Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast
Krista Summitt 270003YAW6 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  bpm blueworkslive brms impact icty websphere pointsource bpmn
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On June 9, 2011 PointSource and IBM hosted an Impact Comes To You (ICTY) Event at The Concession Golf Club in Sarasota, Florida. Impact Comes To You brings content from IBM’s Global Impact 2011 Conference held April 10-15 in Las Vegas to a local business and IT audience. Impact is where IT professionals can learn the latest technology trends and quickly build skills in WebSphere, BPM, SOA and Cloud solutions. Business professionals can gain insight into new business strategies and best practices, and build leadership skills through the Forbes Business Leadership Forum.
I recently sat down with Chris Sanchez (@CSanchezAustin), Vice President of Business Solutions for PointSource, LLC (@pointsource) to report on some of the key highlights and messages IBM and PointSource delivered to customers at the event.
Dawn Sanchez: Thanks for sitting down with me. When PointSource was planning the Sarasota ICTY event with IBM what were the key themes from Impact you both wanted to bring to the local audience?
Chris Sanchez: At PointSource we’re big believers in Business Process Management (BPM), so we wanted to provide a venue that focused on delivering a message on the importance of BPM.
Dawn: Tell us a little about who attended the event?
Chris: The event was well attended by prospects, customers, and IBM representatives. We tapped into the IBM Worldwide Sales team for Business Process Management to bring Noel Paterson, VP WW Sales for BPM, and Mike Huseman, WW BPM Executive to deliver our keynote on business agility, and session on business process management and decision management. The event kicked off with Cheryl Kleiman, PointSource VP of Sales providing the introductions and wasting no time getting our Key Note Speaker, Noel Paterson, introduced.
Dawn: What was the main message he wanted to drive home?
Chris: If there were only two things that Noel wanted the audience to walk away with it would be that “the New Normal is change, complexity, and uncertainty” and that “business transformation is no longer an option.” A CIO from an Insurance Company, echoed these sentiments with her quote, “if you don’t like change, you’re not going to like the alternative – extinction.” I think that’s spot-on because if you look at some brick and mortar companies (those that have long anchored our shopping centers as family-hubs and social hang outs) that didn’t embrace change, their alternative was, well, Noel’s slide below tells the story.
Dawn: So how are companies supposed to deal with the “New Normal?”
Chris: Well, the first thing is to be forward thinking and embrace change. Noel outlined for the audience a set of capabilities that enable transformation. They are: 1) agile processes and decisions, 2) rapid, adaptable integration, 3) unbounded applications, and 4) flexible and intelligent infrastructure. This is the fabric of business agility and the foundation that differentiates companies like Netflix from Blockbuster.
Dawn: How is IBM helping customers?
Chris: This week marks IBM’s 100th anniversary. Which could have only been accomplished through a deep understanding of how to help companies create long-term business value. They do this through a comprehensive set of offerings that are constantly growing and changing. Business Process Management is a cornerstone of their software strategy and is one that continues to evolve. Noel introduced the audience to IBM Business Process Manager 7.5. IBM Business Process Manager builds on the simplicity of business-driven collaboration of Lombardi Edition and the industrial-strengthProcess Server.
Simply put IBM Business Process Manager is:
After having deployed IBM BPM Solutions for nearly 5 years I, for one, am very excited about the announcement and what this means for our customers. I like to think of the old guard was powerfully complex. The new guard, however, promises to make BPM more consumable and gives Business Partners the tools needed to scale their business across markets. I don’t want to be too optimistic because it’s still early, but I think IBM is achieving “BPM Zen” for Customers and Business Partners.
Dawn: Did you just make up “BPM Zen?”
Chris: Yes. Feel free to credit me with that, I think it has legs.
Dawn: Tell me a little about Mike Huseman’s talk. What were some of the points he shared with the audience?
Chris: Mike really brought things home and took us into the heart of the “New Normal.” If you look inside an organization today there’s change at every turn. Networks change rapidly, organizational structures are evolving, globalization adds complexity, mergers and acquisitions are accelerating, and the workforce is changing, just to name a few. To make things more complex, job roles are changing and economic pressures to “do more with less” are stressing employees and management at a personal level.
Dawn: Sounds daunting.
