BPM and SOA webinar

I’m listening in on a webinar with the rather grandiose title of “BPM and SOA: State of the Nation”, sponsored by webMethods. Paul Harmon of BPTrends kicked it off, and talked for some time about some general BPM and SOA definitions before diving into the results of a survey that they did earlier this year.

He had a great slide on how the maturity models for BPM and SOA intersect, with SOA MM level 5 (requires that companies know and track process measures) overlapping BPMM level 4 (processes are measured and managed systematically).

I found some of the survey questions odd; one of them offered four mutually exclusive responses:

  • You should not approach BPM without SOA
  • SOA cannot, ultimately, be successful without a BPM overlay
  • BPM is more successful and drives more benefits when deployed in an SOA environment
  • SOA is more successful and has more business relevance when tied to BPM

Not surprisingly, 74% of the responses were split between the last two; however, I think that most people would have selected both of those if they were able. That’s the whole point, right? BPM makes SOA more relevant, and SOA makes BPM easier to deploy. Interestingly, 19% chose the second option, that is, that SOA can’t succeed without BPM; I’d certainly agree that BPM makes it a lot easier to justify your SOA program, although I think that there’s other (non-BPM) business applications that also consume services and therefore help to justify it, so I wouldn’t make such a definitive statement.

He finished up with some good summary points:

  • BPMS and SOA are coming together. If you don’t know about either, you should learn about both.
  • If you are considering a BPMS tool, you’ll want to know how well it supports SOA.
  • Processes and services to automate BPMS and SOA will need to be carefully managed. You’ll especially want to know how any BPMS product supports SOA governance.

You can download the entire survey at BPTrends.com, and I’m sure that the webinar will be available for replay although it’s not at the original URL that I linked to yesterday; likely webMethods will have a link on their site.

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