A comprehensive BPM platform has evolved rapidly. While defining business processes it also deploys processes as applications accessible via the web. It can be integrated with the enterprises existing software systems, and provides managers visibility to monitor, analyze, control and improve the execution of those processes in real time.
Skelta, now a brand offering of Invensys Operations Management, provides enterprise-wide BPM and advanced workflow solutions for small to large enterprises worldwide. Its flagship product, Skelta BPM, provides a strong and collaborative platform to develop business applications.
Sanjay Shah, Managing Director, Invensys Skelta in this exclusive interview with SmartTechie shares the vision of Invensys Skelta and what sets Skelta BPM apart.
The Core of Skelta BPM Product
Skelta BPM is built on Microsoft .NET, XML, and Web services technologies and enables business users and developers to design and deploy BPM workflow applications using tools with which they are already familiar. In addition, it also enables businesses to leverage on their existing investments in Microsoft technologies such as InfoPath, BizTalk Server, and SharePoint. Skelta software integrates with Microsoft's InfoPath, a designing tool, to create open and interoperable XML-based forms for human interface with little or no coding. It can use Microsoft's BizTalk Server, one of the leading business integration infrastructure tools, as the integration backbone. It works with Microsoft's SharePoint portal technologies for tasks and document management.
Now that the enterprises have begun to move to a service-oriented architecture (SOA) in order to better align IT with business objectives, Skelta aims to be at the forefront of this significant shift in IT strategy. Thus it has integrated its software with Visual Studio .NET as a developer platform, to aid this transformation. The ability to seamlessly interoperate with XML and the absolute abstraction are critical to enabling a robust SOA and Skelta BPM enables this by offering varied editions - Developer, Professional, Advanced and accelerators for SharePoint, connectors and adapters for BizTalk, SAP.
A Step Ahead of Competition
BPM is a well penetrated market, with several key players competing for the top spot. Despite, tough competition from players both in India and around the world, Skelta has managed to occupy a niche position for itself. Skelta has close to 600 customers, many of whom are Fortune 500 companies.
'The USP of Skelta BPM is the product's embeddable nature to seamlessly integrate into a customer's line-of-business applications. Its unique architecture offers the advantage of centralized standalone BPMS platform through its Enterprise Console. So users can model, simulate, analyze processes, manage application forms, UI and even create fully integrated applications using Enterprise Console and can manage process and application specific artifacts for entire enterprise,' Shah explains. Because of the OEM nature of the product, Skelta BPM is embedded in many SaaS BPM implementations, although white-labeled. Skelta has leveraged this into business that includes OEM and full product sales as well as multi-tenanted hosted BPM. Even the browser-based process modeler can be embedded as a component in another application, not just the run-time UI components.
Skelta's embeddable capabilities enable the actual application to have very contextual BPM integration. With embeddable controls for Process Modeling, Analysis, Execution, Work queues, and BAM, users can manage and control processes without ever leaving the application. This gives true agility, thereby fulfilling the promise of BPM.
Collaboration has become a critical component in enterprises worldwide. With the industry becoming dynamic and organizations becoming flat, collaboration among and between people and systems is of critical importance. Being a step ahead, Skelta has already begun to offer the capability to deliver multiple, simultaneous task alerts, notifications and record responses through the Web, e-mail, SMS and telephony. It offers multi tenancy and online access to the environment, thus enabling a SaaS/cloud version to reduce barriers to access and use.
The Microsoft Advantage
Having built its product on a Microsoft platform, Skelta shares a deep and symbiotic relationship with Microsoft and the Microsoft development community. As a member of Microsoft's Technology Adoption Program, it has had the opportunity to work on new Microsoft technologies much before their release. This has enabled Skelta to not only work on cutting-edge, futuristic technologies, but also enabled it to develop products on the new platforms and make them available to customers within a few weeks from the Microsoft release, giving an edge over others in times to deliver. The partnership with Microsoft has also allowed Skelta to enhance business processes with connectors to critical enterprise products such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, BizTalk, and InfoPath.
In 2010, Microsoft named Invensys Skelta as a 2010 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award Finalist. Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Awards recognizes partners for their commitment to deliver products and services built on Microsoft technologies that positively changes and impacts customers' business.
Invensys Skelta was selected from over 3000 entries as one of the Finalist for the category - Information Worker Office Business Applications (OBA) Partner of the Year. The OBA Partner of the Year Award recognizes partners that have excelled in offering a breakthrough solution by integrating with the Office client or an Office SharePoint interface to a line-of-business application.
The Opportunity and Vision Ahead
The market for BPM software cuts across the horizontal and vertical industrial boundaries. Any organization that is process-oriented relies on a BPM solution making it one of the most deployed solutions in diverse verticals. A fast growing software market, BPM is estimated to grow tenfold in five years to $6 billion in 2011. Exploring new opportunities, Skelta has forayed into new markets like India and Middle East and Africa which comprise of 25 percent and 35 percent of the revenue share currently; U.S. though is still the major market. Among the verticals, BFSI, IT and Manufacturing sector are the major business areas. BFSI is especially of great focus in India as most BPOs that use Skelta BPM cater to this sector. Other sectors include FMCG, PSU, Pharmaceutical, and Healthcare.
Skelta was recently acquired by the Operations Management division of Invensys to enable Invensys Operations Management and their global network of ecosystem partners to deliver new, easy-to-configure workflow, collaboration and application-development solutions that enable people, processes and systems to work together much more efficiently. The Skelta management team believes that the Invensys brand capabilities and global reach is a great way to accelerate the growth of the company and improve service and capability to existing clients and new prospects. Skelta's existing clients will be backed by a respected company with global delivery capabilities and a commitment to open technology, and Invensys will be able to deliver an impressive suite of BPM solutions to its global industrial customers. Skelta is now a brand offering of Invensys Operations Management and will soon extend the Invensys Wonderware System Platform to integrate the control/automation systems with enterprise systems resulting in full 'shop floor to top floor' interoperability.
At a time when the world was reeling under the strains of economic recession, Skelta is one of the few companies that enjoyed tremendous growth of about 40 percent. 'Opportunities for fresh BPM implementations are high. This is in contradiction with markets such as ERP which are mature and in which opportunities for upgrades and system replacements are higher than new implementations. Some of the factors which drive the BPM market are increasing competition, exponentially increasing operating costs with decreasing margins and ever increasing customer expectations,' says Shah of the times ahead. Now as an Invensys company, Shah is looking forward to catapult its presence in the BPM scenario.