Beyond BPM: Virtusa’s Experience With Process-Led Transformation

I was late arriving at the breakout session by Virtusa’s Stuart Chandler this afternoon – as Ron Locklin tweeted, we’re over here in the outer Siberia of the conference center, and it was a long trip – so arrived as Chandler was discussing their experiences with customers who are undergoing business transformation powered by BPM and RPM.

Virtusa’s experience with process-led transformation in their customers has manifested in a number of ways:

  • Upsell/cross-sell opportunities to expand into new markets and products
  • Reduce costs and improve quality
  • Create a collaborative work environment to align cross-functional activities and enhance linkages along the supply chain
  • Incorporate the customer into the process to improve service levels
  • Greater transparency and visibility, particularly into real-time activity
  • Empowering the business so that they take ownership of their processes, making their own changes to processes rather than relying on IT
  • Case management and the ability to have a 360 degree view of the customer

Not surprisingly, they’ve seen a number of gaps and emerging needs driven by these transformation efforts, both on the project teams and in the business areas that are being transformed. There are a number of these that I saw highlight in research presented at BPM 2011 in Clermont-Ferrand a few weeks ago: process discovery (automated and manual), multi-platform integration, the impact of events on processes, and dynamic runtime capabilities. There are issues that are seen in any technology-heavy business transformation, not specific to BPM, but change management issues are exacerbated by the rapidly-changing environments that we create with BPM and related technologies.

They are seeing the focus of BPM shifting from reactive to proactive through event handling, interactive process management, sense and respond processes, and fast visualization and definition of new situations and contexts. This, of course, moves far beyond just BPM to more of the RPM portfolio that Progress is promoting, since traditional BPM platforms can’t easily handle the dynamic nature of real business processes, and are unable to handle and provide visibility into exceptions and dynamic processes, especially those that span multiple organizations.

Progress isn’t the only BPM product in Virtusa’s portfolio, but Chandler pointed out how RPM – which integrates BPM, BEP and RTA – is a more effective transformation tool because of its treatment of transactions, events and processes, and due to Control Tower as a common interface for not just monitoring, but effecting change in the underlying components. However, there are some changes that need to be made within organizations in order to properly adopt a transformation RPM implementation, including platform/architecture familiarity, and finding the right methodology, and making the necessary cultural shifts.

Although he gave some lip service to Progress RPM, I have the sense that this is a presentation that he gives at a variety of their BPM partner conferences with just a few slides switched out. He talked about the Virtusa BPM implementation methodology – a waterfall/Agile hybrid – and a case study that probably won the prize for most words ever crammed onto a single PowerPoint slide. Some good information, but like most partner presentations that I see at vendor conferences, a bit too self-serving in parts to be completely credible.

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