On the subject of Papyrus ACM versus BPM, there are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions and some intentional misinformation. When businesses ask about ACM, everyone wants to be ACM, but when I try to define what it actually is, no one wants to truly participate to not be suddenly left out in the feature checklist. A similar thing happens when we try to distinguish what ACM is in difference to other TLA’s and most commonly to BPM. No one wants to alienate the BPM crowd, analysts, consultants and IT architects alike. Everyone chickens out, and is to afraid to have an opinion. We are all buddies, it is all good and we sell it all because obviously customers need it all. ‘We convince others with our passion and ideas.’ Wishy-washy nonsense. You are not standing up for anything. I admire Adam Dean, because he had the guts to say: ‘This is what I think about ACM compared to BPM.’ Great! Stand up and fight! Let’s have a discussion, but let’s not get personal. People attack other people directly as a matter of last resort. They have no other arguments left. Just like in a political campaign. And there is a lot of politics in the ACM versus BPM debate as well.
Yes, I am passionate about my ideas too and my idea is that BPMS-flowcharting (note the ‘S’ for suite or software) is a flawed concept applied to anything more but the most simple, banal process needs. Why should I not say that? I would have to say: ‘While flowcharts are good we developed something else anyway.’ Absolutely not. Why not compare? Where would Apple be today without the hilarious adverts of two guys posing as Macs and Windows PCs? Where would Oracle be without its blunt, full-page adds with checklist comparisons to its competitors? Get a grip on life people, its competitive! All experts who blog are selling themselves too as experts in their fields. For scientists too its either publish or perish! Others post on LinkedIn to find a better job. Let’s stop this pretense and simply be openly and honestly competitive.
It is no secret that I am the Chief Architect and co-owner of a successful, established enterprise software business. There is full disclosure. I don’t sell what I have, but I develop what I propose to be the best solution for my prospective enterprise customers. Like Apple, I don’t develop according to market research. Customers always just ask for more features in a product, but they won’t ask for a new solution they can’t imagine. Nevertheless we are extremely customer-oriented, because there are no hard-coded applications that we deliver. All our out-of-the-box capability is modelled and can be configured and changed without programming!
We are in many ways like Apple, just that we aren’t in a mass market. Apple owns the complete stack of functionality and can control it. The ISIS Papyrus Platform owns the complete stack and can control it too. But then you are not OPEN and STANDARD I am told, but neither is Apple! You can buy BMWs and Superyachts as accessories to the proprietary iPod/iPhone plug! Openness must not be about providing open technology interfaces, but about opening solution functionality to the business users. We use SOA or anything else that will provide data. We can read or create any XML file, but so what? Standards must not be about some XML files that users could not care less about, but giving a standard user interaction to all business users for a consolidated customer experience in the organization. Give them the ability to create processes on the fly without going through a technical and management bureaucracy.
But we aren’t even talking about product features. The subject is a very principal question. Do you want to put your people and business into a flow-charted straightjacket or not? Yes, go for BPMS flowcharts. No? You need something that empowers the business user for goals and outcomes, but not just in theoretical Balanced Scorecards and Powerpoints and then monitor some disconnected KPIs. Real-world, real-time, real product! Maybe some BPMS can do that too? Great, show me!
As an example, here is a segment of a ‘Purchase to Pay’ end-to-end process created in just a few hours by a non-technical person using the ACM capabilites and goal-oriented processes. (To watch the video in high-resolution, don’t forget to press HD in the right upper corner and then switch to full-screen in the right lower corner.)
Let me close by saying that Papyrus ACM is certainly not anti-BPM, because my solution proposal clearly focuses on PROCESS OUTCOMES. We also have a BPMN compliant flowchart editor, but I am also clearly saying that one cannot guarantee outcomes in customer interaction with rigid processes. You can certainly put a lot of BPM governance bureaucracy in place to manage the analysis and design BEFORE execution and the monitoring and optimization AFTER execution, but what it really needs is that both are moved INTO execution. And that is the key difference between ACM and BPM, while ACM also follows the BPM principles. What I am personally opposed to is to try and map how your business works into low-level, step-by-step flowcharts. But if that’s what you really want to do, you can do that with our Papyrus platform too and you have all the master data, content, event and rule handling included for free. You don’t like that? Well, enjoy your integration projects!
The final point to make is that we are just talking about silly acronyms. I wish we would not need to, but it is the market fragmentation by analysts that causes it. There is also the wish of some businesses to be given simplistic choices so they don’t have to understand what they are buying. I suggest to focus on real-world business needs and not the assumed scope of an acronym. There are thousands of BPM methodology messiahs who have a serious problem with how BPMS technology is used. I am no different. I just propose a technology solution to the problems and that’s where the conflict with other vendors comes in. So its really just a storm in a waterglass.