Three Cool Things About Pega

In the old Pega, the first step to building an app was defining the object class hierarchy. Yeah, that's a great way to start a business-driven initiative! You can still do that if you want, but in the new Pega you can just start with process modeling, and they create the object class structure under the covers. When things start getting complex -- different departments doing their own special tweaks -- you can always get into the object class thing, but by then you're already getting something done. Pega would argue, and I guess I can't disagree, that when you're rolling out a process broadly in the enterprise, different variations of the process are going to be required, and using object inheritance to manage both the base functionality and the variations is actually a strength. But they don't make you get a CS degree to get started anymore. So that's cool thing number one.

Cool thing number two is their emphasis on the end user experience, i.e. the task user interface for process participants. Other vendors, like Lombardi and Adobe, also hang their hat on this one, but Pega takes the prize for making dynamic Ajax interfaces and screenflows easy to develop with visual forms. It's not even scripting, just point-click.

The third cool thing is solution value out of the box, particularly for insurance, health care, call center, etc. Other BPMS vendors have "solution template" demo software that they give away, but this is the real deal. Engineered, QA'ed, documented, warrantied software that does real work out of the box, with built-in support for complex business objects like HIPAA transaction sets, business rules, and performance management reports. I think this is a key reason they scored so well in the Gartner MQ, and they try to market these solution templates as something every BPMS is supposed to have. But when the industry norm is fake solution templates and you have real ones, I'm not sure that's the best approach.

Anyway, kudos to Pega. I'm paying attention now.