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Conference kick-off by Mark Jeffries

ProcessWorld 2011 traditionally starts with a keynote session. This year, this keynote session is moderated by Mark Jeffries, not just a professional British TV moderator, but also an entertaining speaker to listen to. He starts of the conference with some hints how to use ProcessWorld for personal networking. Even though those points are well-known, it is good to recall them from time to time. So he suggests that attendees follow-up the contacts they meet at ProcessWorld by:

  • putting yourself on radar - sending an email some days after the conference
  • remembering something they said - mentioning something you talked about with the contact at the conference
  • and giving a reward - sending something along the email the contact might like.

Mark goes through the major points on the conference agenda and he also asks participants to use the #PW11 hashtag on Twitter.

Mark Jeffries

Keynote by Karl-Heinz Streibich

After this very fresh opening, Mark hands over to Karl-Heinz Streibich, CEO of Software AG. Karl-Heinz Streibich focuses on the point that IT has a very strong influence how businesses perform. He asks participants to imagine what IT technology might do for their business in light of the recent changes in Egypt and Tunesia. If IT technology like Twitter and Facebook is able to help getting rid of dictatorship, what tremendous impact might it have on your own company? If IT can change a whole country, there is no excuse why IT transformations in business might not work out.

Karl-Heinz Streibich

Karl-Heinz Streibich discusses several points why IT-based transformations are good and important to survive in markets, which are always getting more global and competitive. He illustrates those points using Linde AG, a global leading producer of pressure gaz. As far as I remember, I will cover a session presented by Linde AG tomorrow. I’m really looking forward for this session!

In his view, IT transformation technology sits between the business models and the application infrastructure. It enables mashing up existing applications to support current and upcoming business needs. Instead of changing the applications themselves, this middle layer with process-driven transformation technologies is used to get results faster. An important building block is enabling collaboration between business and IT. Karl-Heinz Streibich calls that "Extreme Collaboration", but he says we will get details about extreme collaboration in some minutes by Dr. Jost.

There are some very hot news as well. Last week, Software AG acquired Terracotta, provider of leading Java caching technology. But today in the morning, Software AG announced the acquisition of Metismo, a provider of mobile application solutions. According to Mr. Streibich, this shows that Software AG is a fast growing company and he cites a report that puts Software AG among the top 10 fastest growing IT companies world-wide.

To not just claim that process focus helps to speed up innovation, Karl-Heinz Streibich shows how process orientation is used within Software AG. For example, in the "Idea to product" process, we manage how ideas are turned into products, e.g. like a new ARIS product. All steps of this process are monitored and several hundred people are involved.

Keynote by Dr. Wolfram Jost

Now, Karl-Heinz Streibich hands over to Dr. Wolfram Jost, CTO of Software AG. Dr. Jost mentions that there are 900 attendees at ProcessWorld 2011. He starts with a look at the history of ProcessWorld. The first conference was back in 1998 with 35 participants. He presented at all conferences and from his experience he knows that he never finished his presentation on time. And he expects this to hold true today as well as he has so many things to announce.

Wolfram Jost

In the first part of his keynote, he presents the current state. He stresses the point that standardization on the application layer is important, but that in many cases it is more agile to implement processes on a layer above. For this process layer, different technologies are needed like process analysis, implementation, monitoring, and measurement. All those technologies needed are available by a single vendor - Software AG. For example, process documentation and analysis can be done with ARIS Platform, whereas execution is done using webMethods products. In this context, he highlights the product solution "model to execution", a package tightly integrating different products needed for a complete process lifecycle. This model to execution solution should be familiar to readers of ARIS BPM Blog, because my colleagues are highlighting different parts of it in a recent article sequel.

Dr. Jost doesn’t just present new products, but he also stresses that major investments are done in existing products like Adabas and NATURAL. For example, now NATURAL users can get insights using ARIS MashZone, because both products were integrated.

An important part of his presentation is about mobile capabilities. He discusses that today’s acquisition of Metismo was done to get access to their technology. In the next months, their technology will be integrated in the webMethods product suite. According to Dr. Jost, the mobile market is suffering from the fact that there is no standard shared by all major vendors like Apple, Google Android, and RIM Blackberry. The acquisition of Metismo will allow developing one application, which can be deployed on the major mobile platforms. This will help companies to save costs as less technological frameworks must be supported.

Last week, Software AG acquired Terracotta. According to Dr. Jost, this was also a technology acquisition to get access to the world’s leading caching technologies. The ever increasing amount of data makes data access speed a critical success factor. Here, the caching and in-memory technologies of Terracotta will help Software AG customers to get access to their data faster. He announces that a first release of webMethods using the caching technology of Terracotta will be available at the end of the year. Dr. Jost confirms that the OpenSource strategy of Terracotta will be continued by Software AG.

Keynote by CSO Ivo Totev

Now Ivo Totev takes over, chief service officer (CSO) of Software AG. He says his main challenge of today is making up the time so that everyone gets to the coffee break on time. I love his talk already ;-)

Ivo Totev

Ivo Totev explains that it is not enough for Software AG to just provide technologies, but instead customers are asking for solutions. The consulting business units of Software AG lead by Ivo Totev provide exactly those kinds of solutions. He shows a slide with the different focus areas like SAP implementation consulting or business process management support. He announces two new consulting packages: ActiveCare and MaxPerform. ActiveCare ensures that Go lives are well prepared. MaxPerform ensures to get most of the technology used. According to Ivo Totev, those services were already provided in the past in some countries, but now they packaged and the packages are available globally.

Cloud Computing

Now, Dr. Jost takes over again presenting the cloud computing strategy of Software AG. I fully share the view of Dr. Jost that cloud computing is too often discussed from a technological point of view. Of course we have to make sure that systems scale and are always available, but only few discuss business innovations enabled by cloud computing.

One important business innovation enabled by cloud computing is what Software AG calls "Extreme Collaboration". Extreme collaboration ensures that business and IT people work together in all phases of the process lifecycle. This can only be achieved with mobile support. Here, it becomes clear why Software AG just acquired the mobile provider Metismo.

Dr. Jost summarizes his speech showing how the different parts work together. I think I will be able to cover that during my coming blogs in the next days.

PS: By the way, Dr. Jost finished on time :-)


Note: Check this overview post to get all links to the other live posts from ProcessWorld 2011 in Berlin

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