Who will own the process?

Photo: Ismael GhalimiIsmael Ghalimi of Intalio discusses the need for process owners and for process models to drive execution.

Interview conducted by Vinod Baya and Bo Parker

Ismael Ghalimi is the CEO and co-founder of Intalio. He is a entrepreneur and industry observer, creator of BPMI.org, initiator of the BPM 2.0 movement, producer of the Office 2.0 Conference, organizer of the Extreme Productivity Seminars, and founder of the Monolab|Workspace. Ghalimi is an advisor to several high-tech companies, including 3TERA, AdventNet (also known as Zoho), BuzzGain, EchoSign, Egnyte, EveryTrail, Intellimaker, Move & Play, Muchobene, and Presdo. Ghalimi holds an engineering degree from Ecole des Mines de Nancy.

In this interview, Ghalimi explains how most enterprises lack the role that would manage an end-to-end business process, thereby limiting the adoption of business process management systems.

PwC: Intalio has been in the business process management [BPM] market from its inception. How do you characterize the state of this market?

IG: BPM has not succeeded to the extent that it could. It’s been limited by many factors. One factor is the lack of standardization. There are still too many players in the market. Gartner tracks about 100 BPM vendors. It’s a very fragmented market, where most of the products use either proprietary notations or proprietary execution models for processes. The lack of standardization has significantly hindered or inhibited the adoption.

Another factor is that organizations have a challenge identifying who should be in charge of deploying and managing these business process management systems. No organization has someone with the title of a chief process officer. So you are left either selling this platform to the CIO, who is not empowered to reengineer the various processes of the company, or selling it to a line-of-business manager, but in that case you’re going to be limited to department-level business processes.

Today, it’s very difficult to identify who you sell a business process management system to in an enterprise context for end-to-end processes. The market is growing, but it is not exploding. At Intalio, we have decided to expand our footprint and move into the cloud-computing market, where we provide a private cloud platform to large organizations that want the benefits of cloud computing, including usage-based pricing, elastic scalability, and on-demand provisioning. But we provide that behind the firewall, in their data center, instead of using public clouds such as Amazon or Google, which wouldn’t afford the level of security and privacy that these large organizations desire.