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  7. Adapting to a Changing Regulatory Environment through BPM - Q&A

Adapting to a Changing Regulatory Environment through BPM - Q&A

Questions Posed During the Session

  1. At a high level, can you describe how you manage the evolution of an already deployed process definition?
  2. Did I understand correctly that business users can make changes to existing business processes via a web-based UI?
  3. On the webinar I heard Interstage BPM security model is based off of windows security model? Will this work with Unix flavours?
  4. What sort of framework is provided for building any custom service and connectors?
  5. What sort of support does Interstage BPM offer for application clustering?
  6. How do you guarantee high availability of the Interstage BPM product, what are the failover options?
  7. What tools do you offer for the BPM testing?
  8. Do you provide any out of box BPM Monitoring? What sort of visibility is offered into the Business Process run time?
  9. Do you offer facility to configure the process persistence (level of process information being persisted) for the BPs?
  10. We would like our BPM to also have click through interactive demo capability for user interaction/validation. Does this product or a partner enable that without this product?
  11. Is Interstage BPM compatible with TFS 2010 for functional to technical requirements?
  12. What is a type (in average) of business that uses BPM solution? And what industries and functional areas are most often automated? Thank you.
  13. What software platform does Interstage BPM work on? Like App server etc? Is it built on JEE6? Does it support JEE6?
  14. What kind of an IDE does the product have? Is it an eclipse based IDE?
  15. Is Fujitsu's BPM solution compatible with SharePoint?
  16. How closely integrated are Interstage BPM and Interstage XWand? Also is Interstage BPM XBRL based?
  17. Do you only consider an end to end improvement a BPM effort if it results in automation of the process?
  18. What are the different methods that you use to obtain data to use for BPM?
  19. What criteria does EPCOR use for BPM project selection?
  20. What were the out of the box features that help EPCOR decide on Fujitsu BPM?
  21. How did the BPM solution bridge the problem of bridging the very distinct business processes of the individual distribution companies?
  22. What type of user - i.e., business or technical - authorized the business processes (or was it collaboration between the two) in EPCOR?
  23. What types of extensions did EPCOR need to develop?
  24. How long did the implementation of Interstage BPM take at EPCOR?
  25. Did EPCOR consider any cloud-based solution?
  26. How easy was for IT guys to get along with a new "way" to configure a functionality that normally runs on an ERP?

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Responses to Questions

1. At a high level, can you describe how you manage the evolution of an already deployed process definition?

Interstage BPM was designed from the beginning with flexibility and support for process change.

Processes will have to change over time and Interstage BPM provides high degree of flexibility on how to manage this evolution. First of all, when a new version of an application is installed, Interstage offers the option to let all the previously running processes continue running on the old process model, while the new processes run on the new model. There's no limit on number of versions of the process that can run simultaneously.

Interstage BPM also allows all, or a select set, of the previously running processes to change and run instead on the new version of the model. This is accomplished through a feature called process migration.

Interstage BPM provides capabilities to allow for editing of any in-flight process instance graphically through a web browser without any need for special software.

2. Did I understand correctly that business users can make changes to existing business processes via a web-based UI?

Yes, business users with the right authorization can modify existing business processes using only a browser. No special software is needed.

3. On the webinar I heard Interstage BPM security model is based off of windows security model? Will this work with Unix flavours?

Interstage BPM supports pluggable directory services through which authentication and authorization takes place. Active Directory and LDAP-compliant directories (including Unix flavors), are supported out of the box. Other directory services can be plugged into the server.

4. What sort of framework is provided for building any custom service and connectors?

Interstage BPM provides standards-based architecture, robust APIs, pre-built business functions, customizable adapters and rich connectivity layer for building any custom services or connectors.

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5. What sort of support does Interstage BPM offer for application clustering?

Interstage BPM supports clustered deployment, and provides load balancing and fail-over for high availability deployment and operation.

6. How do you guarantee high availability of the Interstage BPM product, what are the failover options?

Interstage BPM can be run on a set of servers configured through the use of an application server into a cluster. The application server provides load balancing capabilities so that each client instance gets connected to a different server based on which server has the lightest load, or based on load balancing algorithms configured in the application server. If a server fails for any reason, running process instances are re-routed to other running servers transparently, without any loss of data.

7. What tools do you offer for the BPM testing?

Interstage BPM provides advanced process simulation capabilities to simulate the process within the dev environment and immediately deploy it to trace and test process execution.

8. Do you provide any out of box BPM Monitoring? What sort of visibility is offered into the Business Process run time?

Interstage BPM has an Analytics component which provides extensive process performance monitoring capabilities; audit trails, real-time business activity monitoring, and advanced process analytics to help discover weak spots and dynamically respond with changes.

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9. Do you offer facility to configure the process persistence (level of process information being persisted) for the BPs?

