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IBM Tailors BPM for Small Business

April 22, 2011 No Comments

IBM has customized its new BPM (business process management) software to help small and midsized organizations set up their own automated workflows just like big businesses do.

Most BPM tools “are built for thousands of users and to run across multiple servers, and so they can get complex and expensive. This [software] addresses the BPM need in the mid-market,” said Ron Kline, an IBM director for marketing to small and midsized businesses. “It fits the need for a midsized company, without it being too lightweight.”

The software is based on the recently revamped enterprise BPM software IBM launched earlier this month, called Business Process Manager.

The standard edition of Business Process Manager combined two of IBM’s previous BPM offerings, the WebSphere Process Server and IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition. IBM obtained the latter when it purchased Lombardi last year.

This Express edition offers the same capabilities, though its usage is limited to four CPUs, 200 users and three “authors,” or administrators who build the processes, Kline said.

BPM software is designed to automate routine business processes, such as hiring help or tracking shipments.

The new software is “departmentally oriented,” Kline said. “You wouldn’t use this software like a large enterprise would to track multiple processes across your entire business process.”

Instead, this software could accommodate a handful of processes. Organizations can upgrade to the standard edition should they require larger deployments. The standard edition has no user limit and can be clustered across multiple servers.

Express is different from IBM’s Blueworks Live, another lightweight IBM BPM offering, in that its processes can be coupled with back-office systems, such as CRM (customer relationship management) software.

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