Making BPM More Engaging

One of the trends I detected at the Brainstorm BPM Conference in San Francisco this week is an effort to make BPM more engaging to users via Web 2.0 and Ajax. This dovetails with Ismael's suggestions about how to make BPM cool again.

Adobe is now all over Flex and Flash technology to turn what we used to call "forms" into animated, engaging end user experiences (online or off) for, say, the applicant for a loan or potential purchaser of some good or service. In Adobe's conception, engagement is focused at the requester of a business process (e.g. customer), and the BPMS hooks the output of that end user experience into the fulfillment of the request.

Pega just came out with a new release that features Ajax widgets to give process task participants a more engaging user interface, such as dynamic screens that lead the user to provide just the information required, without annoying roundtrips to the web server. Lombardi also emphasizes engaging task participants through its "coach" user interface paradigm.

While IT architects may debate the merits of the BPMS plumbing, business users evaluate technology based on things they can see on the screen, and Adobe, Pega, and Lombardi are going to ride that wave.