Why BPM needs a ‘Siri’ interface – natural language execution and modeling


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Watching the many live streams of the Apple iPhone event it was the last announcement that really caught my attention (not that I didn’t know it was coming via the rumour sites anyways): Siri, the virtual assistant.

If you watch the keynote you’ll understand that it’s application goes far beyond just voice control and simple commands, there’s a natural language interface and conversational interpretation, integration with web and apps, almost AI in nature.

Way back I advocated that BPMS needs a more human experience, touchscreen and such devices are growing in numbers and adoption in the enterprise, whether phone, tablet, table or projected interface. But it’s not moving fast enough in the BPM space, we’re still chained to the desk and a mouse for crying out loud to draw processes. Semantic BPM ? Give me a break, it’s wrapped in BPEL and other such gobbledegook, it’s anything but semantic and natural. I read a 136 page slideshow on the subject and it’s about as groundbreaking as BPMN 2.0. In other words, nobody will bother and it won’t set the BPM world on fire.

Now Apple and Siri bring everything together in something that on the surface appears seamless to the user, and more importantly, it works as naturally as holding a conversation with your secretary. So here’s the deal: why can’t we create a BPM interface that does the same ? We’re almost there with Ravenflow and it’s natural engine but it still requires textual input, can’t we dictate a process in the same fashion we talk through a process with an analyst ? Imagine the possibilities of actually recording in a workshop environment a process as we discuss it without having a laptop or brown paper in the room. And perhaps just a projected interface we can tweak with our hands as we talk it through.

What’s stopping us from learning from other tech industries ? BPM seems as slow plodding as a brachiosaur at times when it comes to thinking ahead.

It is really such a big risk to come out with “one more thing” in your next vendor conference and pull a Steve Jobsian surprise out the hat ? Or would you rather hoot about your latest acquisition and the shiny v1.2 sticker on your BPM box of tricks……

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Theo Priestley
Theo Priestley is Vice President and Chief Evangelist at Software AG, responsible for enabling the marketing and voice of the industry's leading Business Process, Big Data/ In-Memory/ Complex Event Processing, Integration and Transaction suite of platforms. Theo writes for several technology and business related sites including his own successful blog IT Redux. When he isn't evangelizing he's playing videogames, collecting comics and takes the odd photo now and then. Theo was previously an independent industry analyst and successful enterprise transformation consultant.


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