IT|Redux

Apache ODE is Reaching Critical Mass

Friday, February 13th 2009 | Ismael Ghalimi

The Apache ODE project lead by Intalio is reaching critical mass, more recently with its integration by WSO2. While many more vendors are considering using Apache ODE for adding BPEL support to their products, others do not seem too happy about this momentum, among them Alex Neihaus from Active Endpoints, who is claiming that WSO2’s Carbon BPM isn’t a product. I’m not a big fan of vendor bashing, and I certainly do not want to take any part in this silly fight, but I’m happy to answer Alex’s list of 10 reasons that make Apache ODE (or WSO2 Business Process Server, same codebase) not a BPM product. If you want BPM based on the best BPEL engine around (ODE), Intalio has it in store, and we’re open for business… [Continue…]

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Intalio Developer Edition Coming Soon

Friday, February 13th 2009 | Ismael Ghalimi

Sometime this quarter, Intalio will release two brand new editions for our open source Business Process Platform, the Business Edition and the Developer Edition. The former is the result of our acquisition of Process Square (Germany), while the later originated from an idea proposed by Matthieu Riou, one of the lead developers for Apache ODE, a project lead by Intalio. Here are more details about it. [Continue…]

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More on the Task Delegation Process

Thursday, February 12th 2009 | Ismael Ghalimi

Yesterday, I introduced the task delegation process as one of the process patterns I found particularly interesting. It turns out that I am not the only one, and a Dogfood team has been formed around it, with Robert (Vice President of Business Development) and Madhav (Sales Engineer). For them to be successful, they’ll need some more detailed requirements, which I am happy to provide today. [Continue…]

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BuzzGain

Wednesday, February 11th 2009 | Ismael Ghalimi

One of the goals of our Dogfood Project is to automate our Public Relations process. In a PR 1.0 world, press releases would be sent to a handful of analysts and journalists from a Friends & Family list, and pushed on some wire service like PR Newswire. In today’s PR 2.0 world, this approach simply does not scale anymore, and we need something quite a bit more powerful. Here comes BuzzGain. [Continue…]

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Looking for Real World Process Patterns

Wednesday, February 11th 2009 | Ismael Ghalimi

Much has been said or written about process patterns, but the debate usually focuses on academical theories or technical considerations, both of which get boring pretty fast. What’s more interesting (to me at least) is the discovery of real-world process patterns, and their implementation into easy-to-use tools. One such tool is Zapproved.com, and it does a great job at handling the multi-party approval process. [Continue…]

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A First Taste of Dogfood

Sunday, January 25th 2009 | Ismael Ghalimi

Our Project Dogfood was launched just two weeks ago, but it’s running full speed ahead. Among the most active projects, the Customer Support Process lead by Gene Grell — Intalio’s new Director of Support — and the Marketing & Public Relations Process, which I am working on with Rick Geneva and Antoine Toulme. Here is a quick update on both, plus a really cool side project that emerged from one of them. [Continue…]

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Looking for Acquisition Targets

Monday, January 19th 2009 | Ismael Ghalimi

Toward the end of last year, Intalio’s Board of Directors agreed to pursue an aggressive M&A strategy whereby Intalio would buy 8 to 10 Open Source companies over the next 18 to 24 months. We’ve started to share our strategy with some potential partners, and we’ve been asked to describe the kind of companies we’re looking for. Here is a preliminary set of criteria (highly subject to change). [Continue…]

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Project Dogfood

Monday, January 19th 2009 | Ismael Ghalimi

While the current recession is forcing many companies to go through painful rounds of layoffs, Intalio is actually growing its employee base, albeit at a slower rate than in the previous twelve months. There are two reasons for this: Number one, we want to remain on the conservative side, and continue outsourcing most non-core functions, which pretty much means everything outside of architecture design and customer training. Number two, we have started to aggressively use our own products in order to improve our operations, thereby allowing us to do more with less. We call this initiave Project Dogfood. [Continue…]

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Intalio is Turning Ten

Saturday, January 17th 2009 | Ismael Ghalimi

This year, Intalio will turn ten. In order to celebrate in style, we just released a brand new website. It outlines the progress we’ve made during this first decade, and the vision we have for the next. It’s a major milestone for us, in two ways: First, it’s the first website we built that actually tells a clear story on what Intalio is all about. Second, it’s the first Intalio website that I did not design myself. I’m a bit of a control freak, especially when it comes to content and design, and extracting myself from the process was definitely not easy, but it worked out in the end, and we gained a lot more scalability along the way. [Continue…]

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BPM is Process Engineering

Friday, November 28th 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

In a fairly recent article, Keith Swenson, Vice President of Research and Development at Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation, explained why BPM is not Software Engineering. While I tend to agree with the article’s provocative title, especially if one were to rephrase it as “BPM is not just Software Engineering,” I disagree with most of the article’s content. Keith’s definition of “pure BPM” as a discipline “where a business person draws a diagram, and it is implemented without any need for Software Engineering” would be considered as naive if it were given by someone who is new to the field of BPM. But coming from an expert like Keith Swenson, it’s truly misleading. [Continue…]

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Livescribe Pulse

Friday, November 21st 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

The Livescribe Pulse smartpen works pretty well…

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WordPress 2.7

Friday, November 21st 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

WordPress 2.7 is a thing of beauty.

