Sunday, May 30, 2010

BAM: real-time versus historical


The ability to report business performance metrics is a major differentiator among BPM suites. BPM vendors are rushing to include this type of business activity monitoring (BAM) capability in their suite through acquisitions, partnerships or enhancements of existing tools. On the other hand customers are usually confused about how to best use BAM capabilities.

Real-time BAM components are tightly integrated within the BPM solution to monitor metrics for work-in-progress activities. Advanced real-time systems can do such things as record an execution pattern signaling process failure so you can avoid them in the future. Real-time BAM also predicts work loads for better resource utilization. Filtering and reacting to business events is also a key feature. For example, based on a certain business condition (such as receiving an electronic order), the following actions can start: send e-mail to a user, automatically start another process instance and send alerts to dashboard/console.

Historical BAM components, in contrast, provide analysis reports to draw conclusions from purely historical execution of already completed processes. Process-specific key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreements (SLAs) can then be compared against this data. These tools can also integrate with existing data warehouses and may require a different server platform than the BPM server.

Collecting execution metrics also enables “closed loop” modeling in which process simulations can be adjusted to improve efficiency.



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