Only one other presentation at the Software 2010 conference in Oslo today was in English, which likely would have attracted me anyway, but I especially wanted to see Henk de Man of Cordys speak about adaptive BPM and case management in the cloud, which provides a nice bookend to my talk at the start of the day.
I couldn’t believe that it’s been three years since I last looked at Cordys, and I was looking for a bit of an update. Cordys Process Factory (CPF) is now tightly integrated with Google Apps, and they have some examples of customers using Google Apps, CPF and on-premise applications with data and transaction exchange between the cloud-based and on-premise software in a “hybrid cloud” configuration.
His focus today, however, was on case management: a higher-level coordination of activities that can’t be shown in a single structured process, with many bits of content and process works towards a common goal, such as is defined by OMG. This is emerging as a type of process modeling, separate but adjacent to the type of structured process modeling that we see in BPMN. In case management, there is a case file that contains all the relevant content, but multiple ways to achieve the ultimate goal, which might be dependent on the contents of the case file, current conditions, and the decisions of the individual participants working on the case. Forrester just released a research note on dynamic case management, and some of the older document management and workflow solutions are being repositioned into this “new” area, but the successful players will be those that can bring quality analytics, collaboration and modern user experience to bear: areas where Cordys is making inroads.
This is a bit of old wine in new bottles, but new technologies are definitely breathing life back into case management; the challenge will be to differentiate true case management processes from potentially structured complex processes that someone is just too lazy to model. Expect to see much more of this in 2010.