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BPM and SOA: Q&A with IDS Scheer's Mathias Kirchmer

Business process management (BPM) and service oriented architecture (SOA) were the hot topics at this year's ARIS ProcessWorld conference in February. Learn more about how the two work together to create streamlined business processes for your customers.

IT Reseller Takeaway: Business process management (BPM) and service oriented architecture (SOA) might be the ideal marriage when it comes to streamlining and automating business systems. Our sister site caught up with with Mathias Kirchmer, chief innovation and marketing officer for IDS Scheer, after the ARIS ProcessWorld conference. This Q&A covers more details about how the two technologies work together. Can you name a couple ways you've seen customers getting definite business value through BPM and SOA?

Kirchmer: I have to say that SOA is heavily discussed, but there are very few organizations out there that actually do it. Most of the companies are just now examining the situation.

There are some straightforward examples on the cost side. For example, if you don't need to maintain thousands of interfaces between existing programs and can hook them into an SOA environment, then that of course saves a lot of costs and frees up budgets for more innovative solutions. Do you have any advice for companies just starting down the SOA BPM road?

Kirchmer: There is a heavy trend that companies like new technology and start implementing those technologies in an IT sense. But if you just implement SOA technologies, you really don't get any value at all. In order to get any business results based on SOA, you have to know your processes in detail. If you don't know how you want to organize your processes, you can't use the flexibility an SOA provides.

I recommend that before any organization starts with any technology implementation, make sure you have your processes well-documented and -designed so you can use that design to drive the implementation and configuration of the SOA. So, first focus on the business side of things, on the business processes themselves, and then transfer that to the SOA.

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