Savvion Back in the Game with v7.5

They would say they never left it, but from a marketing perspective Savvion is suddenly re-emerging from a quiet period with the introduction of version 7.5 and related vertical application initiatives. Since the beginning of the year they have been able to right the ship financially - reporting 6% net profit for the fiscal year, and 16% operating profit in Q3 - while expanding the platform both horizontally and vertically.

Horizontal platform extension includes new features like Project-Oriented Processes (POP), content management, business rule management, expanded process intelligence, and platform architecture for deployment in a multi-tenant/SaaS environment. Vertical expansion has two levels: domain foundations, a collection of process components applicable across applications in a vertical industry domain; and business applications themselves. Savvion will deliver a few of the applications, and will support ISVs and SIs in building the rest. So far they have 8 Solution Business Alliance partners signed up. The first domain foundation and apps will be announced tomorrow.

Innovations in the platform itself include:

  • Tabular process modeling, an Excel-like format for process definition autolinked to a BPMN process diagram. You can edit in either view. The diagram view also recognizes hand-drawn shapes and lines.
  • Project Oriented Processes, what I call case management, in which completion is based on phases and milestones, not a structured flow. Savvion POP supports MS Project import/export, Gantt charts, etc. It looks very nice.
  • Ajax/web 2.0 forms, lots of built-in widgets, user-defined widgets, direct support for Google and Yahoo widgets. All the latest bells and whistles.
  • Business rules management, replacing Yasu (taken off the table by SAP). Shared data model with BPM is a plus.
  • Business Process Center, a collaboration portal for BPM in the enterprise for publishing and sharing models, policies, best practices, and other artifacts, with wiki, feeds, and similar collaboration modes.
  • Business Expert, a new process intelligence tool combining BAM and analytics in a process-centered framework. It supposedly "learns" from running processes, and can present suggestions at runtime to performers via the task user interface. It is business oriented, with metrics and alerts configured in the portal, not in the design tool.
  • Content management, via a packaged adapter to Documentum in v7.5, plus a new Savvion Document Management feature later on.
There's a lot to like in v7.5, and we welcome Savvion back to the (public-facing) BPMS game.