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Why XPDL is Essentially Useless

Friday, November 21st 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

From time to time, we receive an RFP requiring support for XPDL. Even though we usually do not answer RFPs (Cf. Don’t RFP, Just DIY), I would like to comment on the need for XPDL, and why we think it’s essentially useless. It has been discussed here and there, but customers seem to remain confused about what XPDL is good for, how it relates to BPMN and BPEL, and how anyone could get any value out of it. [Continue…]

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The Process Must Keep Running

Friday, November 21st 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

This is a copy of a newsletter sent to all Intalio users, customers, and partners today.

Good morning. I hope this email finds you well, and that recent economic developments are not impacting your business too negatively. Every day that passes by seems to bring its lot of bad news. One day, we hear about the Recession. The day after, it turned into a Depression. And yesterday, news broke that the United States, France, and Japan entered into the scary phase of Deflation. Whichever way we look at it, the next few years will be extremely challenging from an economic standpoint, and all businesses must prepare themselves to hunker down in order to survive what is starting to look like the worse economic crisis of modern history. [Continue…]

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Motivated Marketing Intern Available

Monday, November 17th 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

From time to time, I use this blog to promote a cool product or service I came across, or help a friend out. Today, this friend is actually a family member: her name is Sarah, she is my younger sister, 25 year old, studying marketing and business administration at Audencia (one of the top management schools in France), and looking for a one-year internship to start in February or March 2009. [Continue…]

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Imagine

Friday, November 14th 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

Imagine a BPM tool that could be used by real business people. Imagine a tool that would allow them to document business processes using the simplest notation possible. Imagine a tool that would not only show pretty pictures, but actually turn them into executable processes, at the click of a button. Imagine a tool that could be used on demand, without having to install any software. Imagine a tool that would let business people automate highly-regulated processes such as the financials closing process, without any involvement from IT. Now, imagine such a tool being tightly integrated with the most advanced standards-based BPMS currently available on the market. Such a tool exists today, it has been developed by a little company based in Germany, and Intalio acquired this company today. [Continue…]

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Should We Design Processes Like Airplanes?

Tuesday, November 11th 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

As the ongoing discussion about standards for BPM continues, an interesting thread with Mr. Khan of Ultimus fame emerged. In response to his Don’t Forget the BPM Ecosystem article, I explained that standards always play a critical role in the development of mature industries, and drew further analogy to the airline industry that Mr. Khan felt compeled to challenge in a subsequent article. Unfortunately, his appreciation for the standardization that took place in both the commercial and general aviation markets seems to be fairly limited, and certainly not matched by facts that can be easily observed by any pilot today, myself included. [Continue…]

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Developing a True BPM Ecosystem

Friday, November 7th 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

In a recent article, Rashid N. Khan, former founder and CEO of Ultimus, makes a case for diversity in the BPM ecosystem, comparing it to the transportation ecosystem. He then goes on concluding that “one BPMS will not satisfy all the process needs of an organization, one BPMS vendor is unlikely to meet all the process needs of an organization, [and] one standard will not be suitable for all types of BPMS.” While I have a great deal of respect for what Mr. Khan did at Ultimus, I must disagree with both his analogy and his conclusions. [Continue…]

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Greed is not Good

Monday, November 3rd 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

Over the past few weeks, discussions started by the Why BPEL Matters article have gone from mildly engaged to radically passionate, bringing some clarity to otherwise arcane subjects. The need for standards was clarified, and Bruce Silver wrote one of the best analysis of the BPM marketplace I’ve seen in a long time. While I am thoroughly enjoying this debate, some bloggers are going from passionate to disrespectful, and this is a line I am not willing to cross. [Continue…]

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Why Standards Matter

Sunday, November 2nd 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

A month ago, the Why BPEL Matters article was posted on IT|Redux, and triggered a wave of discussions rarely seen in the little BPM microcosm. Initially, they focused on arcane mathematical considerations supported by pseudo-scientific arguments on both sides of the fence (here and there). But as the debate progressed, what is at stake for those opposed to BPEL as standard process execution language became clear, and the motivations for supporting their side of the argument painfully evident: disregard for the value of standards, and focus on the needs of vendors rather than the interest of customers (Cf. this article and that one). Let’s take a closer look at what this healthy debate brought under the spotlight. [Continue…]

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