George Barlow of Appian, Jim Rudden of Lombardi, Bino Jos of Intalio and Derek Miers of BPM Focus discussed the intersection of BPM and SaaS. Appian has Appian Anywhere and Lombardi has Blueprint, Derek has opinions about everything, but I’m not sure why a process expert from Intalio (who appears to have little understanding of where they fit from a SaaS standpoint, which is more a matter of being able to use cloud-based servers such as EC2 rather than a multi-tenanted hosted offering, and talked about everything except SaaS) ended up on this panel.
Paul Vincent of TIBCO popped up with a question about whether everyone would soon be doing BPM in the cloud; the panel responded that that’s not really the target, but rather to lower the entry costs for SMBs or departments within larger enterprises, or to provide some of the inter-enterprise collaborative functionality.
There was a discussion about the need for standards in a SaaS offering (I think triggered by Fred Cummins); BPMN is seen as important, although that’s really independent of on-demand versus on-premise.
BPM is perceived as being good in a down market, when companies are trying to cut headcount and become more efficient; SaaS is also good in a down market since there’s little or no capital outlay. In some cases, where the full BPMS is available both on-demand and on-premise (as with Appian), SaaS is the gateway drug to on-premise licensing.
George and Jim are the big contributors here: first of all, they’re both pretty smart guys, they have some major points of disagreement to liven up the conversation, and they’re the only two on the panel who actually have on-demand BPM services.
As always, it’s difficult to blog about a panel since it’s a bit disjointed, plus I had to do a wrapup of my roundtable sessions immediately following and had to comb through my notes with one brain while listening to the panel with the other. Oh, wait, maybe that’s the problem…