While day 1 of the IFS World Conference 2012 in Gothenburg, Sweden was mostly about mobility, day 2 expanded into some other interesting themes and topics. IFS has long positioned itself as a single-instance global enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution alternative to SAP and Oracle. The realm of corporate social responsibility (CSR) presents notable challenges for organizations due to the intricacy of global and local laws and regulations and the difficulty in navigating them. In his keynote presentation (which he mostly repeated in his subsequent presentation to the press/analysts), IFS CTO Dan Matthews pointedly stated that CSR is difficult to manage at a global level. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series presented the opportunity of service economy and associated complexity of providing consistently an experience of customer service excellence. The article then introduced KANA Software, a provider of Service Experience Management (SEM) solutions. Although KANA has focused on enabling superior customer service for its enterprise clients since being founded in 1996, it has experienced periods of ups and downs.
Having been acquired and taken private under Accel-KKR in late 2009, the vendor has since regrouped and come out with its renewed value proposition. Part 1 concluded with KANA’s SEM approach and accompanying solutions that blend customer relationship management (CRM), business process management (BPM), business intelligence (BI), and knowledge management (KM), social media monitoring, and many other parts.
In this service economy it is not surprising to hear about smart innovative companies whose businesses have been blossoming due to the superior customer service they provide. Zappos and its “Powered by Service” tagline is a crown example.
Many vendors that offer customer service software solutions, especially those that bundle customer relationship management (CRM) with business process management (BPM) capabilities and even infuse knowledge in the service process, have been doing quite well, such as Pegasystems, SwordCiboodle, salesforce.com’s Service Cloud 3, inQuira, RightNow, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer Care Framework (CCF), and so on and so forth. But achieving consistently excellent customer service and satisfaction is not easy by any stretch of imagination. Research shows that over the last 15 years customer satisfaction has dropped by over 20 points (true, we as customers are becoming more fastidious, but that is our right, isn’t it?) while the cost per interaction has more than doubled, in great part due to agents’ errors and repeated service resulting in issue resolution calls.
Part 1 of this blog series began with an analysis of the recent merger of Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) and Savvion Inc. Progress has this way made a large leap into the business process management (BPM) space, from where it had been notably absent. The article summarized that Savvion BusinessManager 7.5 [evaluate this product] is one of the most mature BPM suites in the still-evolving market, with the ability to handle high volumes of workflows that coordinate people, data/documents, and systems.
Part 2 then analyzed Savvion’s capabilities with regards to the three common usage types of BPM systems, i.e., human-centric business processes, system-centric (integration) processes, and document-centric processes. Moreover, in its white paper “Understanding Usage Patterns An Enterprise BPMS Must Support,” Savvion identifies and describes four other equally important usage scenarios that are neither very well understood by users nor well supported by many other BPM vendors.
Savvion claims to currently be the only BPM provider that can accommodate all of these seven usage scenarios. Part 2 also analyzed the case management and rule-based (decision-intensive) processes, and Part 3 now continues with the project-oriented and event-centric BPM usage scenarios.
Part 1 of this series began to analyze the recent merger of Progress Software Corp. [NASDAQ: PRGS] and Savvion Inc. With this acquisition, Progress has made a large leap into the business process management (BPM) space, from which has been notably absent. The article asserted that Savvion BusinessManager 7.5 [evaluate this product] is one of the most mature BPM suites in the market, with the ability to handle high volumes of workflows that coordinate people, data/documents, and enterprise systems.
The product’s architecture is standards-based, multi-tiered (i.e., with separate presentation, business process, and integration flows), service-oriented, and with well-documented application programming interfaces (APIs). Thus, like its Progress siblings, Savvion is relatively easy to interface to existing infrastructures and development environments, and even to embed into partner products.
Part 1 of this blog series provided a lengthy discussion about business process management’s (BPM’s) necessary parts and parcels, and the software category’s value proposition. At the end of the article, I mentioned my recent attendance of a witty presentation that attempted to explain the essence of BPM via some humor and metaphor of the classic “Wizard of Oz” movie.
Namely, on March 23, 2009, Alan Trefler, Pegasystems’ founder and CEO, gave his luncheon keynote presentation at the Gartner BPM Summit in San Diego. His theme was “Don’t just Survive… Capitalize.” Trefler begun by reminding the audience that in today’s turbulent economy we are all “not in Kansas anymore” and may just need some “ruby slippers” to find our way back home to profitability. If you have 14 minutes to spare, you can re-capture the spirit of the event here.
In the main part of his presentation in Part 2, Trefler maintained that to follow the “Yellow Brick Road,” which will lead any business to Oz (and back to profitability), requires three capabilities in particular, starting with the ability to directly capture business objectives into the BPM system by the business users. Read the rest of this entry »
Crises such as the one we’re currently going through seriously damage the trust bestowed by individuals upon corporations. Read the rest of this entry »
Food production and distribution is a serious and strategic business, and I am not aware of anyone in my surroundings that takes it lightly; food can not only delight us, but can also make us quite sick and indisposed. While my inner circles (pets included) have luckily not been casualties of recent salmonella, E.coli, and whatnot outbreaks from tainted chilly peppers, tomatoes, spinach, pet food, or most recently peanut butter, the 2008 year-end holidays were not much fun for my family.
Namely, the “G.I. bug” that our 18-month-old likely got in her playgroup spread so quickly and violently to anyone who was in contact with her (including the broader family members that stopped by to just traditionally exchange holiday gifts). Sure, viral gastroenteritis might likely have had nothing to do with what we ate at the time, but the feeling of being listless and other unpleasant (and unspeakable) G.I. bug symptoms were quite similar to those that food poisoning outbreaks can “treat” us to.
Food processing and distribution are not be the only market with burning product safety issues, since similar issues can also apply to the drug and pharmaceuticals sector or consumer packaged goods (CPGs); remember lead-tainted toys or antifreeze-laced toothpaste coming from China? Still, we all seem to be the most sensitive about food-related breaking news, possibly due to the likelihood of those hitting home (perhaps even in a willful way by bio-terrorists).
Thus, some food processing market experts have lately been frustrated by companies’ focus on location and lot control, serial number tracking, and traceability as the panaceas to solve product safety issues. Read the rest of this entry »
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Many years have passed since corporate social responsibility (CSR) made its entrance as a major issue for companies. Performance on social and environmental levels has also become important for organizations to consider. Since CSR’s inception, many initiatives have arisen.
Businesses around the world have sought to take account of sustainable development to conform to the general trend across industries toward better management of global regulatory requirements and a reduction of environmental impact. On the other hand, since globalization has become a crucial aspect of organizations economically, organizationally, politically, technologically, and culturally, it has pushed them towards making adjustments in order to incorporate these new requirements into existing processes.
Part I of this blog post introduced the burning issues of food safety and the ensuing need for traceability. To the end of providing entire food supply chain traceability and information visibility, mid-March, during its CUE 2008 annual user conference, Lawson Software announced the availability of Lawson M3 Trace Engine 3.0, the first version offered within the US market.
The application is designed to help companies in the food and beverage (F&B) industries improve product quality and help prevent and manage potential food safety and quality risks. It specifically helps companies strengthen and simplify the process of tracking ingredients and finished products through complex global food supply chains. Read the rest of this entry »