Visualizing the Business Process

Charlene OHanlon
When it comes to creating business applications, Mendix believes the more agile, the better.

"Mendix is all about increasing business agility, allowing companies to react to change better and faster by increasing collaboration between business and IT," said Eric Peters, online marketing manager at Mendix. "Rather than have a list of requirements and IT having to go in and creating code and building software, Mendix gives them the capability to visually model what a business wants. It's a more iterative process."

The company's technology enables disparate systems-those that don't play nicely together-to get along and communicate with each other to create the applications that companies need.

Mendix sits as a portal layer on top of those systems and pulls data from them to create a front-end solution with single sign-on.

'In telecom, for example, a lot of the out-of-the box systems don't work well together, so we sit in between them and create a totally custom solution,' Peters said.

While there are plenty of business process management (BPM) offerings on the market, what sets Mendix apart is its ability to create visual models of the solution-and then deploy that solution with one simple mouseclick, allowing immediate feedback on the business application protoype.

 'Rather than see the application in a static form like PowerPoint, users can see the application in action and make changes immediately if necessary,' Peters said. 'That's our sweet spot.'

The company also differs from its peers in the way it approaches the technology in general-not as engineers, salespeople or marketing folk, but as business people.

 'Everyone is a business person here,' Peters said. 'Even our engineers go in to a job with an eye toward business.'

That allows the people who actually will use applications being developed to have a hand in the process, which Peters noted solves so many problems up front.

What's also interesting about the business is its ecosystem of developers-a community of partners building custom applications that are then made available to other partners via Mendix's application store within its Partner Portal. It beats reinventing the same business process, especially in certain verticals and particular popular applications.

In this age of Band-Aid solutions and striving to do more with less, companies such as Mendix are presenting the IT space with an answer that just plain makes sense. The fact that it's easy to deploy and use certainly doesn't hurt its standing, either.

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