In a recent interview with the President of Interneer, Romeo Elias stated that their focus and vision was firmly fixed on the business side of the organisation, automating what he called the ‘human-centric’ processes. To expand on the human-centric side it focuses on those tasks and activities handled by workers which are typically ad-hoc, supported by spreadsheet or paper-based processes and not automated and integrated systems and this is where Interneer comes into play by creating the opposite.
Romeo explained that Interneer is aimed at the business analysts within the enterprise and that their Intellect product can implemented and used with or without IT involvement as there is no coding involved, it’s all drag and drop in a single environment. As an example I was led through an existing process instance with a current client where they took an entirely spreadsheet and email driven process spread across 400 participants and automated it using Intellect so it’s a pretty robust and flexible tool on the surface.
Delving a little deeper reveals that Intellect is a completely WYSIWYG template driven development environment, from building a process model to workflow, data attributes, forms, business rules, reports etc, everything comes from a template. A folder view organises all the templates which are associated with a single process and they are all relational. Any forms created to capture and manipulate data uses drag and drop functionality which in turn builds the tables in the background in a SQL database dynamically. Any changes made are immediately reflected in the database structure, whether they are new instances or retrospective changes.
The modelling environment falls into the ‘not with BPMN’ camp and I’m seeing this definite split more apparent now with each tool. There are those which will rigidly adhere to the standard and those who believe you only need a small number of shapes in order for a business user to model a process. Who will win out is anyone’s guess but for Interneer and their ethos of giving the power to the business analyst they see only the need for the few and it works.
Again creating the workflow from scratch is all via templates, building workflow logic is simple and effectively done by just picking the conditions to meet. For more complex scenarios Interneer has developed a ‘macro-builder’ which increases the level of logic a user can implement as well as integrating with external and legacy applications and calling web services into play. If you’re familiar with writing macros for Excel then this is something similar in nature.
I was taken through a simplistic mortgage application process which Romeo and I worked on the fly and it was apparent how quickly and easily the tool could pull an automated process together via it’s integrated environment. Forms for data capture, process modelling, data sets and handling, workflow decisions, all simply created via templates and drag and drop. You can specify which users will be placed within the human-centric activities and also the data attributes they will expect to see.
Interneer can be fully deployed as a SaaS tool or delivered on premise and the cost-model certainly seemed aggressively priced, which Romeo stated was their intention to make BPM available to all companies not just the ones with larger budgets. This is one of those BPM tools making a play for developing workflows with no code from beginning to end and with functionality that accounts for both the structured and the ad-hoc process world Interneer has a lot to offer.