What is RPM?

Posted on September 22, 2011 0 Comments

This week Progress Software end users and partners worldwide gathered in Boston to get some actionable insights that will help them lower costs, raise efficiency, improve customer experiences, and drive revenue. Our attendees have the ability to chose from over 100 sessions designed specifically for business and IT professionals. One of our breakouts is dedicated to Responsive Process Management (RPM) which is a topic we’ve been talking about a lot over the past year. The introduction of RPM has stimulated discussions around our hallways and within the industry on what RPM exactly is…

  • Is RPM the Next-generation BPM?
  • Is RPM a totally new and different concept?


Below are two articles written by Daniel Schlosky. Dan is a technology writer with more than two decades of experience writing for companies like Sun Microsystems, Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Western Digital. He’s also written for publications such as Datamation, Silicon Strategies, and in-house publications for Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments.

Take a minute to look at both perspectives and TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!

To share your thoughts, click the Comments link below.

BPM Is Still Evolving

In the early 1990s, the first Business Process Management (BPM) systems could track processes with only limited scaling and relatively few users. Adequate for tracking accounting or claims processes, they were not yet up to handling an entire company’s purchasing system that services tens of thousands of people. Since then, BPM has evolved into much more powerful and mature systems. They all now include process engines, process modeling, asset repositories, etc. Current large, robust enterprise BPM systems have great complexity and functionality, while web-based departmental BPM systems are usually simpler but still highly proficient.

Today’s BPM systems are extremely powerful and capable. They focus mainly on cutting costs by making companies more efficient through iterative, continuously improving processes. While BPM systems have come quite far, they are still advancing. Several new trends are making them even more powerful and useful.

One new trend that goes beyond cost cutting is finding new revenue sources. For example, Progress BPM enabled an airline to expand its revenue stream by building an application to connect to alliance partner airlines. The customer, after paying a small insurance fee, is assured that if a flight cancellation occurs, the airline will automatically rebook him/her on the next alliance partner’s flight. It would also automatically change hotel reservations, cancel and rebook rental cars, etc. Happy customers are now saved from the hassle of rescheduling everything themselves – and the airline adds to its bottom line.

A second important trend is including complex event processing in BPM systems. With this capability, managers can monitor streams of activities such as stock market transactions, airline scheduling, and communications ordering systems. One basically searches for patterns and anomalies within those patterns. Although some other BPM systems may also deal with events, Progress BPM, when combined with the company’s Apama business event processing (BEP) platform, sets it apart in both power and performance.

A third new trend is the mobility enablement of BPM systems. These systems can now interconnect with intelligent handheld devices to speed up handling tasks with greater user convenience. For a BPMS process tracking purchase requests and approvals, managers can now actually respond to them on their iPods or blackberries without having to fully log onto financial applications on their laptops. This new mobile capability both simplifies the approval process and saves time.

Yet another significant new trend is enabling greater collaboration, especially in process modeling. Coupled with the new mobility, this is an even stronger improvement. The objective is to have managers in different locations review and provide input for the process model and simulation. Having this collaborative capability in the process planning stages is a major benefit.

These four innovations of the latest BPM systems – finding new revenue sources, events processing, enabling mobility and facilitating collaboration – are the leading new trends in the ongoing evolution of BPM.


The Progress® RPM Suite – Is It Really About BPM?

What exactly is Responsive Process Management (RPM)? Is it a natural extension of BPM, or a totally new and different concept? Analysts and customers generally agree that RPM is an evolution of high-end BPM Gartner talks about Intelligent Business Operations as a development from BPM for responsive operations. Forrester refers to Business Transformation and IDC to Decision Management as expansions of BPM. Others, mainly business rather than technology professionals, see RPM as a completely new domain, one with greater ROI and faster time to value.

A recent Vanson Bourne independent research study found that most businesses are unable to respond to market or customer changes quickly enough to be competitive. RPM triumphs over this challenge with a very high level of operational responsiveness – the ability to sense and respond to changing conditions and customer interactions as they occur. If not totally new, RPM raises its responses to a whole new level of power and possibility. Savvion BPM is an integral part of Progress’ RPM Suite, but so are the company’s Apama business event processing (BEP) platform and Actional business transaction management (BTM) solution. To cap these three systems, the Suite adds its new groundbreaking Progress Control Tower, a first-of-its kind interactive business control panel that ties the three systems together for unprecedented responsiveness capabilities.

The Control Tower is the central RPM control point for

  • Modeling and simulating processes
  • Automatic documenting of processes
  • Drilling down and analyzing information
  • Cross-collaborating with team members
  • Taking corrective steps as needed
  • Continuously improving processes
  • Reducing risk

So with all this said, which is it – a natural evolution of BPM or a totally new concept? Convincing arguments can be made for each view. If it’s an extension of BPM, it goes much further by adding real-time, end-to-end visibility into events and applications; enabling immediate response to situations when they arise; allowing users to capitalize on opportunities; and empowering business users with greater control for continuous business improvement.

What do you think? To share your thoughts, click the Comments link below.



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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