Features and Analysis

Catalyst works to make business processes ‘smart’

For nearly all companies, digital transformation is a necessary precursor to the hyper-connected Internet of Everything envisioned in the future. This requires virtualizing IT and network functions and automating them. It also means making similar improvements to business processes by adopting ‘smart’ business process management (BPM).

“Digital enterprises are moving to a new level where traditional BPM is definitely a misfit,” says Sid Sharma, Business Process Consultant, Tech Mahindra. “With the ‘low IQ’ we are not able to meet the challenges of the digital economy, so there is a sharp need to raise the IQ of the business processes to come up with smart business process management.”

Smart processes = happier customers

Smart business processes are automated and ultimately self-correcting, which reduces the amount of time it takes to create and deliver new services, and enhances customer experience.

A recent TM Forum Catalyst project called Smart Business Process – Enabling Digital Enterprise Transformation, which was demonstrated at the Catalyst InFocus in Dallas in November, has begun work on a prototype for automatically discovering, validating and mapping business processes to TM Forum’s Frameworx suite of standards-based tools and best practices. The project, which was championed by AT&T, KDDI R&D Labs and Orange, and included Tech Mahindra and Trisotech as supplier participants, aims to implement this kind of automation as part of a second phase to be demonstrated at TM Forum Live! 2016 in Nice, France.

“At this point in time it is a concept,” says Shailesh Potdar, Customer Delivery Head – BPM, Tech Mahindra. “We have come up with what I would call ‘Phase 1’ where we have presented automated business process discovery and validation, and how we can automate mapping the processes to TM Forum Frameworx.

“The next step would be taking it to the next level where we would implement this automation,” he adds. “We can implement it in NFV [network functions virtualization]and SDN [software-defined networking] and implement it on service delivery or service assurance processes.”

Watch an interview with Potdar about the Catalyst here:

Automating the process

The features of smart BPM include:

  • Automated Business Process Discovery (ABPD) – Traditionally, enterprises have hired consultants do a lot of manual research about systems and processes and produce a studies of end-to-end processes. This can take several weeks and the output is inaccurate and inefficient. Rather than using this top-down approach, the Catalyst uses a bottom-up approach that’s automated.
  • Automated Business Process Validation (ABPV) – Once processes are discovered, they have to be validated to find potential holes.
  • Automated Business Process Framework (ABPF) Mapping – In the case of the Catalyst, after business process have been discovered and validated, they are mapped to the Frameworx standards.
  • Automated Business Process Guidance (ABPG) – Finally, by utilizing smart BPM, the Catalyst is aiming to reduce manual documentation efforts with a tool that enables the use of animation and videos to socialize processes with development, operations and quality assurance teams.

To learn more, check out this demonstration of the Catalyst with Tech Mahindra’s Sharma and Ron Ambuter, Senior Vice President, Trisotech.


    About The Author

    Managing Editor

    Dawn Bushaus began her career in technology journalism in 1989 at Telephony magazine, which means she’s been writing about networking for a quarter century. (She wishes she didn’t have to admit that because it probably gives you a good idea of how old she really is.) In 1996, Dawn joined a team of journalists to start a McGraw-Hill publication called tele.com, and in 2000, she helped a team at Ziff-Davis launch The Net Economy, where she held senior writing and editing positions. Prior to joining TM Forum, she worked as a freelance analyst for Heavy Reading.

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