Microsoft, ISVs create business process alliance

SAN DIEGO — At the Gartner Business Process Management Summit here, Microsoft Corp. announced the formation of the Microsoft Business Process Alliance (BPA), aimed at extending the benefits of business process management (BPM) to companies and offering enhanced functionality to existing Microsoft customers.

The alliance is a group of 10 software vendors focused on making BPM solutions more broadly accessible and helping companies take advantage of BPM tools based on the Microsoft platform.

Through this alliance they hope a broad range of customers will benefit from end- to-end tools for automating and optimizing business processes.

The initial members of the BPA are AmberPoint, Ascentn, IDS Scheer, Fair Isaac, Global360, InRule, Metastorm, PNMsoft, RuleBurst and SourceCode Technology Holdings Inc.

Microsoft also announced enhancements to its Windows Workflow Foundation technology in the .NET Framework 3.0, adding support for the upcoming BPEL 2.0 standard and further providing capabilities and tools for developers and independent software vendors building BPEL-enabled workflow applications.

“The business process management space has become a classic case of the haves and have-nots between very large enterprises and the rest of the industry,” said Steven Martin, director of product management in the connected systems division at Microsoft. “The formation of the Business Process Alliance serves as a great opportunity for a wider range of customers to adopt game- changing business process management technologies that drive efficiency through automation.”

The adoption of business process management technologies has been primarily limited to the Fortune 500 due to the high cost and complexity of specialized BPM solutions, alliance members said. It wants to deliver end-to-end tools running on the Microsoft platform and enabling simple, cost-effective BPM options for organizations of all sizes.

They would include applications with business process modeling and analysis, business rules management, human- centric workflow, process simulation and service-oriented architecture life- cycle management. Office system is a boon for customers.”

Additional information on Microsoft’s BPM strategy and technologies can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/bpm

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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