Teamworking a BPM solution

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Content Copyright © 2007 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.

Sorry for the pun, but thought this might be a good way of talking about Lombardi Teamwork 6 BPM suite. At the end of September 2007, I had a conference call with Alan Godfrey, Lombardi’s EVP of Marketing & Business Development, and Wayne R. Snell, their Senior Director of Marketing. I followed this up with a meeting with Andy Wisbey, their European Operations Solutions Engineering Director at Heathrow at the beginning of November. In Bloor Research BPM Market report1 in 2006, Lombardi was given a “One-to-watch” status. The reviewers stated that “Lombardi comes in strong on both product capabilities and supporting domain knowledge and services”. So what has changed?

Lombardi is one of the early pioneers in the BPM market, having been founded in 2000. They are headquartered in Austin, Texas. The company made a strong move into Europe in 2005 and now have European headquarters in London, Paris and Frankfurt (good understanding of European politics!). Their sales strategy uses a direct sales force plus reseller partners and technology partners. The strategy for 2008 is to repeat the successful European entry by moving into AsiaPac. Like many BPM companies their strongest vertical sector is Finance, but they do have some impressive manufacturing clients including Ford and ConocoPhillips. Lombardi were VC funded at their formation. Wayne Snell told me that they had doubled revenue over each of the last 3 years and were cash-flow positive, being on schedule to go into profit in 2008.

Teamworks is on version 6 of the product. They currently have some 167 customers across the world and are proud of the fact that 98% of these customers are on maintenance. It has a number of different options:

  • Teamworks 6 Enterprise
  • Teamworks 6 for Organization Management
  • Teamworks for Office 2003 (2007 version in final test stages – General Availability in mid-2008) – provides the complete Lombardi BPM functionality embedded in an Outlook user experience
  • Teamworks for SharePoint 2007 – provides a set of Sharepoint web-parts for tasks and reporting. Lombardi has built in support for the ad-hoc creation of shared workspaces, discussion lists and sites at any point in a process.

Teamworks is a standards-based, Java Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application that runs on the following technologies:

  • Application Server: BEAWeblogic, IBMWebsphere, JBOSS
  • Operating System: Windows Server 2000 and 2003, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, HP-UX, Redhat Enterprise Linux, Novell SUSE Linux
  • Database Management Systems: Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2
  • Browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox

Lombardi Teamworks consists of three components:

  • Common runtime services including Process Server (for process execution) and Performance Server (for process tracking).
  • Authoring Environment for process design and analysis – itt is a graphical environment for collaboratively defining processes. It runs inside an Eclipse development environment. This can either be Lombardi’s own or 3rd parties like Sonic ESB Workbench from Progress
  • Process Portal for end-user process work and management – The Inbox gives users a consolidated view of all outstanding tasks. It assists users with prioritizing, managing, and completing processes and tasks. There is built in team collaboration with discussion threads and document attachments. There are over 50 built-in reports for managers to be able to track the performance of processes, teams and individuals. Real-time controls also give managers the ability to dynamically adjust workload, prioritization and process behaviour.

Lombardi Teamworks 6 has all the features that one would expect for full BPM Suite; all neatly packaged into 3 components: Authoring Environment and Portal. The product is simple to use and cleverly hides the underlying complexities. The Optimizer and the playback button during design are two good features in the product. Process models are designed in BPMN syntax only; although for most practitioners, BPMN is becoming widely accepted as the industry-standard notation for BPM modelling this might be an issue for some. The Teamworks Library central repository provides good support for data management.

Although developed on Java platform has a strong integration with Microsoft Office System products. This typifies what Bloor would expect from a BPMS product in that the underlying platform on which the product is developed, has no bearing on what environment it can work with. Lombardi’s proposition is all about combine their software with their services (or partner services) to help customers do business transformation projects. It is noticeable that their messaging is becoming more industry vertical in nature.

[1] Business Process Management, Robin Bloor and Terry Schurter, Bloor Research, 2006