- About StarPound
Business Process Automation
Aligning the business with IT — it is a cliche that has been overused, overworked, and rehashed by many thought leaders and IT professionals over the past 10 years. When asked in job interviews, many CIOs will say that they "aligned IT with the business" by "listening to the customer", working across silos, cutting costs, etc. Come again? No wonder they were looking for a job.
To truly align the business and your IT department, you must take the key business processes of the organization, and marry it with technology to efficiently facilitate them. That's it. Pretty simple. You have a business process, some technology that automates it, and ideally some way of bringing the trends and metrics behind those processes to the desk of the CIO, CFO, or some other stakeholder.
As simple as it sounds, it Unfortunately, what typically happens is this. The IT department is told to automate a process. They spend a lot of time gathering requirements, building conceptual models, prototypes, and use cases. They then go off and build the application, web service, etc. Everyone is happy, and the CIO gets a bonus at the end of the year.
Down the road, the logic or flow behind that business process changes - evolves - as the business does. So the IT department is told to make changes to the automated process. But, guess what? The key software engineer that wrote most of the code is no longer with the company, and the fancy diagrams and use cases that were drawn up are conveniently missing. So, some new unititiated programmer gets the pleasure of having to go back to square one, to "really understand what the business process is supposed to do." FAIL.
We constantly hear stories like these from technology executives that reach out to us for help. Don't fret — we can help you.
StarPound to the Rescue
To solve problems like the one described above, a system must force a marriage between the process "model", and the code that is eventually deployed to automate the process. StarPound's open-source platform gives you the ability to do just that.
First, you create the actual process model using the BPMN-compliant StarPound Studio™ application. The business process model that you create can involve all sorts of things like calls to external web services, voice/IVR tasks, logic decisions, SQL queries, events, web forms, etc. The good news is that StarPound Studio™ makes it easy. Want an IVR task to kick off at a certain point in a business process? Drag it over and connect it. Need to hit the servers at Salesforce.com to retrieve information on the customer? Drag it, drop it, and move on.
When you are satisfied with the visual model you've built, you simply publish it to the cloud (the StarPound Application Server), and your new automated business process is up and functioning.