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Software AG Brings Social Networking to BPM

Software AG Brings Social Networking to BPM

Software AG has introduced its first cloud computing solution, ARISalign, which provides an open, global community for collaboration among BPM project participants. Anyone with a stake in the development of business processes can use the network -- for free -- to gather and share information.

By Erika Morphy
03/04/10 5:00 AM PT

Software AG has developed a vertical social networking and collaboration platform for the BPM industry.

Now in open beta, ARISalign is built on Amazon's Web Services and equipped with modeling capabilities, as well as virtual versions of tools typically used by process experts, Matt Durham, VP of market development, told CRM Buyer.

They include virtual sticky notes and virtual whiteboards, as well as a Flash-based modeling editor and integration into ARIS Express, a free process modeling tool.

Other tools allow users to pull models to their local drives. Users can also collaborate online with a "drag and drop" model to visualize the new business process. Once consensus has been reached, the model can be exported for implementation.

The network is free to use. "There is no revenue model and we don't expect to have one anytime in the near future," Durham said.

Virtual Give and Take

The idea behind the launch was to augment the back-and-forth that experts have to go through when mapping out a particular business process, he explained.

Process experts know their particular discipline, of course -- the science and methodology of documenting and then mapping a particular procedure. What they don't have is expertise in each discipline they map, said Durham.

What usually happens is that the process expert gets the person with the necessary domain knowledge on the phone or into a conference room and then asks a lot of questions.

'Broader and More Collaborative'

The point of ARISalign is to make that task broader and more inclusive, Durham said.

"The idea is to create a collaborative environment where people can participate in the process discovery and, hopefully, the refinement of that process as well."

Eventually the company hopes to have brought together a "huge community of experts in their portion of the process, he said. "That is the big idea."

Industry Trend

Increasingly, software vendors are introducing social networking tools for intra-enterprise use -- now that they have proven widely successful among consumers.

Salesforce.com, for example, recently rolled out a private beta for its Chatter app -- a real-time, internal collaboration platform for companies and their employees and partners, with distinct social networking characteristics.


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