BUSINESS PROCESS AUTOMATION TIPS


BPA, RPA and the Need to Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness

The way we need to do business is changing. We have to move faster, yet remain efficient, meeting the needs of customers on their schedule. That’s a challenge for so many organizations who deal with cumbersome processes that take too much time. And while the answer for certain situations might point to RPA (robotic process automation), we think there’s a bigger challenge that RPA may be a part of, but can’t resolve – modernizing processes and systems to support digital transformation.

An RPA Lesson in Brief

RPA is not new; it’s been around in some form for quite a while. RPA is the use of software robots to take over repetitive tasks from humans. This could be as simple as performing some data-entry or upload/downloading structured data between systems.

What’s nice about RPA is that it’s a no-code solution. You don’t change your current systems to implement it, it sits alongside your systems and performs the activities you define using those systems’ interfaces.

A couple of examples:

  • It can scrape multiple websites, extract data, join it together and present a summary – works for financial managers who need to monitor data across a number of sites.
  • If you have a lot of paper forms to process into a data-entry system, you can have the software scan the forms and perform this data-entry for you.

RPA has its place, but it’s not a solution for improving business processes; it’s a solution to speed up the time it takes to do repetitive manual tasks. If you want to improve your business processes or modernize your legacy applications, then you need business process automation.

Process Automation (BPA) Improves Our Efficiency

Business process automation (BPA) is not the same as RPA. Also often referred to as business process management (BPM), BPA involves the restructuring of business processes – operations and workflow to make a task or activity (or a series of activities) more efficient. BPA is also used to expose data or functionality from legacy backend systems to new modern interfaces like customer portals or web-based applications.

The ultimate goal of process automation is to improve the way things work, which in the end improves the employee experience and the customer experience. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

  • You want to provide a self-service customer support portal for your customers, but your support systems are legacy systems that don’t provide web-enabled interfaces (and even if they did, your support system is not customer-friendly). You can implement a process layer between the new portal interface and these support systems where the process layer pulls the data needed to display in the portal and updates the support systems with the customer’s changes.
  • Web-enabling a legacy system using process automation is another, similar example. Let’s say you have an insurance system that you want to give adjusters access to when they are on the road, dealing with customers. By implementing a process layer in front of the insurance system, you allow IT to design a mobile application that adjusters load on their iPads. The mobile app works whether it’s connected to the network or offline. The process layer ensures the information is uploaded to the mobile app for offline use, and the adjuster information downloaded into the insurance system when the iPad is on a network.

The Flavors of BPA – and the right one to choose

There are different ways to approach process automation, and we’ve talked about these before. You could implement a large BPM system that works across the organization. A large monolithic BPM tends to be very expensive and can take a lot of time to implement; you will have to cost-justify the expense with a number of projects that will leverage the BPM. Many BPM solutions also require a lot custom coding, lengthening the complexity of the system you are trying to modernize and the time required to get it in place.

The other, less expensive alternative is to implement a process automation tool that provides both process orchestration and workflow automation, without the heavy-duty BPM system behind it. A BPA tool like this sits in your environment and enables you to integrate it into projects as they come up. It’s often “low-code” or “no-code” meaning you can customize your orchestration or workflow rules by configuring components or elements.

A process automation solution like this gives you the ability to build reusable processes that many systems can use with little to no change. We provide a good example of this in our recent post on modernizing legacy systems.

“…the path to modernization isn’t to build another monolithic application that will be difficult manage and maintain over time; the path to modernization is to think of capabilities in terms of components or services that can connect through a process automation layer to deliver a complete application. This service-based design allows you to build your application in iterations, adding and removing functionality as you need to without affecting the entire application.”

Improving the Way You Work through Process Automation

If you are a company that has a development group that builds your own systems and is actively working on modernizing your application environment, a process automation solution can speed up both development and implementation time. But even if you don’t build your applications from scratch, your IT group can leverage process automation to implement new solutions like support portals and online customer applications.

The key is not to get tied up in an expensive and implementation heavy BPM solution or to spend money implementing an RPA solution that only puts a band-aid a bigger problem. It all comes down to what your requirements are, how your IT team works and, of course, budget.

Download Empowering Customer Experience with Process Automation to learn more about process automation.

In 2018, Commit to Modernize One Application – Here’s How

Your to-do list for 2018 is likely long — very long. But no matter how many goals you have set, here’s one initiative you should have on that list – modernize an older, legacy application. No other initiative has as much potential to pay long-term dividends for your business.

