Solving complex business process problems with technology.

Phil Ayres

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New Media on Ulitzer There has been a big rise by the business process management (BPM) software vendors to get in on the 'social' game. As people become more comfortable with using Twitter and Facebook than they do Word and Excel, a new tag has appeared: Social BPM. My argument is that, once upon a time this was called 'collaboration' and the big software vendors (Documentum/EMC, Vignette, etc) did it. Collaboration software was about helping teams of people, typically on projects or with a need to share information to get a job done, to set up 'collaboration spaces' or 'team rooms'. There was not a lot of process enforcement, because the workflow capabilities of the products were limited and the aim was to focus on ad-hoc collaboration of people, rather than strict process flows. This lack of process management was probably a shortcoming, since companies grew a... (more)

AIG Selling $50B Units – Integration Struggles Ahead?

As AIG plans to sell off two large units from its core, it makes me believe that there are interesting people-, process- and technology-times ahead for the companies acquiring them. As I talked about yesterday, insurance companies are used to the fact that they have different lines of business running different systems. According to Matt Buttell at Financial Services Technology, AIG's Asian life business goes to Prudential PLC, and hopefully next week American Life Insurance Co (ALICO) goes to MetLife. The interesting thing about these transactions is that both Prudential and Met... (more)

At $24k a year for server hosting, the cloud can't fail

  The tech industry's current love affair is with cloud computing - that hard to describe set of technology and infrastructure that is the obsession of companies large and small. Much like the industry's previous 'squeeze', SOA, the joy of the cloud is that you can make almost any technology fit under the name. Put plainly though, I see the cloud as a flexible set of server and storage resources that can host applications, somewhere out there, though you don't have to know where. With this comes the ability to reduce costs of running enterprise and SaaS applications. There are ... (more)

'I Hate Working with Documents On-Screen,' and Other Issues We Reinforce

You've heard the phrase "Knowledge is Power". There seems to be a human character trait that says by keeping documents close at hand, preferably within steps of my office chair, I am more powerful. Filing cabinets for individuals, and "working copies" of client files are everywhere in offices. Take that easy access to information away and people fight back. You are removing some of their ability to hoard information, all of which is a duplicate of something available elsewhere, but it exposes a frailty that leaves them uncomfortable. "What if somebody else has the file the one ti... (more)

Protecting online banking accounts - is there an app for that?

Losses from falsified online banking transactions tripled in the third quarter, and it seems that the banks have no way to stop them, reports Joseph Menn for the FT. At $120m, this is only about 17% of the total cost of identity fraud and bad checks / cheques, amounting to a total of $700m, although significant enough that you would believe banks would be working hard to stop the problem. The issue for businesses it seems is that many banks are not feeling much of the $120m cost, ensuring that the losses remain with the business account holders. Compensation is something the bank... (more)