Casewise; Taking a Fresh Look
Yesterday I was invited to attend a meeting of the Casewise User Group in Watford. As many of you know I am of course more familiar with the offerings from Popkin, MEGA and Proforma, having worked for those organizations. So it was good to have the opportunity to hear what one of my former competitors has been up to and I have to tell you I was very pleasantly surprised.
In the first instance the company who I had always seen as being in a bit of backwater, now seems set to shake the modelling world up again, just as it did when the company was launched 20 years ago. I was amazed by how many of the people that work there I already knew! I met people I knew from MEGA, Popkin and ID, all of whom seemed genuinely excited by the new developments taking place at the company. This year has seen major management changes and new people from inside the industry joining to add impetus to the company’s growth. As I understand it there are even more people from their competitors waiting in the wings to join Casewise, this is certainly a different story to the one I was hearing about just 2 years ago.
Modelling, in the professional sense has always been a passion of mine. So to see companies in the space doing well always warms my heart. However, with the current economic problems, technology companies across the globe have been feeling the pinch and cutting back on staff. So it was nice to hear that Casewise had won over 100 new customers so far this year and had actually been increasing revenues and headcounts, a sure sign that more organizations are waking up to the true benefits that modelling can afford them.
Alex Wentzo, the COO for EMEA is an unassuming sort of person with a strong belief in customer service and quality. It is these strengths that have seen him take Casewise from being almost invisible in France to being seen as one of the dominant players in the French market. He also suggests that part of Casewise’s appeal to global companies is the number of languages they support natively, apparently the tool is available in 14 languages. He also suggests that as a company with growing revenues and cash in the bank Casewise are in a better position to capitalize on the current market challenges.
What Alex does not say is that their success is, in part at least, due to the impressive range of new products the company now have to better serve their clients and prospects. To the best of my knowledge the company’s Corporate Synergy Product is the only process execution offered by a modelling tool vendor into the market. Other vendors have partnerships with BPMS vendors, but the Casewise approach is to offer their own solution to their customers. The product being sold and supported by them directly means that customers only have to deal with a single vendor and a single development team, always a big plus. During the meeting we were treated to a customer case study on the Corporate Synergy product, and it seems that the customer in question has achieved some very impressive results in a very short space of time. I will talk more about this in a later post.
Many vendors in the modelling space talk about Web based modelling, SaaS solutions, hosted solutions or interfacing with Visio, but it seems that Casewise now offers their customers all of these. Of particular interest to me was the company’s V-Modeller product. Here they have not simply provided a Visio interface, but actually provided their customers with the ability to use Visio as an alternative means of modelling. They are working on the premise that the true value of a repository based approach can only be realized if all the data is contained in the repository. So by allowing customers to use Corporate Modeler, Visio or Web Modeler they can make it easier for their clients to roll out the modelling based paradigm to a wider audience. A brave move and one which this writer certainly hopes and believes will pay off handsomely in the months and years ahead.
With the increase in interest in process modelling you could argue that the market is coming back to Casewise. Process modelling is where they started 20 years ago and although latterly the company has become better known for the strength of their Enterprise Architecture offerings, I think it will be the strength of their process modelling that will again provide the impetus to the company. As well we all know successful EA projects are increasingly finding process at the heart of their success, SOA and BPM projects can’t succeed without clear process understanding.
Whilst there are many vendors in the space, independent vendors in modelling seem to come and go, Casewise certainly impressed me with how far they have come in the last two years and with other information they shared that is not appropriate for me to publish I think they may once again rise to prominence in the industry. As long as they do more to get the word out and become more visible!