Flexible BPM adoption – the Finnish way

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Content Copyright © 2008 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.

Last month, I had the pleasure of having a briefing from Martijn Iseger, Product Marketing Manager of QPR Software Plc, on their QPR Business Process Management Suite. QPR Software has a different approach to providing BPMS solutions, which allows a phased approach for BPM adoption. The major benefit of this approach is that the customer does not have to commit a large amount of resources to a “make or break” BPM project. Instead, this flexible BPM adoption approach allows customers to bring BPM in-house at a pace that suits them best.

Have you heard of QPR Software before? They were founded in 1991 and their headquarters are in Helsinki, Finland. They went public in 2002 and are quoted on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. They have 60 employees with a subsidiary in South Africa. Their go-to-market strategy is based on a large partner network with 72 VARs in 58 countries, and 184 partners in total. This extensive partner network has resulted in QPR Software having an impressive worldwide penetration for a company of their size. The key markets for QPR Software are Nordic, UK, USA, South Africa, and Japan. They target organisations in the process of transition and who, from a technology viewpoint, are Microsoft .NET Platform based. This sales and go-to-market strategy has been very successful as they have over 1,500 customers, which include Bosch/Siemens Domestic Appliances, TTSL/Tata Indicom, Canon, Emirates Identity Agency, Petrobras, Copel, City of Oulu and Swiss Post.

With 75 % of the Swiss market share, PostParcels, the parcel division of Swiss Post, is the leader in parcel distribution. About 4,000 employees are responsible for transporting around 105 million parcels a year and an average of about 500,000 per day. Krystian Lasek, Head of Strategy at PostParcels stated that the QPR BPM solution significantly improved the quality of their services to customers, something their customer surveys clearly identified.

So what is different about QPR Software’s approach to BPMs? QPR Software has put together a well integrated suite of best of breed products to provide support for organisations implementing Business Process Management from strategy formulation, process design to live running with Performance Management, an important driver for continuous process improvement. Some of these products are engineered by themselves, whilst others are OEM’d from organisations QPR consider to be the pick of vendors in these niches. The QPR BPM Suite consists of the following products, all of which are based on the Microsoft platform:

  • QPR ScoreCard – is a Performance Management tool. It provides both support during the formulation of business strategies for the capture of objectives and measures, as well as the automatic collection and consolidation of data from business processes. The information is provided in the form of scorecards, digital dashboards and strategy maps.
  • QPR ProcessGuide – provides support for analysis and design of business processes for business users. It provides support for BPMN, with the ability to convert the BPMN models into BPEL specifications for making process designs executable with workflow execution engines.
  • QPR FactView – is a Business Analysis add-on to QPR ScoreCard. It provides support for dashboards and alerts, multi-dimensional analyses, slice and dice of data. QPR FactView is a tailored version of QlickView from QlikTech. This technology provides in-memory analysis and data association so that data is loaded, prepared and presented on the fly.
  • QPR Workflow – is the Business Process Automation add-on to QPR ProcessGuide. It is an OEM version of PNMsoft Sequence. It works in Microsoft Internet Explorer environment to provide automation of human-centric business processes.
  • QPR Portal – provides the portal glue both at runtime and during development for pulling together the product suite through a single user interface.

QPR have put together an impressive set of products to provide an environment for the development and management of business processes. By using standards for their interfaces they have also allowed their potential customers to purchase only those pieces of the suite that they require. This provides greater flexibility as well as the ability to start small and expand to the full capabilities as required. All the products work on a client server approach.

QPR Software has cleverly chosen the portal medium, in the form of QPR Portal, to pull the different products together into a single suite, which is able to be customised to include other products depending on clients needs. There is a key business user focus to the whole suite with all the tools being easy to use. The BAM environment provided by QPR ScoreCard and QPR FactView is very powerful being based on tools originally developed for Business Analysis and Performance Management

The QPR BPMS Suite provides an impressive portfolio with an innovative approach based around flexibility, whilst at the same time providing the necessary IT controls and business user ease of use requirements that are needed. Bloor would recommend that potential BPMS users take a closer look at this flexible solution.