A BEP On Our Radar...

A BEP On Our Radar...

Posted on January 05, 2010 0 Comments

Last year Progress Software started talking a lot about Business Event Processing (BEP)—more commonly known as complex event processing (CEP). It really kicked into gear when we commissioned an independent technology market research company, Vanson Bourne, to conduct a survey and report on their results. Vanson Bourne interviewed 400 companies representing energy generation, telecommunications,and logistics sectors in the US and Western Europe. Why these industries? Well, because of the volume and complexity of their "business events" (service delivery) - both through systems and processes, and customer, partner, and supplier interactions. The results of the survey, detailed in the paper Overtaken by Events? - The Quest for Operational Responsiveness, demonstrates that harnessing business events, smart interpretation, and fast response are clear objectives for these industries. And the need is immediate.

Below I've included the Executive Summary of Key Findings. If you'd like to get more detail on their findings, visit our website and download the complete paper. 


The Objective Is Operational Responsiveness

Operational responsiveness is the ability of business processes and systems to respond to changing conditions and customer interactions as they occur, enabling business leaders to capitalize on opportunities, drive greater efficiencies, and reduce risk. The survey identified a number of key pointers as to why businesses would be keener than ever to improve how they respond operationally, for example:


  • 91% said they are trying to act in a more personal “one-to-one” way with the customer. That means paying more attention to specific, individual feedback.
  • 74% reported that areas such as digital market channels, mobile platforms, and social channels have caused a significant increase in the flow of information into and through their business. That means paying more attention to events in the context of a blizzard of communication.


  • 70% of the businesses surveyed said that it would it be an advantage to be able to price their products based upon dynamic factors, in response to intra-day changes, such as changes in competitor prices/activity.

Process efficiency

  • Operational incidents can be costly: 82% of companies surveyed have to continuously monitor processes to try to prevent them happening.
  • 72% said their business processes take too long, and they need to shorten them.

Businesses want to respond quickly and more accurately to business events at the operational and business planning level. Real-time information delivery is seen as an important contributor, seen as having a role in three key areas:

  • Monitoring KPIs—overseeing pre-ordained service or business performance benchmarks.
  • Automatically alerting end users when certain conditions occur—flagging exceptional circumstances or activity for colleagues to take action.
  • Automating response processes—delegating conditional processes to the operational systems

Of the companies surveyed 82% are planning investments in real-time technology by mid-2010 in the hope of achieving the vision.

But the Road Is Long...

The survey reveals that most companies still have a long journey on the path to operational responsiveness as defined above. Here are a few stand-out numbers that underline the current situation:

Service delivery and process gaps

  • 67% hear about problems in service from customers before they have identified those problems themselves.
  • Only 8% report currently business information in real-time: indeed only 19% report on an intra- day basis.
  • 72% think that their business processes take too long and they need to shorten them.
  • 89% cannot get a single view of process performance because information on business processes is held in multiple different operational systems. 80% use middleware to try to bring data together but not to the satisfaction of those in charge of operations.

Business planning gaps

  • 34% say that, by the time they are able to see a change or trend in one of their business processes, they have missed some if not all of the opportunity to react to it.
  • 47% of companies surveyed report that business information is typically analyzed to identify patterns and trends historically and not in real time.
  • 58% admit that they have significant gaps in the information they need to support their business decision making.

Real-time Information and Business Event Processing (BEP)

In fact, 94% of businesses said that real-time information is important to them, and 78% said immediacy of response to business events provides a competitive advantage. But where business information is incomplete and/or sits across a range of disparate, non-compatible operational systems (as is admitted by most of the companies surveyed here), then speed alone is not enough. Where BEP is being tried out, users are already witnessing the power of combining and correlating across platforms, as well as the desired advantages that real-time systems would provide:

BEP benefits experienced so far

  • Filter and analyze lots of events quickly—66%
  • Take automatic actions in response to certain sequences of events occurring—55%
  • Better monitoring of existing operational systems—50%
  • Normalizing and correlating events from multiple different sources—45%
  • Providing real-time visibility into information for business end-users—42%
  • Spotting time-sensitive event patterns—25%

If you'd like to get more detail on their findings, visit our website and download the complete paper.


Pam Gazley

View all posts from Pam Gazley on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.


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