According to Niel Nickolaisen in a recent blog post on SearchCIO:

“In a world that is moving fast, we cannot have difficult-to-revise applications in our portfolios. So, select an application that is something of a Gordian Knot and use a service-oriented, microservices architecture to break it into pieces that talk to each other via a managed-API structure.”

Niel’s perspective is based on the fact that inflexible applications can directly affect your ability to compete and scale operations. Think through your operational systems — especially those that play a direct role in servicing customers — and you are likely to identify one that is an obstacle to key business initiatives.

Once you identify a system that does not have the flexibility to meet the needs of the business, there are two key things you need to consider when evaluating your approach to a modernization project:

  • Is this a system you can completely replace, or do you need a way to improve it without ripping out the entire system?
  • Are you able to break this system down into a set of components or services that work together to provide a solution?

Let’s consider each one:

Rip and Replace or Slowly Evolve?

We all love the idea of ripping out an old outdated system and replacing it with something new. And if you can do that somewhat easily – because you know it’s never REALLY easy – then you should get started now. Older systems run the risk of leveraging outdated technology and code that’s not only difficult to maintain but won’t support modern interfaces and experiences required in most companies today.

The reality is that more often, what you need to do is build customer- or employee -facing interfaces that integrate with legacy systems.

Consider a customer support portal that provides self-service capabilities to customers. For these portals to work, they have to integrate with backend systems where you store customer data. If those backend systems don’t offer an interface to pull out the data to surface in the portal or a way to update that data from actions taken in the portal, then that portal doesn’t improve the customer experience or reduce service and support costs.

It’s not just customers who benefit from improved interfaces to backend systems. Service reps who work with multiple customer information systems can support customers quicker and more efficiently when they only have to work with one interface. The one interface can connect seamlessly to all those backend systems to access and update customer data appropriately.

It may seem that if you adopt a slower evolution of legacy modernization, you are setting yourself up for more pain down the road. But you may actually be making the process of the ultimate switch over smoother by implementing a process automation layer between your modern interface and your legacy system. The process automation layer can connect to — and isolate — the legacy system and ensure that the data is maintained properly while it provides the data to an improved front-end experience layer.

This approach allows you to then work on your replacement project for that legacy application, without impacting the interface you provide to your customers or employees. And when you are finally ready to replace the legacy system with a newer application, you don’t have to touch the interface, only switch out the connections in the process automation layer.

It’s a best of both worlds.

A Set of Components Instead of One Big Application

As you start thinking about retiring that legacy application for something new, ask yourself if you need a new full-scale application or if it’s possible to offer all the same capabilities by implementing a set of services that interconnect to provide the functionality required.

Taking the content services approach, you can design your interfaces to connect to each service to get the functionality required for discrete functions. If those functions need to work together as elements of a process, then you can implement a process automation layer that connects to the components, surfacing the resulting data to the front-end interface.

Laurence Hart provides a good example of how this can work with enterprise content management and an agile content management framework:

“With clouds and containers, ECM systems can start small and scale on demand. Instead of working for three to four months to make the core content systems operational, teams can have the framework for a content services platform ready in a few days.

“Use of cloud services or containers from the beginning opens the door for Agile content management. Regardless of the Agile methodology chosen, the approach is the same; iterative creation and deployment of content management features that meet the needs of the people it is designed to support. The steady cadence of updates and releases keeps the technologists and the business in sync.“

Again, the path to modernization isn’t to build another monolithic application that will be difficult manage and maintain over time; the path to modernization is to think of capabilities in terms of components or services that can connect through a process automation layer to deliver a complete application. This service-based design allows you to build your application in iterations, adding and removing functionality as you need to without affecting the entire application.

And keep in mind when you build services you develop with reuse in mind. Each component or service can be leveraged by multiple applications or interfaces across the enterprise, giving you less to manage and keep updated over time.

Ready to Get Started to Modernize?

Many companies are seeing their IT budgets slashed, a challenge when you have a number of monolithic applications that are costly to maintain and aren’t able to provide the modern interfaces demanded today by employees and customers.

It’s time to start thinking about replacing these legacy applications. But don’t just replace one big app with another. Step back and examine how you can modernize that legacy app by implementing a process automation layer and a new interface. Then work on building a set of services that replace the functionality in the legacy system.

