What comes next in 2014

In 2013 our teams focused very much on customer projects integrating various tools such as ARIS, Visio, CaseWise, Sparx Enterprise Architect, IBM Rational System Architect, OpenText ProVision, IBM BlueWorks, SAP, HP ALM and many others to perfect the universal model translation between different modeling languages, EA frameworks and vendor specific implementation of standards such as BPMN. For 2014 we see a huge demand in the EA/BPM enterprise management market for more operationalization, more agility for faster value delivery to the business and to reduce IT costs.Organizations looking to leverage model assets and build continuous value chains to integrate different enterprise management disciplines, to improve communication between different departments or project teams and to escape from management silos are well recognized requirements and needs from the professional market.

Model-based testing

Many organizations made huge investments to implement professional BPM/BPA in order to gain higher transparency, better compliance, more efficient mapping of IT to business capabilities and streamlining the business architecture and business processes. But still there are huge gaps between the business view and IT implementation of business processes that can’t be closed by just depicting business flows and diagrams. The IT teams still are doing “their way” of understanding business requirements and implementing legacy applications or customizing standard ERP systems. As a central part of the model-driven paradigm, the use of business models greatly bridge the gap between business blueprinting vision and reality of IT delivery. Our push-technology already zips business with IT by automatically generating test-cases from existing process models, use-cases and requirements. The existing modeling and testing tools from the project tools landscape are re-used therefore. Our R&D teams are now working for a tighter integration with HP ALM (QC) using REST web services and SAP Solution Manager Test Workbench using RFC to promote generated test cases into test plans. The overall testing process is getting much more agile and QA costs a greatly reduced by generating the test cases. Another big part of R&D is model-driven generating of test data assigned to the created end-to-end test cases.

Visio as a universal and easy to use modeling front-end

As there are many different use-case scenarios in the professional BPM world, there is a steady need to trade-off between the sympathetic wish for BPM standardization versus tool complexity, implementation costs and the really indispensable  needs in the field, e.g. for BPR (business process reengineering) initiatives or blueprinting exercises. We accelerated the Visio tool to smartly guide business analysts and consultants to concentrate on their job doing process mapping with governance by real modeling languages and not just drawing visual diagrams. The value starts with  the possible re-use of existing best practice frameworks for scoping, and the Integration of deliverables created in projects back into central repositories for analysis and consolidation. As a next step our R&D implements concepts like associations, object instances and variations, instance properties not known to native Visio, but needed for smart integration with other BPA tools such as ARIS, IBM Rational System Architect, ProVision and many others.

Federation repository

Many huge organizations use a best-of-breed approach to master EA, BPA, GRC, APM and other domains of enterprise management with various tools. As an example e.g. they use OpenText ProVision for BPA, but ARIS for SAP projects. Or IBM Rational System Architect is used for Enterprise Architecture and planningIT to manage the IT portfolio. All domain specific Tools  describe different viewpoints of the same business and IT architecture, but logically share the same objects like applications, organizations or business capabilities in different semantics. As our daily business shows there is simply no easy way to exchange object definitions and use them between different enterprise management tools. IT teams are building point-to-point bridges, fighting with implementation efforts, time to deliver and continuous need for update of interfaces enforced by new tool releases. The clever approach to escape this story of “The Hare and Hedgehog” is to use the generic EAI (enterprise application integration) approach and link the different tools into the model bus of BPM-X. Based on this given foundation our R&D is developing web services integration based on SOAP and REST for comprehensive model data governance. The solution is a federation repository composing domain specific meta-models into a semantic model, tracking changes in the object models and ensuring automated promotion of object changes into the different tool repositories.

Asset management solution

And last but not least a very interesting solution is arising in 2014, focusing on business and IT assets, a best practice framework as a project accelerator. This solution is driven by new ISO 55000 Standard for Asset Management (http://www.assetmanagementstandards.com/). With our Canadian partner and accounted expert for asset management this bright new solution will help organizations to efficiently implement ISO 55000. More details will be disclosed along the way to release.


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