Software AG recently unveiled two major new product releases designed to help B2B companies simplify integration of cloud, social, mobile and Big Data.
During it’s annual Process World conference, the company unveiled webMethods 9.0, which will help companies take advantage of these Cloud, Mobile, Social and Big Data helping their transition into a Digital Enterprise.
I’ve written a bit about the importance of Big Data and social data to supply chains previously on B2B.com, which is owned by Software AG. But it’s not news that these new types of data, as well as integration with cloud services and mobile devices, are expected to transform B2B areas such as supply chain management, procurement and health care.
What’s important to remember here is that even though these four areas — mobile, social media, Big Data and cloud — seem very different, it all boils down to integrating the data sets into your existing systems.
There are a number of ways you can solve this integration challenge, and in the interest of fairness, there are a number of companies that offer more solution-specific technologies for integrating each of these areas. For instance, a number of data integration vendors offer both on- and off-premise connectors for cloud-based CRM systems. And, of course, mobile device integration has been a niche area for some time.
But for companies that already have invested in or are planning to invest in supply chain management, the simplest way may be to upgrade or invest in technologies that will support these emerging trends.
What’s interesting to me about the new announcement is that webMethods 9.0 is integrating with Terracotta’s in-memory technology. IT experts often talk about Hadoop as “the” way to handle Big Data, but in-memory technology is another approach that’s gaining traction. That’s because it’s fast, moving the data and processing to the computer’s random access memory (RAM), as opposed to drawing the data from a physical disk.
So, basically, this means webMethods will be able to support local or distributed data caching, which adds fault-tolerance and higher performance to the system. It can also process large XML documents directly in-memory improving process timing. Interestingly, Terracotta technology was also used to stream the live broadcast of Olympics 2012 to millions of viewers. The use of in-memory caching takes scalability to a level never seen before.
Software AG acquired the in-memory company last year, so this announcement reflects the integration of that technology and is a major payoff for that acquisition.
The company’s other big announcement is the release of Aris 9.0. Aris is Software AG’s business process management suite. In addition to a new look and feel, the new release adds an advanced analytics, including support for interacting with KPIs and other key business information on mobile devices.
It can also be used to connect to the public, private or hybrid cloud infrastructures.
Aris Connect, which is part of the suite, also makes using the tool more social by allowing users to contribute to the process improvement based on their individual roles in Cloud.
As part of the announcements, Software AG is focusing on how these two tools — webMethods 9.0 and Aris 9.0 — can be used together. One of the criticisms of BPM is that it tends to be deployed by individual departments and become yet another application silo. Software AG is pushing the integration of the two products as a way to solve that problem and create a more collaborative, enterprise-wide approach to managing processes.
If you’d like to read more about that, you might want to check out the company’s whitepaper, “Business & IT: Sharing the Vision of Enterprise BPM.” It’s written by independent analyst Sandy Kemsley http://www.column2.com/about/, who is a well-known and respected writer and leader in the BPM space.