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Eccentex-Enabling Do-it-yourself Case Management

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: August 30 2013

Various types of vendors and products have taken hold of the business process management (BPM) software market. While there are mainstream BPM providers such as IBM, Oracle (see here), Pegasystems (see here), Tibco, etc., there is a crop of open source providers such as Bonitasoft (see here) and other relative BPM newcomers such as AuraPortal (see here). We recently came across Eccentex Corporation, a vendor that offers platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for the rapid design, development, integration, and deployment of cloud business applications including BPM, workflow, and forms automation.

Eccentex, founded in 2005 by pioneers with more than 20 years of industry experience, allows organizations to leverage the power of the cloud delivery model to rapidly and cost effectively automate business processes to increase efficiency and improve customer service. Eccentex has invested 4 years in building and perfecting the first enterprise BPM PaaS called AppBase. The vendor has since become an expert in delivering case management solutions utilizing AppBase, its dynamic case management (DCM) PaaS platform. With ease of use, speed of implementation, security, and performance, AppBase provides a scalable multitenant cloud infrastructure for building complex enterprise-grade DCM applications that can increase business agility, improve productivity, optimize case outcomes, and reduce risk.

AppBase—Private Label PaaS

AppBase allows large and small information technology (IT) departments, independent consultants, and third-party developers to leverage its scalable infrastructure, flexible development tools, and easy-to-use drag-and-drop configuration environment to get the development job done quickly and effectively. In addition, AppLibrary is Eccentex’ catalog of out-of-the-box industry-specific enterprise cloud applications, while Eccentex Cloud Services ensure successful SaaS strategy, development, design, training, and deployment. Eccentex has more than 50 employees, with its headquarters in Culver City, California. Furthermore, the company has recently expanded its international network in Europe by opening an office in Russia.

AppBase enables custom cloud applications to be built by using one of its prebuilt AppLibrary templates as a starting point or to be developed from scratch—without any coding either way. The current release, AppBase 5.0, is a high-level application that enables non–IT savvy business analysts to handle all updates and changes with little coding. We foresee this to continue being a trend, which frees up the IT department to focus on other more important strategic things while empowering the business person/user.

Eccentex’ strategy is to work with many partners and resellers, supporting their case management technology needs in different verticals. It is currently teamed up with the following system integrator companies: Virtusa, Capgemini, Tenzing, Miratech, and Agora. Eccentex partners with the independent software vendor (ISV) Resolve Australia, and AppBase applications integrate with Microsoft Dynamics and salesforce.com. Fifty percent of Eccentex’ business reportedly comes from partnerships.

AppBase case management applications can also leverage big data solutions to generate statistics. The platform enables data analysis that users can employ to catch fraud, remove duplicate data, derive best practices, etc. AppBase can also integrate with predictive analytics solutions for extensive use in its case management systems.

Eccentex CEO Tells More

To expand on Eccentex’ value proposition and go-to-market strategy, we recently spoke to the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) Glen E. Schrank. Mr. Schrank was most recently president and CEO of HireRight, a background screening software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. As a member of the executive team, he contributed to growing HireRight from $20 million to $182 million (USD) in revenue, launching a successful initial public offering (IPO) on NASDAQ, and getting acquired for approximately 25 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA).

Prior to HireRight, Mr. Schrank spent more than 25 years in leadership roles in a variety of technology-based businesses, including 15 years at IBM where he served as a business unit executive with profit and loss (P&L) responsibility. He also served as vice president (VP) of sales at i2 Technologies (now JDA Software), a company providing supply chain management (SCM) solutions including offerings in enterprise software, SaaS, and outsourced services. His leadership experience also includes serving as business development director for SPSS (now part of IBM), a provider of predictive analytics software and solutions, and VP of sales for Creative Multimedia, an internet/intranet company providing a platform for content delivery.

Mr. Schrank holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC). He is a faculty lecturer on growth strategies and entrepreneurship for the MBA program at the University of California Irvine (UCI), Paul Merage School of Business.

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TEC: Are there any evident remaining white spaces (functional gaps, based on customer inquiries and competitive face-offs) in your offering and how do you plan to fill them?
GS: We have high ambitions for our platform and applications, so we are constantly looking to improve the technology, user experience, and to expand the AppLibrary with use case–specific applications. We focus on the industry needs and client/partner feedback to continuously create a better platform.

TEC: Is social media the requirement for your target market and what are you doing in that regard?
GS: When it comes to customer service, social media is a requirement for many organizations. AppBase platform was built to be able to integrate with all relevant systems, and social media is not an exception. Businesses can integrate social media channels with AppBase applications to monitor, collaborate, and communicate with customers. Users can also set up alerts and determine how social media plays into their daily workflow.

TEC: The same as above for mobility?
GS: We recognize that mobility has a big influence on our workforce today. This is why our AppBase solution aims to empower knowledge workers by enabling them to work where they want, how they want, and when they want. Our solution allows knowledge workers outside the office to be just as productive and effective as an in-office worker. At Eccentex, we encourage the mobile worker. We understand a happy employee is a productive employee, and this means providing the tools they want to use to execute tasks. This starts with the AppBase cloud application.

TEC: Do your case management capabilities accommodate dependencies or subcases within cases that, e.g., propagate deadlines and service-level agreements (SLAs) bottom up?
GS: The short answer is yes. AppBase is designed around and for case management, which means that dependencies, subcases, and exceptions are a must-have. The platform is very flexible and allows management and users to work within it in the most productive way. Supervisors can monitor activity, analyze it, derive best practices, and implement changes. 

TEC: How do you view a host of open source BPM players (e.g., Bonitasoft, Colosa, Red Hat, Intalio, Alfresco, etc.)? Are they a disruptive threat to you or not really?
GS: Eccentex' focus is on case management in industries such as insurance, financial institutions, and health care. BPM is different enough that we do not see BPM players as competition. We have a BPM engine but we solve a different problem. AppBase is a platform that organizes knowledge work, enabling users to work with structured, unstructured, and unpredictable processes.

TEC: What is your view toward using AppBase for business process outsourcing (BPO) and by BPO companies? Have there been any examples of the BPO use and for what kind of processes?
GS: AppBase can be a very effective platform for BPO companies that desire to deliver custom case–oriented (read unstructured- or milestone-driven) applications to a variety of customer scenarios. Our native-cloud PaaS combined with AppTemplates allows for the rapid assembly of specific apps, which can then be leveraged in the cloud by the BPO organization's target customers. These apps can then be repurposed as SaaS offerings co-marketed with Eccentex through our AppLibrary to greatly reduce the BPO organization's development and deployment expense, as well as time to market for specific offerings or customer engagements. Currently, NZ Resolution Services Company plans to use AppBase for this process. They are a BPO provider, and the customer implementation is in process at this time.

TEC: What is keeping you up at night as a CEO?
GS: We're always thinking of how to simplify the model, how to make it easier for partners to build on the already user-friendly platform. There are so many things that come into play and new developments coming out all the time. That means we can use new ideas to improve—and that challenge is exciting.

Related Reading
Eccentex Lets Business Analysts Assemble and Manage Their Own Cases. March 26, 2013.
What Do Modern Knowledge Workers Need? February 13, 2013.
 
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