Years ago, I first became a consultant after working in an environment for several years as an accountant.  The environment was such that the IT partners I had in several organizations including a Fortune five hundred company, as well as an startup company, both typically failed to find a way to an able the enterprise team comprised of the accounting, business and marketing, and logistics organizations, to work effectively with the IT team.

The IT team was unable to communicate in terms of the business problems that the enterprise teams were facing.  Those same enterprise teams were well versed in IT, and as a group would tend to dominate over the IT team.  We did this out of necessity to get things done in advance the company, but often times we neglected important messages from the IT team because they were unable to communicate with the enterprise team.

Our inability to communicate in a common language foiled us on more than one occasion.  This would always result in the enterprise team having to go to extraordinary manual processes to fix whatever was wrong.  We were able to evolve over time, but it was never an easy nor a clean process.

I’ve been investigating the technology by a company called Active Endpoints.  They create a technology solution called ActiveVOS.  I’m still learning how this technology works, but I will attempt to put it into layman’s terms.  I’m doing this because I find the technology and the solution extremely interesting and useful.

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If I understand how it works correctly, the enterprise team such as an accounting group or business group or both working together, can map out a business process using Visio.  They can walk this process into ActiveVOS, which you can think of is a software program to conceptualize it right now.  It’s actually a little bit more than that, but just think software program for now.

Once you walk the process from Visio into ActiveVOS, you can then begin to build the actual system that will run that process.  The whole concept is based on business process execution language solutions.  It employs business process management techniques that enable the two different teams of the enterprise and IT to not only talk together in a common language, but work together in a common system.  That system being ActiveVOS, essentially a SOA Software development, design and improvement solution for Service Orientated Archictectures (SOA).   This enables enterprises and developers to:

1. Automate business processes
2. Collaborate across IT and business boundaries
3. Control the overall state of the business
4. Adapt rapidly and easily to change

Click Image to See Video Demo (about 9 minutes, gets good at about 4 minutes)
ActiveVOS Demonstration video link

 

Now the thing that sold me on this concept, and made me very interested in this service solution, is a quick video demonstration that Active Endpoints provides.  In the presentation, they show you the simple diagram of a business process, and they walk you through the real world case study or example of a business that’s attempting to take a request for an estimate from a customer online, in turn that estimate into real-world action within a company, that generates an estimate using multiple contributors to have to create that estimate, and track the entire process.  In this particular example, they utilize not only the business’ website, but they also utilize Google docs as the engine behind the CRM system.

That aspect alone was enough to pique my interest in this particular tool.  Now, this is not necessarily a tool that you can flip on and start working with within a few minutes.  However they do offer a free thirty day trial, and you can test drive the program before you buy.  With that in mind, they have a very deep support system including many different training videos, and documents to help you figure out exactly what you need to do, and how you can do it.  If their educational section is lacking, you can also hire their services to come in and trained yourself or your team.  They can also help with the implementation of the system in this regards as consultants.

You can find more on this software and the Business Process Management philosophy and practice that drives it at their website ( www.activevos.com ) .

The company also manages a well orchestrated blog called Vosibilities or the ActiveVos Blog (www.vosibilities.com ).

Technorati tags: ActiveVOS, SOA Software, Service Orientated Architecture Software, BPM, BPEL,
Business Process Management, Bussiness Process Execution Language

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