Once the services are ready, connect them to the process layer and disconnect the legacy app. You will have to think about how to migrate the information in the legacy solution to the new components, including whether to archive some of the information, but that’s a story for another day.

Want to learn more about how you can integrate process automation and enterprise content management to create modern content-based applications? Download the resource Merge Ahead for Better Business: The Convergence of ECM and BPM.

5 Business Processes Where Automation Empowers Customer Experience

Customer experience is a top priority in your organization and you’ve been investigating how technology can help. You’re not prepared to take down all your existing systems to create something new, and you don’t want to implement a heavy complex iBPMS solution, nor do you want to buy a bunch of RPA solutions. You’ve heard that business process automation can help. And you’re right, it can.

Let’s look at five types of business processes where business process automation drives better customer experience:

Routing Processes

So, your customers and suppliers are communicating with you, but to facilitate and complete these communications, they must access numerous systems that each have unique roles and data. Heck, just to simply become a customer for most companies requires access to 10 or more systems! And if you’re team is going to help, they too have to delve into these various systems–which equates to time, money, and ultimately lost business.

The answer is to leverage routing processes and decision rules that will provide a single point of interaction for the customer – a web application, mobile app or customer portal – and route the request to and between the appropriate systems using defined business rules.

Facade Processes

Facade processes provide a layer of abstraction over the top of a number of systems to present a unified experience to the customer. The best example here is a customer portal. The portal is the customer’s go-to connection to everything they want to do with your company.

The customer has one log in to the portal and can get direct access to all the systems and data they need to work with you. The portal provides a consistent user experience and a familiar look and feel across systems that are under the portal, even though these systems don’t look the same, share the same security, or even have similar data structures. Oh, and by the way, your employees would appreciate something like this too!

Simplification Processes

Simplification processes are exactly that – processes that hide the complexity necessary to provide a service to customers. These processes integrate multiple systems in a middle layer that abstracts data and decisions from these systems, processes it, and provides results to customers in a simplified interface.

Coordination Processes

A coordination process helps ensure a business transaction that involves multiple systems is initiated and completed in either a sequential or parallel pattern. Essentially, you define the process, indicate what systems are contacted in what order, what information is passed into each system and what information is received (and decisions are made) from each system when an activity is performed. These are often processes that take place over an extended period of time and involve regular updates to customers.

Augmentation Processes

Often, customer facing process requires an employee to watch or react to data or queues from one or more business system when certain conditions are met. They will then, based on that output or condition, perform a process in one system, and then based on the output of that system, may need to perform another process in one or more additional systems.

Augmentation processes enable an overarching process to initiate a process in the first system and then using that output, trigger additional actions in other systems. In this case, the augmentation process automates the additional work required across other systems when necessary.

What Processes Support Your BPA Needs?

You may recognize one or more of these processes as critical to employ for your organization. The good news is Everteam can support all of these types of business process automation.

Interested in learning more about our BPA solution? Feel free to reach out and chat.

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Do You Really Need BPM or RPA?  The Case for Agile Business Process Automation

Business transformation is a long road. Trying to compete in a shifting market requires changing the way you do business. It requires changing how you interact with and support customers, partners and employees. And, it requires changing how you leverage technology.

Yet, if you are working to transform your business, the idea of using yet another heavy enterprise system like BPM or iBPMS feels too complex and slow.

While technology is an enabler of business transformation, large, monolithic enterprise systems (Pega, Appian, OpenText, IBM) aren’t the answer. They take too much time to figure out how to work, specialized developers (and millions in services) to implement, and by the time you get something in place, the market has changed and, in all likelihood, so has the process you’re trying to automate.

But, increasing your technical debt by adding multiple “point” solutions that do desktop automation (Robotic Process Automation) doesn’t feel like the right thing either.

And if you already have either (or both!) of these systems in place, then you certainly don’t want to go through the pain of trying to make these systems do what they can’t –  quick, agile business process automation.

So, where should you start?

What you need is something that can utilize the data and processes in your existing systems, orchestrate and automate these systems’ interactions and processes, and expose the results to your web portals and mobile applications to enhance your customer’s (both internal and external) experience.  And you need to be able to do it quickly and economically.

You need business process automation.

And that’s the reason behind everteam.process.

Stay tuned for my next blog where I’ll talk about some common processes where automation empowers customer experience.

