IBM Brings Cloud BPM To Partners

IBM is adding new capabilities to its business process management (BPM) offerings and giving partners the ability to offer cloud-based BPM as a service with the upcoming launch of the Blueworks Live suite.

Blueworks Live, which IBM will make available to the channel next month, gives users access to a 20,000 member-strong community while providing the ability to automate simple processes. IBM said more than 200,000 processes are already modeled and documented.

The cloud service lets users create lightweight BPM applications for expense management, document approval and other tasks while adding the ability to structure and automate ad-hoc processes in 90 seconds -- processes that are currently run over e-mail and attachments. And the channel can deliver Blueworks Live in a single offering that starts about roughly $10 per user per month. Blueworks Live is expected to be available on November 20.

IBM Blueworks Live is the next evolution of Blueprint, IBM's SaaS BPM offering that lets users discover, map, document and collaborate on business processes. Blueworks Live takes that ball and runs with it, allowing processes to be automated and enabling processes to become more "social" by adding social networking elements that let users collaborate with others online across teams, departments and organizations while also providing access to online business process communities.

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"Seventy-five percent of our customers' processes today are conducted using email or spreadsheet and document attachments," Marie Wieck, IBM General Manager for Application Integration Middleware, said in a statement.

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Blueworks Live lets employees improve simple processes like new marketing promotional campaigns, employee on-boarding and sales quote approvals while gaining visibility, understanding, insight and control. Users can interact with colleagues and collaborate through a private work stream and follow any updates to roles, processes and more, which are updated in a Facebook-like stream view. Meanwhile, managers and team members can see the status of works in progress through built-in dashboards and reports.

Along with unveiling its plans for Blueworks Live, IBM added a new technology to its Business Rules Management System, called WebSphere Decision Server, a new decision management software. Combining Business Rules Management with WebSphere Decision Server, organizations can detect and react to data patterns as they happen and make decisions based on policy, best practices or regulatory requirements.

Additionally, IBM added WebSphere Lombardi Edition to its BPM suite, a new tool that enables building and managing process applications with less time, cost and risk in a unified platform. The design lets processes owners and business users update and improve their business processes. WebSphere Lombardi Edition adds visibility that lets users and solution providers understand process bottlenecks and inefficiencies so they can be streamlined. IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition is the fruit of IBM's December 2009 acquisition of Lombardi, a BPM software maker.