Unisys to launch business process consulting service

Unisys Corp. said it plans to enter the nascent business process modeling market next month with a new service offering called Business Blueprints. The services will help developers in a variety of vertical industries develop high-level models of their software using blueprints developed by Unisys.

This kind of service should be useful to developers who are looking for an easier way to knit together applications from a variety of software vendors into a single business process, said Forrester Research Inc. Vice-President Mike Gilpin.

Unisys consultants will “first work with clients to design a blueprint of a particular business process using modeling tools built on industry standards,” the company said in a statement. “Clients are able to then decide which parts of the blueprint need to be custom developed, which parts they can pull from existing assets, and which ones they can tap into from a library of business process components offered by Unisys.”

The company will target a number of vertical markets with the service offering, including life insurance policy generation, claims management, voice messaging, and airlines reservations, according to the statement.

As emerging Web services standards like BPEL4WS (Business Process Execution Language for Web Services) define standard ways of talking about business processes, more and more vendors will begin offering similar products, Gilpin said.

“There is a value to having those standard business processes defined,” said Gilpin. Vendors like IBM Corp. and webMethods Inc. are also beginning to service this market, he said.

Business process definitions would be useful, for example, in eliminating the three-day waiting period that investors experience between selling and collecting on a stock trade, Gilpin said.

“The three days gives time for (financial) systems to do order-matching,” he said. “There is a lengthy process with lots of people manually doing this…One of the ways you can get from three days to one is by automating it and making it flow through this kind of business process system.”

Unisys will release more details of its Business Blueprints service on June 10, the company said.

Separately, Unisys on Monday announced the release of a data mining product called Z3 Customer Analytics. Designed to analyze data from billing, enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management sources, the Z3 uses Unisys’s ES7000 BI servers, SAS Institute Inc. data mining software, as well as marketing and analytical services from SIGMA Marketing Group Inc.

Pricing for the Z3 ranges from “under US$1 million to about US$2 million,” according to a statement from Unisys.

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