What's the Deal with BPM and SOA

Loraine Lawson

More people are talking about Business Process Management suites and SOA, but often the connection seems hazy, at best. Recently, eBizQ ran a Webinar that really explains how SOA and BPM relate -- and how they don't, which is helpful in clarifying how these two things work.

Forrester analyst Colin Teubner opens the 42 minute Webinar, which aired live but is now available for archived viewing. Teubner does a fantastic job of explaing BPM, which he stresses is a discipline, not a technology. BPM can be supported by technology, of course, but it doesn't have to be.

As it turns out, there are two types of Business Process Management Suites used for completely different purposes:

  • Human-centric BPMS, which developed from imaging technology.
  • Integration-centric BPMS, which evolved out of enterprise application integration tools.

This, Teubner points out, explains why companies often need both types of BPMS. It also will help you understand how these two types of BPMS can leverage SOA.


If you're still trying to explain SOA to business users, take the time to listen to at least the first 20 minutes of this Webinar. Teubner outlines how BPM can be used to "sell" SOA to business users. But he's not just talking about a PR pitch, here.


Teubner believes that BPM is the killer app for SOA. He thinks BPM-generated apps can be used to build a more flexible user interface for your services. It is, he contends, the only way to deliver on SOA's agility promise.


If you need a real-world example, you can listen to the remainder of the Webinar, which features Steven Liles of BB&T -- the seventh largest insurance brokerage in the U.S. and a financial institution with 85 branches in 10 states. Liles explains how BB&T used BPMS and SOA to automate its online banking.


Speaking of Web events, there's an interesting Webcast on Web 2.0 planned this Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. EDT. Panelists from the IT community will discuss how Ajax and Web 2.0 technologies may affect people with disabilities, both the good and the bad. It will be captioned simultaneously.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 17, 2007 11:35 AM Jonathan Ekambi Jonathan Ekambi  says:
I am happy about this information. To learn that Business Process Management (BPM), is a discipline and not a technology. That BPM can be supported by technology.Please let me then understand the difference between BPM and Business Processes, at least the technical aspect. Reply
May 20, 2007 9:46 AM MIchael MIchael  says:
I just realized that BPM is a disciple, this means i will have to re-orient my knowledge.Thanks Reply

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