BP3: much innovation for customers, but a bigger story needed
Just before I left for a family vacation in August, I spent a couple of days in Austin TX with BP3 at the company’s BPM CAMP event, and caught a masterclass in customer-centricity.
In case you’re not aware of BP3, it’s a specialist provider of BPM consulting and support services. The company was founded in 2007 by a number of Lombardi alumni, and following that company’s acquisition by IBM, it’s IBM’s BPM technology in particular that BP3 focuses on.
But BP3 is not a traditional ‘body shop’ simply delivering development resources. This is a company that understands that BPM itself is a set of business processes, deeply understands what its customers are trying to achieve, and is determined to develop its business in innovative ways to help its clients excel. Over the past couple of years in particular, it’s started to really get into the minds of its customers in order to build a portfolio of products and services that are all about enabling customers to win. Here’s some things that BP3 has done that set it apart:
- Developed BPM technology toolkits (Brazos UI, Brazos Portal) that clients can install on the IBM BPM platform – to significantly enhance the default user experiences provided by IBM BPM with cross-platform, responsive designs.
- Developed a cloud-based analysis service (Neches Analysis) that inspects and quality-rates your IBM BPM application code to help you improve comprehensibility and maintainability.
- Created a range of support services (BP Labs) that can be used standalone, or with project services, to help you install and migrate IBM BPM platforms; support BP3’s toolkits; and support your applications (as developed by you or BP3).
Last year BP3 acquired UK-based Modexe, another IBM technology specialist – bringing not only a European BPM technology footprint to the company, additional bench strength for IBM BPM development projects and additional resources for staffing its 24×7 support operation; but serious expertise in delivering IBM ODM (business rules) projects too. Off the back of this, the company’s now readying a new version of Neches Analysis which will analyse the quality of ODM assets.
The company continues to push forward. Earlier in 2015 it released BrazosOpen, a version of the Brazos UI toolkit for use with the Activiti and Camunda open-source BPM projects. And just a couple of weeks back, the company announced that its new partner program is starting to bear significant fruit: IBM technology integrator Cognizant has signed up to resell Brazos UI and Portal, Neches Analysis and BP Labs services. BP3 is working on licensing the Brazos technologies to other vendors for embedding, too – I expect we’ll hear more on that front before too long.
I spoke to a number of BP3 customers at BPM CAMP, and it’s clear that BP3 has a great reputation, deep respect for its customers – and also a great deal of room to grow. There’s no doubt that although small, BP3 is an important player in the BPM services marketplace.
For all its ambition, there are still things it needs to work on. For one thing: as a deep specialist, it would be easy for BP3 to find itself stuck as a small cog in the larger wheels of the global systems integrators that are often brought in to assist with large business transformations, playing supporting behind-the-scenes roles that are easily price-pressured. If it’s to push against this, BP3 needs to further develop how it markets and sells its capabilities, and to whom.