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Overcoming the BPM Stereotype – The Shift to Process Automation

Traditional business process management was about defining business processes to the nth degree and then implementing standardized workflows that fit 99% of situations. It was all about efficiency and cost-savings. Today’s approach to business process automation is much more flexible and agile, and brings many additional benefits to the business, including making employees more efficient and effective in their daily work. It also provides a number of benefits to IT.

“Front-office effectiveness and innovation are enhanced when CIOs and digital workplace leaders enable workers to situationally adapt their tasks, interactions, information needs and decisions in the “business moment” to deliver an optimal outcome.” (from Gartner The Future of BPM: From Prescribed Actions to Improvisational Interactions)

Efficiency/Consistency/Time to Market

Time to market is critical. The competition in many markets is fierce, and the most successful companies are those that recognize and make changes, and get them out to the market as quickly as possible.

At the same time, it’s important to maintain consistency in how work is done. Consistency ensures that every customer is treated equally, not in the sense that the process is identical, but in the sense that they are listened to and supported to the best of the company’s ability. Consistency through process automation also ensures each process is conducted in a controlled manner, following corporate norms and best practices.

Business processes also need to continue to be efficient. By automating repeatable, routine tasks where appropriate and ensuring employees have the tools and information they need at their fingertips to get their work done, process automation provides the best of both worlds.

Connectivity with Both Internal/External Systems

No single system supports all the needs of a business or a single business process. Unfortunately, in many instances, employees spend significant time going from system to system to get the information they need to do their jobs. In some cases, they also need to access external systems or resources. Employees are forced to rely on outdated, time consuming methods of collaboration that delay their work and the outcome.

Process automation can provide the connectivity needed to bring together all the external and internal systems required to perform a particular business process. This connectivity gives employees one place to access the information and tools needed, while still performing proper security and auditing.


Find out why Everteam ranks as one of the top 20 BPMs in 2017.


Visibility/Transparency/Traceability

Visibility, transparency, and traceability go hand in hand with successful process automation. The right automation platform provides the tools necessary to get full visibility into all the activities in a business process.

Analytics improve process visibility through consistent monitoring and reporting of all process activities not just when the process is complete, but throughout the period the process is performed.

Most business processes involve more than one person working on a vary of activities. This makes it critical to ensure all activities are traceable back to the person or system that did the work, as well as what exactly was done.

The key is to ensure that the right people can see the right information when they need it and the system tracks when and how activities are conducted.

Agility

You can’t set and forget a business process. Changing markets, increasing customer demands, changes to compliance rules and regulations (internally and externally) and many other factors force enterprises to continually monitor and improve how processes work.

This approach of continuous improvement can happen when business process automation is implemented strategically and with the right tools. The right process automation platform helps enterprises introduce agile and adaptive approaches to deal with changing and complex business and market conditions and at the same time ensure the following of compliance rules, both internal and external.

Lower Costs / Higher Profit Growth

Process automation is certainly about lowering costs. Automating activities within a process where it is feasible ensures that routine work is done efficiently and reliably, reducing risks and removing the possibility of human error.

It also empowers business and IT to focus their attention on more important aspects of the process, such as integrating new innovative technologies and systems, adapting and enhancing critical activities and improving collaboration between employees and partners.

Ultimately, it’s about ensuring customers are getting the ongoing support they need when they need it. Customer loyalty and retention are critical to higher profit growth.

Dan Griffith
Sales Director, US and Canada
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Competing in the Age of the Customer: Agility and Speed to Market Needed

Business success today is directly related to an enterprise’s agility.

The Age of the Customer

How quickly and easily can you adapt to changes? The speed at which new technologies are coming to market and the speed at which customers and employees are adopting them and demanding the products and services they use to support them is increasing every day. In addition, new regulations regularly surface that must be addressed.

To compete in this “age of the customer” requires agility, the ability to react quickly to customer needs, new internal and external drivers, new opportunities and challenges and more. It requires the flexibility to change according to the situation and the customer.

Process automation can help IT provide the agility and flexibility necessary yet in a controlled fashion, ensuring compliance is upheld and best practices are followed. It does this by automating the tasks that don’t require direct employee involvement and providing capabilities to adjust process activities to meet each situation.

Creating Agility

Process automation brings agility through different fronts. First of all, low code development which means less complexity. Business processes are complex enough so simplifying how you build them it is an important gain.

Then, process automation doesn’t create new things, they leverage what you have and allow you to augment them. Enterprises already have most of the transactional systems they need; process automation is about making them work together within a common objective in the most efficient way possible.