Business processes, metadata and artifacts are persisted in the central Interstage BPM process registry/repository. High degree of flexibility is provided for configuring persistence for the processes and their attributes.

10. We would like our BPM to also have click through interactive demo capability for user interaction/validation. Does this product or a partner enable that without this product?

Interstage BPM offers comprehensive simulation capabilities to let user demo process functionality and carry out “what-if” analysis on hypothetical and historical process values.

11. Is Interstage BPM compatible with TFS 2010 for functional to technical requirements?

Interstage BPM provides a number of service adapters to interface with critical resources required for business process deployment, including ALM systems such as TFS 2010.

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12. What is a type (in average) of business that uses BPM solution? And what industries and functional areas are most often automated? Thank you.

Business processes is a core asset of any organization. Using BPM solution helps improve core capabilities of any organization, and we see BPM solutions being used by companies and government agencies across a wide spectrum of sizes and industries. Interstage BPM customer base spans organizations from SMB's to G2000 and covers a diverse set of industries, including Financial Services, Insurance, Manufacturing, Telecom, Retail, and Energy/Utilities as well and Public Sector.

13. What software platform does Interstage BPM work on? Like App server etc? Is it built on JEE6? Does it support JEE6?

Interstage BPM is J2EE compliant engine that runs on popular application servers and is certified on IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic, JBoss, and Fujitsu Interstage. J2EE 6 is supported.

14. What kind of an IDE does the product have? Is it an eclipse based IDE?

Interstage provides an intuitive and easy-to–use IDE (Interstage BPM Studio) designed to accommodate both business and technical users and support entire process lifecycle, from discovery to execution and optimization. Interstage BPM Studio is available as a stand-alone Eclipse application, as well as an Eclipse-plugin, fully leveraging the Eclipse framework capabilities.

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15. Is Fujitsu's BPM solution compatible with SharePoint?

Interstage BPM provides a number of service adapters to interface with external resources, including collaboration and document management systems such as MS SharePoint.

16. How closely integrated are Interstage BPM and Interstage XWand? Also is Interstage BPM XBRL based?

Interstage provides decision-making solution that combines the comprehensive XBRL capabilities of XWand with agile and feature-rich Interstage BPM functionality. The complete solution allows users to automate the process of creating, receiving, processing, storing, managing and analyzing XBRL-based documents.

17. Do you only consider an end to end improvement a BPM effort if it results in automation of the process?

The purpose of BPM is to make people and processes more efficient and productive. Automating the process is an important objective but not the end goal. Interstage BPM solution can help transform your business to new levels of agility, efficiency, and performance.

18. What are the different methods that you use to obtain data to use for BPM?

Interstage BPM provides a number of service adapters to interface with external resources required for business process deployment. Adapters for commonly used resources are supplied with the product, including databases, directories, document management, and collaboration systems.

19. What criteria does EPCOR use for BPM project selection?

After consulting Gartner BPM MQ and eliminating products that weren't capable of supporting planned hardware and OS, the remaining vendors were rated using point system with 14 different criteria, including:

  • Support for standards
  • Risks and opportunities of adopting alternatives
  • Support for human-centric processes, rather than just system-system
  • Ease of operation and administration
  • Scalability to support new flows and increase in capacity
  • Flexibility to evolve with changes in the business models

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20. What were the out of the box features that help EPCOR decide on Fujitsu BPM?

Some of the core out-of-the box features that made Interstage BPM the best fit for EPCOR are:

  • Support for human centric processes, not just system-to-system
  • Ease of operation and administration
  • Scalability to support new flows and significant increase in capacity
  • Flexibility to evolve with changes in the business models
  • Strong support for standards

21. How did the BPM solution bridge the problem of bridging the very distinct business processes of the individual distribution companies?

Interstage BPM helped EPCOR to comply with standard business processes mandated by the Utilities Commission along with other individual distribution companies.

22. What type of user - i.e., business or technical - authorized the business processes (or was it collaboration between the two) in EPCOR?

This effort was a collaboration amongst business and technical users from multiple levels of the organization, including end-users, business analysts, system analysts, business managers, and executives.

23. What types of extensions did EPCOR need to develop?

Extensions to integrate BPM with EPCOR applications and databases were developed. Interstage BPM provides extensive set of well documented APIs that made it easy to develop the extensions.

24. How long did the implementation of Interstage BPM take at EPCOR?

The implementation of Interstage BPM took place over a period of a few months.

25. Did EPCOR consider any cloud-based solution?

At the time the project was initiated, Cloud approach wasn't as popular.

26. How easy was for IT guys to get along with a new "way" to configure a functionality that normally runs on an ERP?

Interstage BPM learning curve for IT analysts was easy, as Java and oracle database skills are easier to find than some proprietary language. Learning to extend Interstage BPM is easy if you have these skills.

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