ProActivity launches new business process analysis platform

ProActivity will announce general availability of its new business process analysis platform next week featuring new XML export capabilities to support Web services and the integration of data into business process management systems.

The Java-based ProActivity 4.0 is designed to capture, analyze, share, and optimize business process knowledge across the enterprise. Its new XML export capability is designed to support companies on the front end by accurately representing business processes as they begin to use BPM (business process management) tools to leverage Web services, according to company officials.

It is specifically molded to decrease business costs associated with the defining and designing phases of application development, said Dave Champagne, president and CEO of Newton, Mass.-based ProActivity. Business process analysis is rapidly evolving from single-user drawing and modeling tools for application development to enterprisewide knowledge capture and collaboration platforms that support a wide variety of initiatives, he said.

ProActivity 4.0 features a core reporting engine that automatically generates unlimited multidimensional graphical views, reports, and analysis of business processes, systems, interfaces, and roles.

"We generate all these process diagrams in real time off the database," Champagne said. "We can rapidly help you map an 'as is' process and perform analytics to look for optimization. You can view that process, how it is today, against the best practices. We provide a good way to take what you have today and evolve it to your desired state."

Tyler McDaniel, an analyst with the Hurwitz Group Inc. in Framingham, Mass., said that while there is value in the automation of the upfront analysis and requirements-gathering that ProActivity does, it must be tied to an execution environment such as a BPM system.

In addition, he noted that most users do not have a good, up-to-data sense of their processes -- if they are current, how much they cost, and how they support the overall business operation. For those companies, the business process analysis tool could be helpful, he added.

"It really does need to be assessed ... primarily from an organizational standpoint," McDaniel said. "XML exporting immediately gives me that one-step move into the execution environment ... so we can start getting our modeling and analysis requirements done quickly and effectively and move into having working applications quickly."

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