Last but not least, a process platform will deliver a large number of your usual requirements out of the box which mean less things for the customers to be concerned about: security, audit trails, logging, reporting and system management are areas that only need minimal attention in terms of the effort allocated when using the right process platform.

Everteam understands the need for agility. It’s one of the reasons we’ve been listed as one of the top 20 promising BPMs of 2017 by CIOReview. Get the details of that CIOReview here.

Dan Griffith
Sales Director, US and Canada
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Two Key Reasons Why Process Automation is Needed

You don’t have to look too far into the enterprise to understand why process automation is so important to business today.

1. Modernization of Legacy Systems

Most enterprises have a number of legacy systems in house. Some are custom coded applications, and others are complex mainframe systems. In many cases, these legacy applications support critical business activities.

Most of these systems can’t be easily replaced, either due to their use in the business or to the cost of replacement. However, their continued use challenges the enterprise architect’s ability to help the enterprise respond to changing business priorities quickly.

The amount of time and budget IT expends maintaining and supporting these legacy systems  could be better spent elsewhere. IT resources are also frustrated because the time required to support legacy systems keeps them from working with innovative technologies that grow their skillsets.

Modernizing legacy systems through “wrapping” them with an agile process layer and migrating the data to a less expensive records management platform takes a great burden off IT. It enables the Enterprise Architect to shift their attention and efforts to new digital technologies such as mobile, cloud and Big Data, lowers risk to the organization and results in a more cost-effective IT environment. This is where process automation can help.

Process automation is important to helping IT onboard new technologies. It can support the migration of records and information to less costly technologies. It can support the creation of processes that integrate existing systems and new systems, and it can enable employees to adopt new approaches to working, but still retain access to systems that contain key information.

Supporting Modernization

Some customers approach modernization through process automation as a mechanism to provide more activity focused interfaces that leverage information available in different sources.

To achieve agility, customers will find operational performance increases if their workers collaborate in the context of “enabling service X for customer Y” rather than performing different transactions in their ERP, CRM and core systems. Process automation allows the operation to focus on business outcomes rather than putting together the support pieces.

Other customers see modernization in providing completely new interfaces. Through process automation, customer facing transactions can be exposed to be consumed by a highly efficient tailored user interface. For example, an insurance company could provide a mobile website to allow customers to configure and quote their policies. All the rules, calculations and support transactions to enable such mobile experience are orchestrated by a process.


Find out why Everteam ranks as one of the top 20 BPMs in 2017.


2. Rigidity of Core Systems

Working with core systems that often exist in black boxes cause particular changes. There is little to no visibility into how these systems work, the ability to change them as business needs change is difficult and time-intensive, and there’s often a lot of replication of data across systems that is not always in sync.

Today’s systems need to support cross-organization collaboration as enterprise’s work to focus on the constantly changing demands of customers. Employees need the flexibility to change the way business processes work, empowering them to adapt to changing market conditions, new partners, and new compliance requirements.

Through the implementation of business process automation, IT can help create processes that automate routine, repetitive tasks, yet allow for the flexibility required to alter processes as needed. At the same time, the enterprise architect can help ensure that these processes are well governed and adhere to compliance rules and regulations.

Eliminating Rigidity

Most organizations have dozens of processes that look like this: Receive an email. Get data from an application X. Copy information in a network available spreadsheet. Generate word document. Update system Y; etc…

These kind of processes are expensive, people dependant, error prone and huge bottlenecks to achieve strategic business objectives. Through automation, the actual human intervention could be reduced to a check to see if things are working as expected and the capacity to intervene if something is off the rails or extra activities are needed for any special case.

Dan Griffith
Sales Director, US and Canada
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The Role of Process Automation in Business Transformation

Organizations everywhere are facing disruption. We’ve entered full steam into the age of the customer; growing expectations, new digital capabilities and increasing demands from employees to have more flexibility in how they work require major changes in how enterprises run their businesses. The disruption for IT is great, but there are ways you can move forward without throwing away everything you’ve built so far.

In today’s world, business transformation is digital transformation, and while technology may not be the principal driver of transformation, it plays a crucial role. This is why the role of Enterprise Architect is so critical to understanding and enabling business transformation.

Under the Hood of Process Automation

Gartner defines business process automation as

“…the automation of complex business processes and functions beyond conventional data manipulation and record-keeping activities, usually through the use of advanced technologies.”

