions were taken by a group of enthusiast developers and specialists from the data management and integration group of Pegasystems. The speakers were the people who coded the features we see in Pega7. I opted for the “Data Management / Integration”

As a part of these sessions, I felt like a school and college going student taking running notes, through-out the session.

Will be sharing the notes that I took as a part of these sessions :

Notes from the Data Management / Integration Track :

What are the challenges we face with respect to data management :

  • huge scale
  • reusability
  • procedural load
  • tight coupling

The Data Management initiative for the Pega7 development had the following Vision items :

  • Reusability
  • On-Demand Access
  • Usage and source decoupled
  • Caching & Performance
  • Improved Tooling

Changes and new features from a Reusability front :

  • parametarized data pages
  • multiple data sources

Changes and new features from a On-demand access front :

  • autopopulate property
  • direct data-page access

Changes and new features from a usage and source decoupling  front :

  • data source virtualization
  • data source simulation

Changes and new features from a caching and performance front :

  • asynchronous loading of data pages (on-demand or procedural)
  • enhanced caching mechanism
  • new addition of data page alerts
  • refresh strategies (time-based, conditional or reload)

(Pega shared that Pega 7 is 5000% faster response than previous versions. And on a personal front am very curious and eager to know, what gave a nitro booster performance to the product)

Changes and new features from an improved tooling front :

  • wizards for making life easy with the click of buttons and configurations
  • tools to identify and notify threshold limits
  • tools for pruning based on least recent usage items
  • integration tools

One of the concepts which I liked was:

Data Source Virtualization : 

For this features any new data source can be added, for eg: data exposed by BestBuy, Google or my custom database.

  • Once the new data source is added, a data transform can be placed to absorb or use a bunch of properties/parameters exposed by the services (eg:BestBuy/Google)
  • Based on the transformation, necessary application properties can be mapped (based on naming conventions)
  • This actually makes the Application independent of the Data Source – having a loose coupling
  • It provides a flexibility to add a Data Source of any class at any point in time – which was not the case earlier
  • The Data Pages can be defined as D_Location, D_Weather, D_ProductList or D_Offers

PN: Collected the notes for the Executive Panel from a fellow attendee

The last session was the Pega Executive Panel,a Q&A session. Key highlights:

  • No lightweight version planned, as it sees a lot of opportunities in marketplace to resolve complex business challenges
  • Pega wants to move to a partner led delivery model, with Pega in a advisory role and focusing more on license

Please do share your thoughts and inputs on the session – if you attended and i missed out to mention it in my blog 🙂

Learning Avenues :

If you are looking for Pega7 Personal Edition and eagerly waiting for it like me 🙂  – have a hawk eye on this link

Happy Reading!! 🙂

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