Software AG wants to be 'Apple' of BPM

Software AG is hedging its future on producing user-friendly products and courting users by way of a "Facebook" for the business process management (BPM) community, said the German software vendor's CEO, Karl-Heinz Streibich.
Speaking at a press conference here Monday, Streibich said: "Ease of use can translate to a quantum leap in market share."
He likened the company's intention to democratize BPM tools to Apple's iPhone, which he said captured new smartphone users. "That's what we want to achieve in the B2B (business-to-business) space," said Streibich.
Customers have been requesting more worker-friendly interfaces, he said, noting that in BPM pilot projects conducted, ease of use often translated to customer acceptance.
"BPM is a business concern, so you have to speak the language of business users [so that] BPM can and will be used by non-IT business users," he added.
The company is also planning to release on Tuesday a social network around the BPM theme, called ARISalign.
Peter Kurpick, Software AG's chief product officer, said the social network will provide a "Facebook of BPM" aimed at reaching out to users and help more office workers discover business processes.
The ARISalign platform is available as a browser-accessible site and via the iPhone, with plans to add other smartphone platforms to the list, Kurpick said. The endeavor is aimed specifically at regular office workers, not technical personnel, he added.
Process workflows that have been put together on the Web platform can be exported to Software AG platforms WebMethods or ARIS, or the XDPL (XML Process Definition Language) standard, which is be supported by software from other vendors.
ARIS (Architecture of Integrated Information Systems) is a framework that encompasses design, deployment and management of business processes, including a methodology for business process modeling and management. The language was released by IDS Scheer, which was acquired by Software AG in July 2009.
Another tool for ARIS is a natural language search tool similar to Web searches, called ARIS Rocket Search.
Wolfram Jost, Software AG's IDS Scheer chief product officer, said of the search tool: "We know easy-to-use search from the Internet, and this is translated into our [ARIS] dashboard."
Software AG also intends to fully integrate ARIS and WebMethods, which it acquired in April 2007, into its portfolio this year.
Toward the end of this year, data will be interchangeable and can be synced across three of the company's products: BPM suite WebMethods, Web-based business process modeling tool ARIS Business Architect, and SOA repository CentraSite, said Kurpick.