Vendor Spotlight Report: W4

Business process management (BPM) software vendor W4’s philosophy is to mix the best of BPM tools and applications with its model-driven application development framework. Download this report to find out how this philosophy has shaped W4's flagship platform BUSINESS FIRST, along with an analysis of BUSINESS FIRST's features and functionality from TEC BI Analyst Jorge García.

Company Background

W4 launched its Internet-based workflow application in 1996, in an effort to help organizations create, customize, and execute their core business processes. By 2006, the company had developed a complete business process management suite incorporating a large set of functionality features and productivity solutions.

In 2008, W4 acquired Lyria, developer of Leonardi technology, and integrated the core Leonardi platform for rapid application development (RAD). This gave W4 a solid foundation for building model-driven applications, expanding its functional reach to become a model-driven application development provider as well. This foundation is at the heart of W4’s flagship product, BUSINESS FIRST, a framework focused on developing and automating business process management (BPM)- centered applications that can be highly customized for specific needs, at the same time facilitating flexible, agile development, and evolution.

Today, with a complete and mature offering, W4 is working in the context of modern requirements to provide businesses with tools to solve new business challenges, and designing systems with the endurance and robustness to face modern business process and development needs. At the same time, W4 is maintaining and expanding its leading position to a wider number of regions and industries.

With offices in Paris (France) and Montreal (Canada), W4's aim is to expand throughout Europe and North America. Focused mainly on midmarket organizations, but with a fair number of large organizations as customers, W4 is able to provide reliable solutions for small, medium, and large organizations.

W4’s main go-to-market strategy consist of selling BUSINESS FIRST to its customers through its partner network of value-added resellers (VARs) and technology integrators, as well as providing reliable and effective consulting and training services as needed (to both partners and customers).

W4's corporate goals are to:

  • provide robust applications for reliable business process creation/design and automation,
  • achieve a leadership position in the French business process management market,
  • promote strong internal research and development (R&D) to produce breakthrough technology for business process and application development duties, and most importantly,
  • build and promote more human-centric corporate cultures

The company has been able to accomplish its goals by being consistent with its message: W4 devotes 30 percent of its global revenues to encouraging product innovation from its R&D group. At the same time, the fact that some of W4’s executive members—Laurent Hénault (chief executive officer [CEO] and chairman of the executive board) and Jean-Luc Saouli (company president and vice president for the R&D team) are still an active part of their operations has helped to maintain their core human-centric philosophy within the company.

W4 has become a leader in the French market, with more than $8 million (USD) in turnover and more than 300 customers in industries such as finance, insurance, government, manufacturing, and distribution. Some of their important customers include Generali Group, EMI, and Siemens, which are all using W4 to promote greater automation of their internal processes, while retaining flexibility and the ability to customize.

 BUSINESS FIRST Process Composer

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