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First Look – Blueriq

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Blueriq (previously Aquima) started as a business unit about 15 years ago by Everest (a consulting firm) and began developing a software solution. It now provides a complete business process management software solution with support for processes, intelligent forms, case management etc built around a powerful business rules engine. They have a strong presence in the Netherlands, especially in financial services and government, and are part of  the holding company TSS (1,700 FTE and $260M or so in turnover). Customers include ABN AMRO, many Dutch government agencies, Deutsche Bank and ING.

The software has a history beginning with automating knowledge intensive tasks, then developing a toolkit for Everest consultants to use in automating these tasks and increasingly other tasks also. The last few years have focused on productizing Blueriq as a standalone product. Focus areas include developing “evolving” software, using a model for execution, working closely with the business, and supporting a complex technical and business environment.

From the beginning Blueriq focused on “business engineering” – getting business users to do the engineering involved in building solutions – and on delivering the agility and time to market they need. Blueriq also works strongly with other technologies (Backbase and Cordys for instance) as well as those developing vertical solutions and consulting partners.

Blueriq is focused on four key drivers of change – the things that make companies change their solutions:

  • Legislation and policies
  • Business change in terms of new products, new competitors etc.
  • Users and their expectations
  • Usage, reflected in changes in metrics and historical data

It is not enough, however, to be able to change the system one must also know WHAT to change. Blueriq try and deliver very integrated technology, bringing business rules management, forms/dialogues management, business process management, dynamic case management, business activity monitoring together into an environment that is:

  • Knowledge-driven
  • Transparent so that the design and execution is clear
  • Business-oriented with task-specific editors suitable for business users
  • Platform independent (Java, .Net, cloud etc)

Their platform is then aimed at a business worker, supporting dialogues/rules/documents and case management through model-driven specification. The whole is transparent, explaining what it does and how it works, delivered on an open architecture for various platforms. It is browser-based and interpreted so that the models are what execute, and it is event-based:

  • The product is centered around a rule engine that operates on a logical object model. It supports both case-based and rules-based reasoning through various metaphors (decision trees, decision tables). Full logging of execution and transparent execution is combined with functionality to offer explanations that have links to external source documents. This can also be used for impact analysis, identifying the rules that need to change when a source changes.
  • User interface and forms are managed using an editor that runs in the browser but looks and feels like Office so that it is familiar to business users. Content and layout are separated so that the UI can be rendered to HTML 5, mobile, Windows Presentation Foundation etc.
  • Rules-driven documents can be defined with explicit structure managed separately from the content.
  • A state machine supports dynamic case management with rules-based transitions and a process-centric representation for modeling and review. The event-based case management engine handles all processes even when the user specifies a process flow.
  • Finally it supports connectively with various external environments, enterprise service buses and SOA environments.

A layered approach overall allows generic models to be created and then specialized by country or product line for instance. Only the specific changes are managed in these layers, allowing the rest to pass through unchanged. This allows solution providers to create easy-to-customize solutions.

You can get more information on Blueriq at www.blueriq.com  and they are one of the vendors in our Decision Management Systems Platform Technology Report.

Updated 7/1/13 to Blueriq

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