Simply stated, it is the automating of activities within business processes that are routine and repeatable, and don’t require human intervention. This is sometimes called robotic process automation, or RPA. Through the automation of these routine activities, enterprises gain efficiencies and cost savings.

But this is only one component of the value process automation brings to business transformation.

Traditional approaches to BPM and process automation focused on creating standard automated workflows, but process automation also brings additional benefits to the organization. It can:

  • Increase data centricity by connecting the internal and external applications and information necessary for employees to efficiently and effectively support customers.
  • Serve as a starting point for incorporating new business practices, compliance rules, and other business regulations, as well as new technology.
  • Increase and speed up collaboration among employees, partners, and other associates both within the office and on the road.
  • Improve process visibility and traceability, supporting continuous improvement.

A few examples of process automation include automating the onboarding of employees, customers and vendors; customer and employee self service; sending out automated notifications to employees involved with high risk financial transactions and regular reporting to executives.

Reimagining Process Automation

Traditional process automation is focused on eliminating variation and driving internal improvements often through the automating of as many tasks as possible. It took an inside-out approach that identified how the process needed to work to support the business itself.

Today, Gartner says that process automation focuses on providing “freedom within a box.” It requires enterprises to rethink their idea of “process,” moving it from a back office management tool to the front office where employees have the ability to dynamically adjust how a process, and its activities operate to meet the current situation. The focus now shifts from inside-out to outside-in and supporting the needs of the customer.

“The dynamics of digital business necessitate an enterprise’s most adaptable resource — its people — to easily consume systematized capabilities and the best information available in the moment to dynamically orchestrate their interactions with peers, customers, partners and so on. Process becomes less about automation and more about the dynamic orchestration of human, machine and information resource interactions to deliver an optimal outcome.” (Gartner page 7)

One way we see this evolution happening is in the creation of process-driven applications. Case management is an example of process automation that includes both automated and flexible, agile activities that adapt to the current situation and customer.

Incident management is a perfect example for this kind of automation. Identifying the existence of an issue is usually a very structured entry point, and the closure of the problem is also very well defined. But what happens in the middle is much more complex to envision and thereby harder to model in advance.


Find out why Everteam ranks as one of the top 20 BPMs in 2017.


All this unpredicted activity leaves trails and results that will coexists with the information received from the pre-envisioned activities. Choosing to automate this process with the right platform should not be a decision between visibility and flexibility.

Introducing process automation into your enterprise doesn’t mean you have to abandon existing IT investments. Smart enterprise architect’s know that the best process automation strategy includes the right combination of people, processes, and technology. That right combination considers many factors such as current IT investments, integrations with internal and external systems as well as how and with whom employees need to collaborate to get their work done.

Process automation is not just about cost-savings. It’s about delivering long-term value through the consistent and efficient operation of business. It empowers IT to support the definition, automation, and integration of processes the best way possible.

Dan Griffith
Sales Director, US and Canada
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Next Gen BPM Needs to Support Complexity and Security Challenges

Business process management is going through a kind of revolution. Yes it’s about improving and re-imagining existing processes to support business transformation to an increasingly digital world. But it’s also about something even bigger; it’s about creating entirely new services that not only support the current way of working, but enable innovative approaches to improving customer experience. The thing is, with this revolution comes a critical look at how secure these business processes are and that’s been a key focus on Everteam’s Intelligent Business Process Management system (iBPMs).

How Secure are Your Business Processes?

Authentication, authorization, and protection of sensitive data are all critical topics when designing and implementing business processes. You have to consider these things up front and design your services with an eye to ensuring no one has access to any information or functionality they shouldn’t.

But the interesting thing about many business process management systems today is that they don’t manage security out of the box. Instead, most rely on a third-party solution to secure processes appropriately. That means you have two different layers to set up and maintain to support your business processes. For many that’s more effort, time and cost than they really have to put into it. But they know they need to keep their processes secure.

The answer is building security management into the BPM systems directly. That’s what Everteam iBPM 8.1 does, and it’s done using traditional and modern approaches to webapp security.

Everteam iBPMs 8.1 provides several types of security within the software itself. First, it uses traditional Everteam token session technology which supports web services. With the latest release, it also supports JWT – JSON web tokens – a self-contained, digitally signed, stateless system to system authentication approach. Why JWT?

Understanding JWT

Everteam is a huge proponent of open standards. It’s critical to support the ability for applications and services to interoperate, and open standards support that ability.

