Germany-based business process management (BPM) vendor IDS Scheer AG shipped the first version of its ARIS product in 1992. The company continues to expand its community of users and envisions that someday all employees will be involved in BPM in some capacity in the organization. IDS Scheer held its ARIS UserDay 09 in Saarbrucken, Germany, taking users back to the birthplace of ARIS. Wolfram Jost, IDS Scheer executive board member responsible for product strategy, spoke to ComputerWorld Canada at the event about the planned acquisition by Germany-based infrastructure software vendor Software AG, what it means for the product portfolio, partners and customers. Plus, ON VIDEO Jost talks about the evolution of BPM, and the impact of services-oriented architecture and cloud computing on BPM …
ComputerWorld Canada: How will the two portfolios be combined?
Wolfram Jost: If you look to the offering of Software AG and IDS Scheer, we do not have much overlap. Software AG has a technology with Webmethods and is clearly positioned in the middleware space so it is integration and automation. We with ARIS have more technology for business process modeling, analysis, business process measurement, so there is no overlap between the two technologies. We will integrate ARIS with Webmethods for our customers who want to go from business modeling to execution and back to business. But on the other side, ARIS is still an independent technology so we will also support other middleware platforms from Microsoft or from IBM, we will also support Oracle and SAP as an application vendor. So, one thing is very clear: the independency of the ARIS platform is an asset and we will keep this asset. But on the other side, of course, we will see a deep and tight integration in ARIS and Webmethods middleware so we can offer a closed loop. But nevertheless ARIS is open and is also integrated with other technology.
CWC: What of the perception that the ARIS platform is not as independent as IDS Scheer says it is?
WJ: Yes, of course, this is a challenge because Software AG acquired IDS Scheer, then the customers could think what about the independency? But this is crystal clear to say this way: so we had a lot of discussions with Software AG and both companies have a clear vision and strategy and this strategy is Software AG and IDS Scheer together will offer a holistic BPM lifecycle solution but ARIS also offers interfaces to other middleware because a customer has a heterogeneous landscape. I do not know one customer who only has one middleware platform, one application platform. But on the ARIS side it really makes sense to only have one solution, that means on the business process, modeling and analysis side it doesn’t make sense to have multiple solutions. So therefore we are fighting that ARIS is the solution on the business layer, and then we have heterogeneous landscapes in middleware and applications.
CWC: Should IDS Scheer’s customers be concerned that the acquisition will divert attention away from them?
WJ: I think this is by nature. When two companies are merging there is the process how to merge the companies, what is the new management, what are the new roles. But because of the fact that we do not have much overlap, we do not have discussions about which technology is the best one, which technology has to be developed further, which technology has to be stopped. Of course, if it comes to the organization, there is a necessity for some discussions but I think that this will not be so that we do not have the time to look at the products and the market. I think we have a clear focus, customers first. We still have a first definition how to integrate our products and I think in the near future we will see first integration scenarios how ARIS with Webmethods are integrated. So for our customers I can say that they will see first integration scenarios in the very short coming future.
CWC: Despite the acquisition by Software AG, IDS Scheer will retain its existing partnerships with major platforms?
WJ: We have this partner channel. SAP is a reseller of our technology, Oracle is a reseller of our technology, Tibco is a reseller of our technology. And, this is an important aspect of our business, of the ARIS concept, of the ARIS idea. And it doesn’t make sense to stop any of these partnerships and to change anything. And we still have discussions with Oracle and SAP, and they all will continue the partnership. So here I do not see any negative impact regarding the acquisition.