The technology leap to CBPA – the CEBP bypass

image_business_processCEBP is about the partial enabling of automation of a business process, or embedding a communications capability in to a business application.

It seems to do parts of the process in a fully automated way, but then you discover at some stage that someone gets an e-mail telling them to do something….a kind of halfway house to full automation .

In my mind, CBPA is the actual automation of the process and provides real process related tasks or work parcels to the associated  individuals or teams.

In other words, all parts of the process that can be fully automated –  really are.

Example Analogies

We could almost subtitle it as “Taking back our time spent in self-service applications” like Travel Portals, Expenses Systems, Facilities Management Portals.

You could also consider this distinction as pull (CEBP) versus push (CBPA) technologies.

Or as I prefer, the difference between a facilitator or  someone who actually delivers something, and goodness knows (in my humble opinion) – the World does not need another facilitator – human or otherwise…

Rather than receiving an e-mail or IVR call suggesting you have “something to do” –  I will try and describe what I believe to be the difference with the following example.

Example of CBPA

Imagine a product development meeting, either by video or web collaboration with voice / video.

Meeting participants agree  actions and these actions are input to the CBPA enabled business application together with owners that are taken from the corporate directory or partner company directories.

Many of those actions could be embedded and signed as hash-tags / keywords etc.
eg –
Action 1 –  David Smith to contact Phil Baker regarding the business case for security feature Stonewall of project Gotham within 5 working days.

Action 2 – Schedule a meeting with the Stonewall project team in Vienna no later than 10 days post Action 1.

Immediately action 1 is typed in to the meeting action minder, the application initiates diary matches to schedule the call with the two action owners, and adds a task to their personal organiser requesting the outcome of this future event and resolution status, and copies the Stonewall project teams organiser with the date.

Any dependencies can be added during the future call which may or may not adjust timescales, but business rules will ensure that the milestone cannot be broken or extended without higher level authority.

When the future meeting is due to take place the application will initiate the collaboration between Phil and Dave and remind them of their agenda.

Any other team participants (collaborators) and dependencies that rely upon the successful outcome of this event will be automatically notified of the results, and further meetings maybe autonomously scheduled.

For example – if the meeting on Action 2 mandated travel, best geographical location would be understood, diary entries would be made to contact the travel agent for flights and the facilities department would be communicated with for meeting room resources – conferencing requirements, such as seating arrangements, food requirements and menus.

Those not required to be there in person would automatically have resources pre-allocated on the most appropriate videoconferencing MCU and details populated in their calendar.

From the travellers perspective – details such as flight preferences , home airport, aircraft seat preferences , and dietary requirements should be harvested from the travel agent’s employee profiles.

The important thing to distinguish here is that the application does the work, the people just agree their selections as required.

A third process path may be opened to the procurement application to pre-authorise the budget for the meeting including cost centre numbers, air fare policy,hotel locations and tariffs.

Finally to ensure that the meeting owners submit their personal expenses on time, the CBPA may schedule a suitable time in the future for the process, thus ensuring that large claims are avoided and that expenses are settled in the appropriate time.

The expenses system will have had the appropriate cost centre codes automatically entered by the procurement process for the prior approved project name – Stonewall, just so long as they still have budget….

Submitted By Darren Gallagher

2 thoughts on “The technology leap to CBPA – the CEBP bypass”

  1. Nicely put. There’s quite a bit of chatter out there about what CEBP does, but very little about where it falls short.

    Recently we announced a new product called Interaction Process Automation (IPA) that we did not want associated to CEBP. As you stated, CEBP is only part of the way, it can help with alerting during a process, but doesn’t really manage all the intricate aspects of an actual business process. I’ll be interested to follow your CEBP&CBPA category to see if it’s starting to catch on.

    We’re trying our best to explain the points you made ourselves.

  2. Hi Brad,
    I like the “Hard ROI benefits” on the URL you provided – In UC, CEBP/CBPA will spin those process wheels much faster.
    But because this leverages our technology more than any other driver, I think we should (as an industry)
    be conscious of a couple of things –
    1 – Sometimes the technology industry is a little quick to jump on the latest bandwagon and let our marketeers spin it in to a trend – often leaving our customers understanding of what the real deliverables are as secondary.
    2 – We haven’t really got in to the consulting habit of (post delivery) benefits realisation – often because (until now) the ROI may include soft and difficult to measure returns – CEBP and moreso CBPA will force us to take a more consultative approach to the opportunity – which will deliver us further benefits – a deeper understanding of our customers business which will engender a greater level of customer loyalty.
    It may also increase our relationships and partnerships (sphere of influence) with the consulting and SI industry, where before we may have seen them as competitive (margin stripping) or maybe we might see the need to increase our recruitment and retention of consulting talent ourselves.

    One thing is for sure – the next few years are going to be an exciting ride.
    I’ll keep my eyes on Interactive Intelligence….thanks again for your comment.

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