JWT is an open standard (RFC 7519) that is:

  • Self-contained: you can package up your security information and transmit it as a JSON object. You don’t have make any other requests back to the database on the server for additional information, which makes the process fast (and stateless). And because it’s so compact, you can send it in the URL, inside the HTTP header, or as POST parameter.
  • Digitally signed: Signed using either an HMAC algorithm, or a public/private key pair using RSA, you know the information the object is verified and can be trusted.

Authentication is the most common use of JWT today; you can include things such as networks, services and resources that can be accessed with the JWT token.

Here’s a high-level view of how JWT works:
JWT_Explained
(from https://jwt.io/introduction/)

Providing Security though JWT in iBPMs

In our latest release – iBPMs 8.1 – we implement support for JWT to support modern services used in a wide variety of applications – including desktop and mobile apps.

Implementing JWT means our out of the box API and all business processes are secure by default. Our customers are actively building process services that integrate many business applications and it’s critical these services have a secure approach for authentication and authorization between these systems.

Using the administration interface in iBPMs, administrations indicated which services are available to external callers (other services or applications), what networks those services are accessible from and who is authorized to access the services.

The great thing about supporting JWT for authentication, other than that it provides security directly within the services themselves, is that there is no disruption to current development and deployment strategies. There’s nothing extra the developer needs to do, and no extra steps to deploy the service. The administration of security policies are applied on the backend, after the service is deployed.

How Secure are Your Business Processes?

I know I asked this at the beginning, but I think it’s really important to ask it again. Security should not be an afterthought. Think about how your services will be used and who, or what application, will be using them and how. Identify those security policies early.

Once you have those policies clearly defined, then using iBPMs and JWT, apply them when your service gets deployed. This approach to security administration enables you to quickly change policies when a new application is added, or one is removed from your environment, or when network configurations get changed. You don’t need a second policy management layer to work with, but you don’t need to modify your services either. It’s a win – win.

I’d love to show you more of the innovative things we are building into everteam.ibpms, so feel free to reach out and chat.

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Everteam.iBPMS 8.1 Offers Secure Services Out of the Box

Boston, MA, April 10, 2017 Everteam, a provider of enterprise information management solutions, releases the latest version of its intelligent business process automation solution, everteam.process. Part of the Eversuite platform, everteam.process provides enterprises with the ability to automatically secure their business processes using the latest web technologies.

Security is not typically built into business process services. Instead it’s implemented through a second layer by another technology: a policy management system like SiteMinder or using reverse proxy. This two step approach to securing business processes requires extra time and effort and can lead to delays in deploying processes across the enterprise.

everteam.ibpms 8.1 eliminates this two-step approach to security by introducing Secure Services. Services supporting business processes and out of the box API are now secure by default, enabling administrators to easily indicate which services they decide to enable to external callers, what networks those services are available on and who is authorized to access the services, all from within the iBPMs environment.

In addition to the traditional everteam token session technology, everteam.ibpms Secure Services now include support for JSON Web Tokens (JWTs), a self-contained, digitally signed and stateless system to system authentication approach, widely used today for authentication and Single Sign On.

By supporting JWT for authentication and authorization, customers engaging in corporate wide adoption of modern standards for interapplication authentication can leverage everteam.ibpms technology without disrupting their current development and deployment strategies

According to Esteban Felipe, product manager for everteam.ibpms, “The addition of Secure Services to everteam.ibpms means that our customers can automate business processes quickly while incorporating the full capabilities of JWT, without additional coding or integration.”

The release of everteam.ibpms 8.1 is a continuation of Everteam’s efforts to address the needs of highly complex and varied enterprise processes. It’s this work along with a strong focus on empowering the business analyst that landed Everteam on CIOReview’s list of the top 20 most promising BPM vendors for 2017.

In recognizing Everteam, Jeevan George, Managing Editor of CIOReview said “Everteam’s comprehensive intelligent process automation solution delivers an enterprise-class platform to design, deploy, and manage the most complex business processes.”

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About Everteam

Founded in 1990, Everteam is a privately owned software company headquartered in France with offices in USA, Lebanon, India and Singapore. It serves organizations around the world with solutions that connect people, processes and content. Everteam automates complex processes with solutions that are dynamic, scalable, secure, and compliant . . For more info, visit: www.everteam.com

Media Contact:

Ken Lownie
VP, Customer Success
k.lownie@everteam.com
+1 978.618.2363