Isn’t “Communications Enabled Business Process” the same as Social BPM ?

Here I go again.

After calling out Adaptive, Dynamic (Case Management) and Social BPM as different shades of grey and that they should be unified, along comes another shade of the same colour; the Communications Enabled Business Process….

CEBP (sheesh) is about embedding and integrating voice and communication capabilities into automated and executable business processes, so for example any process with which a customer interacts with through a communications channel like SMS, email or telephony can be managed and monitored centrally and apparently can handle complex and unstructured processes more effectively (marketing blurb, don’t blame me). A key finding of a recent Gartner report * stated that this technology would “aim to ensure that changes and enhancements to processes, people and organizational structures are fully optimized.” That to me sounds suspiciously like a goal of BPM.

To me, adding any layer of additional collaboration and communication into a process is verging on Social BPM, plus if this allows for more dynamic interaction and process workflow behaviour then aren’t we again talking about the same thing just with a different hat on this time ?

There are a number of new players, most recent of which was Software AG announcing their webMethods Communicate platform but I wonder whether they have considered this as a part of their ARISAlign proposition or even vice-versa, adding both together to form a cohesive BPMS that really does support Social BPM right across the lifecycle, from process discovery through to process execution and customer interaction. Tying a unified communications strategy into Social BPM would, I’d have thought, been a core component not a new product.

Obviously a customer will not want all the bells and whistles and CEBP will suit a certain market segment nicely, but when Social BPM is making a play right now for its own space shouldn’t vendors look at the bigger picture, instead of pushing out yet another add-on module or product and muddying the waters.

Social BPM needs real definition right now and unification of similar concepts not different strands, BPM itself has suffered and look at what happened over the last two decades.

Like I said this time last week, it’s about the adventure not getting to the finishing post first.

Have a great weekend.

* (Cool Communications-Enabled Business Processes 2010 report. For further information visit


4 responses to “Isn’t “Communications Enabled Business Process” the same as Social BPM ?

  1. Right: "sheesh". In German: "Grundgütiger"or "Um Himmels Willen!". As I stated yesterday, al the many new buzz words coming accross BPM in the last time will not make our market more understandable, quite the contrary. But marketing has to whip up much ado about nothing (don´t know whether correct translated form German "eine neue Sau durch´s Dorf jagen") for getting new attention?

  2. I had touched upon this in my post – Unified Communication will Play an Important role in BPM. agree UC is a one step ahead, but the essence is that it is important.And incidentally I had pointed out that it’s a case for Social BPM 🙂 So, I agree somewhere!-Ashish

  3. Hey Theo -Good post. Software AG briefed me on the product a few weeks back and I thought the same thing, tied to social BPM. I also think there is might be a larger story here… blog post coming.Cheers,Clay

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