Some New BPMS Tools

In several articles recently, we have asserted that the BPMS tools market is going in two directions at once.  First, older BPMS products have been acquired by leading platform vendors, like IBM, Oracle and SoftwareAG.  This has lead to consolidation in the BPMS market.  At the same time, however, new BPMS software tools are being introduced.  Thus the BPMS market is not consolidating in the way in which other markets have it the past.

This is occurring, in our opinion, for two reasons.  .  First, organizations need basic tools, like process modeling tools, and don't want to be forced to buy expensive BPMS tools just to get a basic modeling capability.  Thus, as fast as a large BPMS vendor buys up the most popular modeling tool, a vacuum is created and new modeling tool vendors jump into the market and offer something new to take its place.  Second the BPMS market keeps changing.  It has gone from a focus on process flow modeling to business rules, then to business analysis, and then to case management and, recently process mining.  In other words, the nature of BPMS tools keeps evolving, so no real consolidation is possible.

Let me provide some examples.  SmartDraw, has just released a new version of its product that let's users draw Value Stream Maps.  In this case they are using the term “value steam” the way the Lean folks use the term, and the notation provided by SmartDraw allows for diagrams that make it easy to highlight Lean concerns, like where value is created, where inventory is stored, and whether flow is pushed or pulled.  This tool will presumably appeal to lots of Lean analysts.  For more information see www.smartdraw.com.

An Indian firm has released Process Modeller — an app design for an iPad.  This app lets you create quick little process flow diagrams on your iPad.  The version we saw supports ARIS flow notation, but another version may support BPMN.  For more information, check www.process-modeller.com

Meanwhile, the International BPM Conference, an academic group that puts on the major BPM research conference each year, has set up a website that lists a wide variety of BPMS products, many open source and free.  For more information on this resource, check:  bpm-conference.org/bpt-resource-management, and look for tools for BPM.

We don't necessarily recommend any of these products, but simply point them out the emphasize that new products, for new uses, keep being introduced to keep the BPMS market interesting.

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