Posted by: Adam Deane | 16/11/2011

BPM Visions of the Future

Building a BPM roadmap for a company is a daunting task.
Seeking the future competitive advantage, whilst trying to keep your feet on the ground, without chasing grandiose ideas that will break the bank.

Peeking at the websites, nearly all BPM vendors have the same “roadmap” that includes “providing great quality”, “excellent customer service”, “a solution for all pains” and peace on earth…

I had a peek on Google – couldn’t find anything inspiring.

I had a peek on YouTube.
Singularity has a good video of how they see the future of BPM.

So what should be the future BPM roadmap?

  • Technologies – Business Intelligence (BI), Mobile BPM, Social BPM, Case Management… or back to basics – Workflows
  • Methodologies – Business Transformation (EA), Lean Six Sigma… or back to basics – Process Analysis
  • Audiences – CFOs, CEOs, CIOs, Department Heads, Business Users… or back to basics – IT
  • Moving in on other territories – ECM, CRM, ERP, Middleware, Record Management, BI..
  • Packaging – Solution based, Cloud, Off-the-shelf, Platform..

Where’s my crystal ball when I need it…


  1. Hi Adam, it will all be up to technology to drive change. Look at the past, it has always been that way. No need for a crystal ball and no need for a raodmap. What for? Simply focus on what people need. Much of what you see in terms of BPM products today will thus be gone in a few years anyway, because the audience will have to EVERYONE, including the customer. For SMB’s the future is most probably the Cloud. For large enterprises I don’t see that for some time.

    I agree with the problem on vendor product specifications. As soon as we add a feature to our product – everybody has it in their glossies. Terminology is redefined and reused until no one knows what it really means.

    Re: Singularity: Cute video, but with little usable content. Apart from the futuristic screen technology, I haven’t seen anything in terms of user interaction that we couldn’t do with the Papyrus Platform TODAY.

    Regards, Max

    • Hi Max,

      “it will all be up to technology to drive change” – I agree.
      “no need for a roadmap” – I disagree

      Roadmap is just another word for planning ahead.
      No roadmap means you are copying your competitor’s ideas, you are playing a game of catch-up.
      It also means that you are not ready when customer’s needs change. You start promising things to customers that you haven’t fully developed yet.. “in the next version we will have…” etc.
      Roadmaps are good. Relying on Karma is not a stable business strategy.

      Regarding “Apart from the futuristic screen technology, I haven’t seen anything in terms of user interaction that we couldn’t do with the Papyrus Platform TODAY” – I’m not sure I agree. If you already support IPADs, mobile phones and touch screens – it means that you have already planned ahead and that kind of contradicts the “no roadmap approach” (don’t tell me customer were asking for IPAD, mobile and touch-screen integrations 5 years ago).
      If you don’t have it, then pull your finger out. Customer may not want it now, but will want it a couple years from now, (even if they choose ACM 😉


  2. Ugh.. I really wish Singularity did not make this.. It is a poor copy of the same videos created by Microsoft and RIM BlackBerry..

    Singularity’s vision though seems to be filled with confused old men using new fancy mobile devices to access old software technology with completely confusing screens. Plus, desk workers with probably very tired arms touching plexiglass and janitors who must update a mobile device every time they move a box.

    Singularity kind of missed the point.. which was to show new innovative user interfaces for the future.. not show your existing UI on future devices..

    I would suggest they take this video down and hold off making another until their marketing budget grows to match Microsoft and RIM’s.

    Malcolm Ross

    • Hi Malcolm,

      I’m actually quite impressed that Singularity created the video.
      It shows they have a vision. It might not be perfect, it might not have all the innovative user interfaces of the future, the visual idea might even be a bit copied from Microsoft, but they have some kind of vision. Most of the other vendors don’t even have that…

      Case study videos are boring, conference videos are tedious, vendor marketing videos are annoying.
      Vision videos are interesting. They highlight the vendor’s innovative, creative side.

      In 2007 Matt Calkins presented Appian’s vision for shaping the BPM Industry and showcased the Next-Generation BPM Platform:
      “Using BPM as a process improvement platform, organizations can harness the power of service-oriented architecture (SOA), integrate extended internet technologies (including wireless and voice)..”

      So… when are we going to see Appian’s next visionary video (Cloud and Social BPM through wireless and voice maybe…)?


  3. Adam/Max… I believe strongly in roadmaps. Its essential for bridging strategy to operations. And, essential to align strategy to customer satisfaction.

    I love the way some of the competitors are able to overnight announce a product that took a company like Papyrus or Civerex months/years to develop.

    I have been tempted to re-introduce the famous GE ‘Turboencabulation’ product just to see what the result would be. I was, by the way, working at the West Lynn, MA, GE Instrument Department at the time Charlie Mons put out the product sheet on turboencabulation. He was fired shortly thereafter as I recall. A prospective customer actually called the VP to ask about the product. The product profile catalogs were about 6 inches thick so I suspect Charlie never figured anyone would see the product sheet, let alone call in.

  4. LOL, everything on the ‘future’ roadmap is already there in some shape or badly formed product release 😉

    If you had mentioned something entirely new then people would sit up and take notice of BPM for once.

    Every year the crystal ball just reveals the same old with a “new and improved” sticker across the box….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: