QAD Introduces Fully Embedded BPM in QAD Enterprise Applications

QAD is arguably the first enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor with a built-in full-fledged business process management (BPM) system (Savvion BPM) within its development platform, Progress OpenEdge. Indeed, SAP NetWeaver PI is mainly about process-based integration (and Pegasystems, IBM BPM, and IDS Scheer by Software AG often complement those capabilities for, say, case management or rules-based processes), while Microsoft SharePoint has some workflow management capabilities and is mostly good for document-based processes. Needless to say, BPM is about much more than system-centric integration, portals, and document management.

For its part, Oracle BPM is a powerful suite with all the bells and whistles, but it certainly does not come as part and parcel of Oracle’s multiple ERP systems. Possibly the closest ERP product that can compare to QAD BPM is SYSPRO Process Modeling (SPM), given that SYSPRO embeds an Australian enterprise architecture (EA) product. In fact SYSPRO's BPM/enterprise architecture (EA) offering has been generally available for over 18 months.

This is the second generation of BPM within OpenEdge; the 1.0 release was only about business process automation (BPA). Further development will be along the lines of advancing more of the related process metrics and analysis. Delivering much more than a workflow management solution, QAD BPM is helping customers to drive enterprise performance, operational excellence, and build business process agility into their organizations. The solution is a combination of management practices, policies, metrics, and software tools designed to help organizations document, automate, manage, analyze, and improve processes.

QAD BPM is free to customers on QAD maintenance for QAD Enterprise Edition (QAD EE) or QAD Standard Edition (QAD SE) solutions. Still, QAD faces the painstaking task of educating its customers on how BPM can help their organizations drive enterprise performance, operational excellence, and become more agile. While BPM deployments often do come with tangible benefits, BPM implementations tend to be almost as taxing as the ERP ones. Given that Savvion is a full-featured BPM system, for some companies its scope might even be overkill. Companies will have to study which subset of the following BPM capabilities would help them most, perhaps to be implemented in an incremental one-process-at-a-time manner:

  • Create business process models that drive process execution

  • Assign task responsibilities/ownership to individual users/roles

  • Automate execution of the business process

  • Reduce process execution time

  • Operational metrics showing the status of active processes

  • Improve visibility of active processes

  • Analyze process execution metrics

  • Identify bottlenecks

  • Model process modifications

  • Support process improvement

Several years ago, well before Savvion was acquired by Progress Software and embedded into OpenEdge, QAD had developed elaborate process maps for the purpose of visualizing and documenting/standardizing processes pre-, during, and post-implementation. QAD BPM can now offer enterprises a faster, better, and more intelligent way to visualize, automate/execute, and measure and improve those business processes. It could also empower organizations to identify and follow conditional decision points throughout a business process. By using QAD BPM, organizations could keep the costs of compliance, regulatory, and corporate governance requirements under control.

To better explain and illustrate the potential benefits of using QAD BPM, QAD might want to leverage the tool during the "Effective Enterprise" customer engagement process and its phases—Discovery, Vision Workshop, Q-Scan Assessments Delivery, and Implementations Delivery. It is likely that the QAD BPM adoption would then jump to a much higher level than the current handful of companies.

References and Recommended Reading

TEC vendor profile: QAD
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