Metastorm mixes BAM, BPM

Metastorm Inc. on Monday will announce the addition of BAM (business activity monitoring) to BPM (business process management), the next major direction all BPM management vendors will soon be following.

For Metastorm, a pure-play BPM enterprise application vendor, e-Work, Version 6, is a major upgrade. Among the new features is the ability to create components called "map segments," which allow a process to be broken down into "reusable chunks," according to Doug Gruber, director of product development at Metastorm in Columbia, Md.

David Kelly, an industry analyst at Upside Research in Newton, Mass., said that the inclusion of monitoring capability, BAM, is the single most important upgrade to the e-Work application suite.

"Being able to monitor processes and react to what you are processing is where the value is in automating your business process," Kelly said. "To establish metrics, monitor the metrics, and then change the business process based on the results is clearly a direction that all of the BPM applications need to go to."

According to Eileen Garry, vice president of marketing at Metastorm, the latest version designs the application for complex enterprise-level processes across mission-critical applications for internal operations, risk management, and supply-chain operations.

As BPM software's feature set grows and its capabilities move beyond simple business processes, pure-play BPM vendors may be securing their own long-term existence in the software industry, said Metastorm's CEO Bob Farrell.

"IBM, Oracle, (and) Business Objects could decide they are going to gobble up all the pure-play BPMs and incorporate (them) in their stack, but the problem is BPM is taking on a strength of its own," Farrell said.

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