Gartner BPM Summit 2011 Reflections

Gartner BPM Summit last week in Baltimore was a true success by any objective measure.  Gartner deserves a lot of credit for putting together an outstanding event.   The analyst, solution provider, and end-user sessions were all top-notch.  What stood out for me the most at the Summit, however, was the positive vibe of the attendees.   I had the opportunity to speak to a number of them in the booth as well as between the sessions, and all of my conversations were positive and optimistic about the BPM outlook for next year and beyond.

We were very proud to have Shane Williams from one of our key customers, UBS, present The BPM Transformation Story at UBS.  Shane discussed how UBS uses Interstage BPM to meet regulatory compliance, mitigate risk, and improve customer onboarding experience.  Using Interstage BPM, UBS has been able to “automate client onboarding, improve risk analysis, ensure process compliance in a complex regulatory environment, and save 30% in TCO”.  The session was well-attended and judging by the number of people lingering afterwards to ask more questions despite the late hour, it was a success.

Ken McGee kicked off the Summit with a thought-provoking opening keynote address, The 2011 Gartner Scenario: Critical Capabilities That Create and Sustain Business Value”.  He challenged attendees to seek opportunities in the evolving role of the CIO to “money-making CIO” and help create new revenue opportunities.  Perhaps the most telling quote presented was the one from the GM CIO.  He challenged his team to “…forget about Windows 7, virtualization, [etc.]… that’s the cost of entry…  What are we doing to sell cars?”   Ken challenged the audience not to miss revenue-generating opportunities this time, where “never have so many cross-industry initiatives existed in the same point in time that will directly improve the revenue performance of the enterprise”

Janelle Hill’s sessions were all very insightful and astute, as always.  The Best Practices for Selecting a Business Process Management Suite” provided attendees with sound advice on choosing BPM suite.  Janelle’s recommendation is to not to make the mistake of choosing the coolest technology with the most advanced features, since that may not be appropriate for the process management requirements, including those that need to address less technical roles.   BPMS delivers on visibility of process, adaptability to address change and handle exceptions, and accountability with full context of how work is done.  In choosing the right BPMS, buyers should focus on functionality consumed by business roles, meeting the interaction patterns of the process, addressing the agility needs, and interacting well with external resources.

In a debate session, 2014 – Which BPM Technology Has Staying Power in the Cloud?”, David Norton and Michele Cantara contested their views on the future of BPMS technology in the Cloud.  David’s proposition was that “BPM for collaboration and consensus building” will be the primary use of BPM in the Cloud by 2014.  Michele, on the other hand, postulated that “BPM Platform as a Service will be the primary use of BPM in the Cloud by 2014”.  Initially, the audience was split about 50-50. But, after hearing arguments and rebuttals from both analysts, the audience clearly favored Michele’s proposition by a wide margin.

Daryl Plummer closed the BPM Summit with an insightful and inspiring keynote,If I had a Time Machine.  Daryl presented an astute vision of the future and the impact that BPM will have on it.   Key take-aways: To compete successfully, companies should start by examining the relationship between Resiliency and Agility.  “The future requires both for stability of a competitive organization”.   By 2021, true agility will depend on resiliency.  Daryl presented 5 calls to action to make a Resilient and Agile future:

  • “Use dynamic BPM to involve stakeholders continuously”
  • “Use the collective awareness to impact process”
  • “Focus on collaboration equally to process improvement”
  • “Track Cloud computing’s penetration into your BPM initiatives”
  • “Integrate your results and focus on agile outcomes.”

Gartner BPM Summit 2011 was a great success.  The best part about it was not just the opportunity to hear the latest insights about the BPM market and technology, but to be able connect with the analysts, colleagues, and most importantly, BPM users.  The BPM Summit 2011 has just ended, but we’re already looking forward to BPM Summit 2012.

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