Progress has been positioning itself around operational responsiveness – responding to opportunities and threats in real time, to what’s happening right now: What are competitors doing right now and can we adjust pricing, what are customers doing and how does that impact our retention plans for them etc. Progress’ customers have been increasingly asking them for responsive business processes and this drove the acquisition.
A survey they did in October 2009 seems to show that this idea of operational responsiveness has gone from being a nice to have to a competitive necessity – 94% for instance saw the ability to respond in real time as critical to their business – but remains very difficult – only 8% currently respond to information in real time and most hear about problems in customer service, for instance, from customers themselves. When customers say what they need for operational responsiveness they ask for things that Progress has broken down into 3 buckets:
- Real-time business visibility
Understanding what is happening in existing processes and systems despite a complex, messy existing architecture) – maps to Business Transaction Assurance (Progress-Actional)
- Immediate send-and-respond
E.g. when a high value customer is on the website or when risk hits a certain level – maps to Business Event Processing (Progress-Apama)
- Continuous business process improvement
Closing the loop – maps to Business Process Management (now Savvion BPM)
In other words Savvion BPM completes the three key building blocks for Progress’ vision of operational responsiveness. Savvion was selected for their event-centricity, the breadth of their capabilities (including their work on BRMS and document management for instance), their vertical industry solutions and the overall business-centricity. They also liked the enterprise-class customers and projects they saw in the Savvion client base as well as the cultural fit.
We had a good discussion about their plans to integrate the products, bringing process management, event management and decision management (business rules) together. Hopefully I will get an update on the core Apama product at some point and I will blog about it when I do.
Overall I think this is a good thing – the need for a platform that combines Process Management, Decision Management, Event Management and Performance Management is clear and this announcement moves Progress/Savvion closer to this vision.
Savvion was a client of mine in 2009 and I have reviewed their BRMS product.