In some customer environments, Wieck added, the goal is not to hardwire connectors between one or two or even ten applications, but rather to connect via a bus that “lets you flow this information around. And what if the next step is not just connecting the applications, but orchestrating so that, for example, every time you see a sales quota exceeding plan, you do the following things – whether it’s a rule or a whole process flow, you can actually integrate those components across public and private clouds in a process, in a point-to-point connection, or just through the application and the message data that’s flowing.” So having a good architectural framework, “makes having those choices easy,” she explained.
IBM’s process portfolio, which is designed to manage this type of situation, offers what is probably the best example of IBM adoption of a more consumerist approach to enterprise applications. As Phil Gilbert, VP of IBM process management, explained, new capabilities in the IBM Business Process Manager 7.1 (BPM) around social, collaboration and governance (20 discrete products) have been bundled into one solution to ease manager visibility into processes. Integration has been done with Rational, Tivoli security has been integrated into enterprise BPS, which has been embedded into MDM (IBM’s database product), ECM content has been integrated, and connections have been built to enable SAP and BPS interoperability. In addition, a new version of the Operational Decision Management for governance features what IBM is calling a new, intuitive “social media” style user interface for collaboration on decision making. While the old portals for these solutions were very technical, Gilbert added that the new consoles act as “socially aware portal,” require no special training and can be used by a subject matter expert.