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May 11, 2011

Progress spies RPM adoption from its Control Tower

New version of Responsive Process Management suite unveiled

By Jason Stamper

Giles Nelson

Dr Giles Nelson, deputy CTO of Progress Software

Progress Software announced the second major release of its Responsive Process Management suite, RPM 2.0, with a new browser-based management console called Control Tower R2.0.

RPM brings together Progress’s Actional Business Transaction Management (BTM), Apama Complex Event Processing (CEP) and Savvion Business Process Management (BPM) platforms. Together, Progress claims the suite, "enables enterprises to be operationally responsive" and "achieve a higher level of business performance".

Speaking to CBR, Dr Giles Nelson, deputy CTO of Progress Software declined to offer figures on the number of customers that have adopted the first version of RPM, but said that adoption has exceeded the company’s expectations. "RPM was quite a big step change for Progress and the market, it was quite adventurous," Nelson said. "We’re now seeing more and more use cases in telecoms, in financial services and elsewhere, where companies may not at first see where RPM can help them but very quickly see how it can help to make them more responsive."

RPM promises to give customers visibility into disparate data silos as well as the ability to correlate, analyse, and anticipate events that could impact their business. It also enables users to make continuous business process improvements without disrupting their IT infrastructure, or requiring the replacement of existing systems, according to the firm.

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It’s all managed with the second version of its Control Tower, said to offer rich visualisations, interactive analytics and drill-downs across live and historical data. New in this release is pan-enterprise collaboration functionality (blogs, wikis, calendars, and document sharing); enhanced business process improvement, including web-based collaborative modeling; drill-downs into processes, events and transactions and customisable, portal-based mash-ups. These combine content from multiple sources including alerts, social media, internal and external data and interactive analytics.

Nelson said that there is some integration between the development environments underpinning the Progress BPM, CEP and BTM technologies but that, "We’re going to strengthen that further, integrate them even more tightly. There’s always room for improvement."

The next release of the RPM suite is expected in around six months’ time, and will likely be called version 2.1.

Asked whether the Progress Savion BPM technology fully supports Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) 2.0 – the latest version of the standard – Nelson said: "We support elements of BPMN 2.0 now (and in fact have done before the standard came out), such as non-interrupting exceptions and escalation events. We will progressively add other BPMN 2.0 support in future releases."

Progress had a quote from IDC analyst Maureen Fleming in its RPM 2.0 press release: "As enterprises build event-driven systems to help them systematically respond to problems and opportunities, they worry about ways to rapidly identify what they don’t know and verify what they think they know. Combining rich analytics to look for new patterns of opportunities or threats, then model, test and monitor them in real-time offers a more responsive way to convert the unknown to the known to take advantage of it."

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