I have been out this week visiting clients and prospective clients on the east coast and so not blogging much. While I was gone IBM announced its acquisition of Lombardi. Now I don’t have much to add to Sandy Kemsley’s excellent post on the topic except to say that Lombardi has also been virulently anti-business rules/business rules management system for some time. I have to wonder how this will play with an increasing business rules-centric story from IBM.
Personally I think IBM has to take a much more aggressive stance on integrating and clarifying its process management portfolio. I felt customers were already struggling to separate out when to buy FileNet and when to buy Process Server. At least ILOG’s rules product was already integrated with both, as were some other IBM components. Now with Lombardi this conversation becomes more difficult and the lack of a rules focus continues to undermine, as it has always done, Lombardi’s view of itself as business user centric. Business rules are the best way for business users to have a say in the underlying logic of their applications. They need to manage the workflow of their processes and the logic of their decisions. Hopefully joining IBM will push Lombardi to recognize this and their undoubted focus on making it easy for business users to define their business will result in some new, higher level rules capabilities in the IBM stack.