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SAP to focus on business process management

SAP is forming a Business Process Management Expert Community with experts and independent software vendors to address gaps in its BPM software .

LAS VEGAS -- SAP today is launching a Business Process Expert Community, identifying a growing number of business...

analysts in companies who classify and map business processes.

Business Process Management (BPM) is a growing trend among companies that are conducting service oriented architecture projects, according to researchers at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc., who conducted a summit on the topic in March. SAP, which partners with Germany-based IDS Scheer to address process modeling, is embedding IDS Scheer's ARIS technology into its NetWeaver platform.

Members of the new community will be able to share their experiences and expertise.
Mark Yoltonvice president, SDN and Business Process Expert CommunitySAP

The goal of the Business Process Expert Community is to add a number of new tools and features available to business analysts, who are one step removed from the developer community, said Mark Yolton, vice president of community process at SAP.

The announcement will be made today at the SAP TechEd user conference being held here this week.

"Members of the new community will be able to share their experiences and expertise," Yolton said.

The new community so far has 30,000 members and will be lead by Intel, an SAP partner and mySAP early adopter. India-based consulting firm Wipro Technologies will also play a role in the new group, Yolton said.

Earlier this year, Gartner analyst Jim Sinur said SAP, Oracle and other large software vendors have some gaps to address with business process management. SAP's workflow tools are too complicated, have too few rules management features, and lack human-to-human task support, he said.

The BPM Expert Community marks SAP's second user-based group. The SAP Developer Network, which serves the needs of SAP developers, has about 500,000 members. The software vendor also has several Enterprise Services Communities – several small groups tied to specific industries to open a dialogue with SAP about missing gaps in its software.

Gartner ranks SAP, IBM, Fujitsu, Microsoft, and Oracle among the "power vendors" that have been addressing the issue of BPM over the last two years. Pure-play vendors such as Pegasystems Inc., Global 360 Inc., Lombardi Software Inc., Metastorm Inc., Savvion Inc., and Appian Corp. have launched BPM suites that integrate with company systems and go far beyond process modeling.

Features within SAP Web Application Server enable business rules integration to control and monitor processes within an application, he said. SAP Exchange Infrastructure can be used to extend BPM to third-party applications.

SAP TechEd, which brings together thousands of SAP's more technical user-base, focuses on the underlying layer of technology within its software. At a keynote presentation today, SAP's Shai Agassi plans to unveil more information about the software vendor's graphical interface progress, it calls Project Muse. SAP unveiled plans to create a more intuitive interface earlier this year at its Sapphire user conference in Orlando.

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