IBM Case Manager Product Update

The nice thing about IBM Case Manager (shortened to ICM in some of their material, and ACM in others) being so new is that you can show up late to the technical product briefing and not miss anything, since the product managers spend the first 10 15 minutes re-explaining what case management and ICM are to the crowd of legacy FileNet customers. (Yes, it’s been a long day.)

This session with Dave Yockelson and Jake Lavirne discussed some of the customers that they have gained since last year’s initial product release, including banking, insurance, government and energy industry examples. They listed the integrated/bundled products that make up ICM (CM, BPM, ILOG, etc.) plus those things created specifically for ICM (case object model, task object model, case analytics) and the ease with which it is used as a framework for solution construction.

The upcoming release, v5.1, will be available within the next month or so, and includes a number of new features based on feedback from the early customers:

  • Enhanced case design, including improved data integration, enhanced widget customization, solution templates, and separate solution project areas. Specifically, the data integration framework allows data from a third-party system of record to be used directly in the ICM UI or as case metadata.
  • Direct IBM CM8 integration, with the CM8 documents staying in CM8 without requiring repository federation. This means that CM8 content can initiate cases and launch tasks, as well as being used natively in tasks, completely transparently to the case worker.
  • Improved case worker user experience, including integration of IBM Forms (in addition to the existing support for FileNet eForms) in the ICM UI for adding cases, adding tasks, or viewing task details. This provides a relatively easy way to replace the standard UI with a richer forms-based interface for the case worker. There will also be a simplified UI layout, resizing and custom theming, and the ability to email and share direct links to a case. A case can also be split to multiple cases.
  • Improved support for IBM BPM, including tighter design-time integration, universal inbox, and support for Business Space.

The session wrapped up with a review of some of the vertical applications built on ICM by partners or GBS. There are a number of IBM partners working on ICM applications; I’m sure that a lot of partners weren’t thrilled to find out that IBM had essentially made much of their custom work obsolete, but this does provide an opportunity for partners to build vertical solutions much more quickly based on the ICM framework.

2 thoughts on “IBM Case Manager Product Update

  1. can’t agree with the statement about custom work being obsolete. ICM enforces a lot of boundaries and best practices on you for your benefit, but if you don’t “get” how to build a ACM solution, it doesn’t do it for you. There’s still plenty of work to be done by partners in the ICM world. There’s no native integration of jrules, stuff like SLA & Export is non-existent, and the workflow system & ui is very open, something that doesn’t float to well in most organizations (manager love to lock functions down).

    What IBM has done, is open more ways for partners to extend and customize ICM. Code will need to be written to get the external data stuff working, as it implements a new JSON schema that certainly no other code base yet implements. Exposing the functionality of the widgets, without requiring their UI opens a lot of doors for partners to customize and enhance the UI. Forms allow you do a lot of displaying, and validation, but forms doesn’t play too nicely with other widgets (tough to invoke an external widget’s functions from a form).

  2. DaMour, I didn’t say that custom work in general is obsolete, I said that some integrators/partners have developed custom work that is now made obsolete by the new version of Case Manager. Partners need to be willing to reconsider if part of their solution is now out-of-the-box functionality from the underlying IBM platform, and refactor accordingly. Otherwise, you risk driving your customer down a path of more and more custom work (good for you, bad for them), and possibly being positioned on an obsolete IBM platform because that’s what your custom solution is built upon. I’ve seen this happen with many partners who build on IBM’s platforms but don’t do it correctly. I’ve also seen other who build properly engineering solutions that can more easily adjust to changes in the underlying platform.

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