Chris: Yes, but that’s only half of the story. There’s an equal amount, if not more, complex external business network that companies have to navigate. Think about how processes span across customers, partners, and suppliers. Businesses have to be able to manage their work across the network, increase visibility and business intelligence of their network performance, they have to manage exceptions and be able to see trends in real time, they have to change and scale across this network, and they have to do all of this while trying to lead their markets. There aren’t many companies out there today that are well equipped to deal with this level of complexity.
Dawn: So the message here is the challenge is the opportunity.
Chris: Yes, that is exactly what Mike and Noel wanted the audience to understand. PointSource and IBM firmly believe that Business Process Management and Decision Management are key enterprise capabilities that businesses need to enable business agility.
Mike guided us through the opportunity and importance of Business Process Management and Decision Management for today’s businesses. I’m going to paraphrase him here – Business Process Management helps bring order to the chaos of typical process inefficiencies, and Decision Management enables more flexible, dynamic business decisions to be made.
Dawn: Not all customers are the same, how do IBM’s products help customers achieve value?
Chris: IBM’s software portfolio of IBM Business Process Manager 7.5 and IBM ILOG Business Rules Management enable Business Process Management and Decision Management solutions, respectively. These are market-leading, industrial grade products that support a company’s journey through the business process management lifecycle. They really address a wide range of entry points customers may have, as illustrated in Noel’s slide below. Business Process improvement is about driving value from many different perspectives.
Dawn: What does PointSource bring to the table?
Chris: Our expertise is in helping customers achieve value from their business processes. Historically, our company has worked in very process-oriented spaces such as health and safety, and packaging – so we understand process. We have deep technical expertise in building solutions on IBM technology where process management is central to the work activity, and at the same time we have down to earth people that are focused on just getting things done. Not a bad combination if you ask me.
Dawn: What’s next? How does a company get started?
Chris: I kind of liked one of Mike’s slides – so I borrowed from it (giving him credit of course). It really resonated with me because over the last 5 years delivering BPM solutions on IBM technology I’ve seen customers around the world tackle more than they were capable of, try to adopt BPM with no specific business objective, and sometimes just plain struggle with the notion of change and what it meant to their organization.
I like “Think big, Start small, Scale fast” because it supports my philosophy for successfully managing change. My other choice was to “Eat the Elephant one bite at a time” but that doesn’t seem too popular because of the visual.
Dawn: Thanks for not trying to popularize that one, I think you’ll have better luck with “BPM Zen”. OK, continue.
Chris: I wrapped up the event by introducing the audience (which at this point were ready to get to the world-class Jack Nickalus and Tony Jacklin designed golf course) to PointSource BusinessFirst™ Services. Our BusinessFirst™ Service offerings follow the philosophy of “Think big, Start small, Scale fast” because they address a customer’s situation based on their specific needs according to a business process management adoption lifecycle. Which is to say in the “New Normal” sometimes you need a strategic framework for managing change, or sometimes you need a business case to get started, or sometimes you need a trusted advisor to help cut through the hype, or sometimes you just need a pair of expert hands to help you through particularly tough spot.
Dawn: Hmm, golf, a very important part of every businessperson’s arsenal, eh?
Chris: It was our way of giving back to the executives and senior managers who invested their time to attend our event.
Dawn: Tell me about the golf scramble.
Chris: This video tells the story of The Concession, but the real and most interesting story, IMHO, is the birdie chip-in on the first hole from 20 yards out that I made for our team (Cheryl Kleiman, Ray Rummel, and Scott Silvers). Seriously, we had a fantastic time at The Concession Golf club playing an 18-hole scramble (which when playing a championship course like The Concession, is the only way to go for a hacker like me). Most of our guests played in the scramble and couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the course was. Afterward, I even got to sit out on the patio enjoying a drink and caught a glimpse of Terry Bradshaw at the table next to me.
Dawn: Sounds like a great event with a lot of important content for our customers. Thanks for sitting down with me today and recapping.
Chris: Thank you, my pleasure.
To learn more about the Project to Program methodology for thinking big, starting small and scaling fast, download our Project to Program Whitepaper.
To find out more about the revolutionary BPM 7.5, download our IBM BPM 7.5 Whitepaper.