New Metastorm BPM takes cues from social media

There are a lot of options for business process management (BPM) on the market at present. Baltimore Md. based-Metastorm, a recent acquisition by Waterloo-based OpenText Corp. [TSX: OTC], offers a unique take on why this type of software is crucial and what they’re offering that’s unique.

According to Sandra Moran, senior director of product marketing for Metastorm, what they’ve done is “take what we’re learning about social media’s power to collaborate and improve business process and embedded it into the business process itself.”

This is a key part of the recent updates to Metastorm BPM, Smart Business Workspace (SBW) and the release of Business Performance Intelligence Dashboards (BPID).

Taking cues from social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, OpenText Metastorm has implemented features to help drive efficiency and customization in process management.

This is a trend for BPM that was predicted earlier in the year at the Forrester’s Enterprise Architecture Forum. Gene Leganza explained that “it’s more about hooking people up together, and using customer community platforms [like Facebook and Twitter] and integrating the information from there into business applications.”

Moran says, “in our smart business workspace, we give a company an opportunity to define who their people are and what skills, training, attributes, capabilities they have.”

Using that information, ideally, companies can streamline the way work is routed to specific employees within the company, identify the best candidates for projects based on metrics like workload and skills.

“There’s statistics that 70 per cent of a companies’ cost is related to their personnel. So, if we can increase the effectiveness of that group of people and leverage people in a better way, we can have a significant impact on maximizing their investment in that resource,” Moran says.

On top of that, the updates also allow tracking of changes and processes in ways that weren’t previously possible. Moran says that, with the recent updates, not only can you implement company-wide process changes easier, but with tools built into the software à la carte, you can actually track the progress of those changes with greater accuracy.

Instead of just seeing the cause and effect from an implemented change, managers can go back to any correspondence that precipitated the change (as it all occurs within the BPM system) and optimize future changes while avoiding, and also tracking, the stem of mistakes or missteps.

Taking still more cues from current tech culture, specifically customization, Metastorm added BPIDs, which allow employees to personalize their experience with Metastorm BPM. Instead of being forced to engage with systems and panes that were designed for specific users, there is a great deal of customization available to make easing into a new system better.

OpenText Metastorm has already seen success with their BPM solution as one of their larger clients, HSBC Bank Canada Inc. has implemented it throughout its network.

Moran says that, in business where there is “very little opportunity to differentiate by product,” like in the financial world, streamlining and optimizing customer care might be the only way to put yourself ahead of the pack.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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