IBM had a successful conference last week. IBM Impact 2010.
All the blogs and tweets were buzzing about it.
I’m guessing that most of the BPM industry was there to see, if and how, IBM welcomed Lombardi into its family.
As I’ve read from the different reviews – It was a warm welcome. Well done IBM. You’ve made a wise choice with Lombardi (and this comes from a competitor..)
I found Scott Francis’s summary article most interesting:
IBM’s vision for the future of Lombardi and BPM
I think we both were feeling pretty invigorated by the level of interest in Lombardi, and how well the themes were resonating with customers. If I could sum up IBM’s belief: BPM is going to be everywhere, and IBM wants in.
All of the BPM experts and analyst’s reviews were very positive. Even the light-hearted criticism and anecdotes were interesting:
Then he turned back to me and said, “She thought IBM made Chinese food.” I was struck dumb for a few seconds… “Chinese food.”
You can’t make this stuff up. I’ve met the one person on the planet who has not heard of IBM. And now even she knows better.
Don’t get me wrong — I love Lombardi. It’s far easier to do what IBM calls “interactive process design” with Lombardi than with WebSphere Business Modeler and WID. For human-centric processes where interactive design concerns trump SOA, it’s certainly a better choice than WebSphere Dynamic Process Edition. But in several small group sessions with the analysts, it’s clear that IBM is nowhere close to articulating an intelligent positioning of its two BPMSs
IBM has a list of 10 questions that they use with their customers to determine which BPM product(s) that they need; my guess is that most customers will somehow end up requiring several products, even if the case could have been made in the past that a single one would do.
The message from yesterday continued: process is king, and is at the heart of any business improvement. This isn’t just traditional structured process management, but social and contextual capabilities, ad hoc and dynamic tasks, and interactions across the business network
Steve Mills explained how SOA was an important step to the future. It was like a car salesman opening a hood and showing me that he used standard parts. Unless you are an engineer, who cares? SOA won’t change the world, but you can get there faster,because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Yawn.
I also believe IBM can package things to make it easier (Lombardi, WAS and Express DB2). Good start IBM! This is a small packaging and integration example that was done quickly. Let’s hope continued performance of this kind.
6,000 people all gathered to hear the carefully scripted message. Well that is what it seemed like; a scripted story that was supposed to sound spontaneous. Even the Q&A was scripted on the teleprompter, which, quite apart from the wooden presentation style of one or two of the speakers, sort of took away from the central message
For all those naysayers that have previously tried to pass BPM off as an aberration that will go away, this conference was a defining point in history. It provided proof that the modern corporation is now reliant on the management of processes to survive and thrive; to sense and respond to the needs of customers; and to cut its costs while at the same time working on the new behaviors required to keep those customers in an age when switching costs are plummeting all the time