The Impact Of Social Technologies On The Enterprise – My Keynote From #appian12

I know there’s a video of my keynote floating around somewhere, but I decided to record audio and sync it with the slides, then publish it on Slideshare. You can view or download the presentation, or play it synchronized with the audio track directly online:

My recording setup is far from professional, so the sound quality may not be the best, but it should give you a flavor of the live presentation.

Taming Big Process With @passion4process

I have to depart Appian World at the morning break today to catch a flight home, but first I caught up with Clay Richardson of Forrester and his keynote on the future of process as we move from isolated process improvement projects to what he calls “big process”: a more holistic approach to process improvement and transformation. He described four dimensions:

  • Customer – bringing the customer into the process and transform the customer experience. Greater customer satisfaction isn’t just about having happier customers, it drives revenue growth, but it requires more than just putting a pretty (read: iPad) interface on the front of the process; it requires transformation of the underlying processes that support the customer experience. Starting with the simpler environment of the mobile experience, rethink processes based on the customer journey and needs.
  • Chaos – taking advantage of change. He claims that the round-trip is dead: what gets executed is so complex that you shouldn’t even be attempting to model it, but use dynamic case management instead where you can combine some structured fragments with the ability for the knowledge worker to decide what to do next. Social BPM provides guidance throughout process discovery and execution, and analytics monitor what’s happening during execution and push into process optimization.
  • Context – putting processes in context, leveraging big data to drive process transformation by connecting data directly to the value stream. As I discussed yesterday in my keynote, it’s about monitoring the flood of events, pinpointing and responding to emerging issues before they become problems. Context also means handling localization and regionalization of processes and data, but exploiting the benefits of globalization to service customers anywhere and find the resources required to manage processes.
  • Cloud – accelerating development and reducing cost by moving some functions to the cloud; this doesn’t mean moving everything to the cloud, but leveraging it as a platform in a hybrid strategy.

He walked through a couple of case studies, then discussed how to build a plan for dealing with big process.

First, embrace “big process” methods and techniques, adding value stream analysis, value chain analysis and business capability maps to other more granular views of process such as BPMN and Lean/Six Sigma.

Next, build process architect skills that connect data and process.

Last, adopt new tools and architectures that support target operating models, linking data and process to support customer experiences.

MDM and BPM and finally coming together, and not a moment too soon.

CEO Keynote At Appian World 2012

Matt Calkins, CEO of Appian, spoke about how they are achieving their goal to be the world’s best way to organize work.

Key features that they have to support this:

  • Native mobile capabilities on iOS, Blackberry and Android, meaning that you can develop your applications once and have it run not just on a desktop browser, but on any mobile device.
  • Transparent platform portability, allowing an Appian application to be easily moved between on-premise, public cloud and private cloud.
  • Social interface to minimize training and be able to more easily track events, primarily through a participatory event streaming paradigm.

Their software sales increased in 2011 by over 200% with 95 new customers (not just expansions in existing customers), and they have 95% “very satisfied” customer satisfaction rating.

The typical Appian customer runs about 10 applications, but Appian’s goal is to actually reduce the number of applications that a customer has (who wants more apps in their enterprise, after all?) by linking the data, actions and users in the application silos into a common environment. In fact, their theme for this year is data, which they see treated as a second-class citizen in many systems, and he switched over to a demo of the upcoming Appian 7 to show how they are combining data from multiple applications and sources into their event stream.

The new Appian interface is organized into five tabs:

  • News, which is the familiar event stream, but with the much richer links and attachments from other sources. Adding a comment to the stream can be just a comment, or can be turned into a task that can be assigned and tracked. What do I need to know?
  • Tasks, which are the tasks sent to the active user, or that they created and assigned to someone else. These can be filtered by type, can can be sorted by deadlines and priorities. What do I need to do?
  • Records, aka data, which shows a list of data sources: client records, support tickets, employees, whatever is important to this user. These may be Appian applications or external data sources such as relational databases. He drilled into the Clients data source, which provided several ways to filter and search in the client application, then selected one client to show the collection of information about that client: basic contact data, sales satisfaction survey results, ticket history, sales opportunities and more. The interface is customizable both during the initial setup, but also on the fly by any user with permissions to do so. Beyond the summary page for that client, there’s a news feed for all items tagged with this client, then links for each of the applications that might have information on that client: projects, billing history and sales opportunities. A related records tab allows connections to other data sources, such as support cases, that are linked to that client, allowing you to navigate through a web of data in your enterprise, much as we navigate the internet by following links on a whim. Lastly, a related actions tab allows you to launch any of the related applications for this client, such as starting a new contract or schedule an onsite visit.
  • Reports, showing enhanced reporting capabilities with new abilities to sort and customize reports.
  • Actions, which links to all applications in the enterprise, allowing you to launch any application from a single point.

Furthermore, there are new Facebook/Twitter-like functions to subscribe to people within your organization, see their profile information that they have posted including their job skills, and add kudos (LinkedIn-like recommendations) for individuals. This is similar to what IBM has been doing with their Beehive social network internally: it’s a way to enable collaboration within the enterprise as well as tracking of employee skills and recommendations. In order to have this sort of enterprise-wise social network, however, everyone needs an Appian license, so they are coming up with new licensing model for what they’re calling Appian tempo that will allow this type of access to social, mobile and data (but not actions) at a much lower cost than a regular Appian user. In fact, it’s free, if you have any other Appian (paid) licenses, and if you install and use it within a year.

As always, pretty innovative stuff coming from Appian.

Delivering Enterprise Performance Breakthroughs With BPM

Daryl Plummer of Gartner gave the opening keynote at Appian World 2012 stressing an “extreme” approach for achieving breakthroughs rather than just the incremental improvement that we’re seeing through current best practices. The forces to achieve this approach are social, mobile, cloud and information, combining to create a key emerging pattern of extreme collaboration. He presented 7 key aspects of extreme collaboration: mobile, ad hoc relationships, dynamic communities, proactive notification, free flow of information, people-centric, and multiple media. He spoke about using extreme collaboration to improve outcomes, not just optimize processes.

Much of this is about what mobile technology enables: empowering the workers at the edges of an organization as well as customers by allowing access to core business processes anywhere, anytime, on any device. He sees BPM’s greatest contribution as changing behavior through extreme collaboration, not process improvement. Traditional BPM creates barriers, but extreme collaboration can leverage natural relationships. Engagement methods are changing to include gamification, crowdsourcing and dynamic communities.

Gartner predicts that through 2016, organizational politics will prevent at least one-third of BPM efforts from moving beyond one-off projects to enterprise-wide adoption, based on 53% of BPM survey respondents stating that organizational politics is the #1 barrier to BPM adoption. This is not a big surprise to me; my keynote this afternoon is about how social technologies are going to change the way that you run your business, which will echo some of the themes in Plummer’s presentation.