The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
Issue No. 33 - 1 October 2010
In This Issue
BPM/SOA Agility Case Study Contest
Biz Architecture Info Day
ACM Most Popular Books
Seen Recently...
Learning Unlimited
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Agility Through BPM and SOA
The BPM/SOA Community, BPTrends, ebizQ and SearchSOA have announced the winners of the 2010 BPM/SOA Case Study Contest they ran together.
The winner was the Van Ameyde Group, an international insurance claim processor based in Holland, closely followed by Amerisource Bergen, a pharmaceutical supply chain company.
Van Ameyde replaced 10 different claim processing applications by a single one, and reduced its claim processing times by 30%. AmeriSource estimates that it saved $40M a year by applying BPM to its invoice reconciliation process.
More details on the contest Web site.
Business Architecture Information Day
The quarterly Object Management Group meeting was held in Cambridge, Mass., on Sep. 20-24. It included a quite successful Business Architecture Information Day consisting of 6 talks and 2 panels, all of excellent quality.
The key takeaways are:
  • BA has been talked about for years, but it is now seeing a good adoption trend in major companies, where it helps management align its vision, strategies, initiatives, systems and metrics (why, what, when, where, how, and how much).
  • It is a serious (and seriously challenging) task. Pfizer, for example, has a dedicated BA team of 10 full-time people. Don't fool yourself that a multi-billion dollar company can do this with a couple part-time people. Not if it wants the effort to yield results.
  • While tools are not the first priority, there are now rich tool suites from IBM/Rational, MEGA, Sparx, Adaptive, Troux, and quite a few others.
Let There Be Light: the Luminoso Project
Luminoso, developed at the MIT Media Lab, is a visualization tool for semantic spaces extracted from text documents. While still a research project, it is fast becoming popular with companies that are challenged by the mass of unstructured text information (e.g., open text survey answers, or tweets that mention them) and how to analyze it without using large amounts of human resources.
ACM Library: Most Popular Books
The books below are the most popular by area of specialization. ACM members, Safari and Books24/7 subscribers may have free or reduced-price access.
Seen Recently...
"If you have poor governance, project management and strategy overall, a 'Chief Cloud Officer' ain't gonna do you any good."
- Christopher Hoff (@Beaker on Twitter)
Notable Non-Profit of the Month
This is not going to be a regular feature, but since education issues are dear to the heart of many people in science, technology, and business, it seems worth posting about Learning Unlimited, a remarkable effort to create week-end programs taught by volunteer college students to middle and high schools students. Several major universities, including Stanford and MIT, endorsed the program and now run events several times a year, with up to 2300 attendees.
The non-profit organization is staffed by volunteers, operates on a ridiculously low budget, and is hard-pressed to meet demand from schools because of its limited funding. On its Web site, Learning U advertises several ways to help them.