Office 365 – does this open the door for BPM?
With the release of Microsoft Office 365, there is now an even more compelling reason for small to medium sized businesses to embrace the cloud. In my view, I can’t think of many scenarios where it would be better to implement an on-premise solution. Of course, larger organisations who have significant private clouds are likely to move slower.
But as small businesses migrate, what does this mean for those working in BPM?
For the vendors aligned with Microsoft (Singularity, Global 360, etc), I believe that this may be the door opening to a market ripe for the picking. Selling BPM to the small business is not the same as a large organisation. The need for solutions, and not capability, is more important and budgets for licenses and consultants are of a different level, if they exist at all. They have now got SharePoint on-line, but they don’t want to have to pay for staff or partners to help them avoid the many potential pitfalls of a poorly managed SharePoint infrastructure.
I feel cloud based BPM solutions could be used to automate and control these processes and allow the small businesses to see real value in process solutions. However the vendors need to provide cloud based multi-tenancy models, where usage costs for customers are at a similar level to Office 365.
To reach this market the offering has to be compelling. I don’t see the evidence that we are there yet but I do think the opportunity now exists – question is does anyone want to take it?