A guide to IBM Business Process Management as a service

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In my last blog post, I provided you with Five examples of B2B Integration using IBM SmartCloud. This time, the topic is IBM Business Process Management (BPM) as a service.

Initially, I planned to limit this blog post to software as a service (SaaS), but I decided to expand the scope to all forms of IBM BPM available as cloud-based solutions to give a more comprehensive picture.

IBM BPM has four focus areas: business monitor, process automation, decision management and process discovery and design. These include the following key products:

  • IBM Blueworks Live is a cloud-based BPM tool that enables collaboration and process automation. Read articles about IBM Blueworks Live to learn more.
  • IBM Business Process Manager is a comprehensive BPM platform that gives you visibility and insight to manage your business processes. It scales smoothly and easily from an initial project to a full enterprise-wide program. For more information, read articles and tutorials on IBM Business Process Manager for both business and technical users.
  • IBM Business Monitor provides end-to-end business process and activity monitoring along with dashboards representing insight that can be used in process optimization. You can check out these articles about IBM Business Monitor for both business and technical users to learn more.
  • IBM Operational Decision Manager integrates business events and business rules to automate decisions across processes and applications.
  • IBM Case Manager unites information, processes and people to provide a 360 degree view of case information and achieve optimized outcomes.

Two of these products are available in the cloud.

IBM Blueworks Live is a full-fledged software as a service (SaaS) public cloud solution enabling business users to describe their existing or new business processes. Once a business user has finalized the business process specification, they can execute them within IBM Blueworks Live if it is a simple and manual business process. If process automation or integration is needed, the suite of IBM Business Process Manager products is required, meaning the process specifications made in IBM Blueworks Live are imported into the IBM Business Process Manager.

IBM Business Process Manager is available as a conventional software product where you buy licenses and install it on your own.

Additionally, IBM Business Process Manager components are also available as ready-for-use images in an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) delivery model—based on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise—for you to rapidly provision servers on-demand. The components available on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise include:

  • IBM Business Process Manager
  • IBM Process Center
  • IBM Process Server
  • IBM Process Designer
  • IBM Integration Designer

This demo shows, step-by-step, how you create an IBM Process Center virtual machine (VM) and  an IBM Process Designer virtual machine to create and run your processes.

Last but not least, IBM Business Process Manager is available as a fully managed, secured, integrated and optimized platform as a service (PaaS) solution, also known as IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud. Here you simply sign up and immediately get access to a cloud-based solution including tooling and run time for process design, execution, monitoring and optimization.

With the various Business Process Manager solutions available from IBM, you can mix and match the comments to suit your needs. For example, you may want to describe your business processes in the cloud (using IBM Blueworks Live), develop and test the automation and integration in the cloud (using an IaaS or PaaS solution) and have your IBM Business Process Management production run time execute on-premises. You may also decide to have the production run time execute using IBM Business Process Manager on Cloud; this could be an advantage if you are integrating business processes with numerous business partners.

Join me @rdsvendsen on Twitter to discuss what benefits you see, your experiences and your doubts about moving BPM into the cloud.

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