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Process Application Platforms 2016: Pegasystems

This report assesses the capabilities of Pegasystems’ Process Application Platform, and also examines the partners and intellectual property that Pegasystems can offer customers exploring associated technology implementations. This assessment report forms part of a series of reports from MWD Advisors which assesses business process application technology offerings – technology-related capabilities which support organisations wanting to design, develop, deploy, monitor and optimise partially- or wholly-automated business processes.
We strongly encourage you to read this report in conjunction with our accompanying Assessment Framework report at


Pegasystems’ Pega 7 Platform is a highly sophisticated Process Application Platform. While the company is working to appeal to a wider range of client needs (leading with Pega Express), the fact remains that nobody should be buying the Pega 7 Platform today solely to automate vacation approvals. Its contracts are priced accordingly, but the technology is very sophisticated in a couple of key ways that should be particularly important to anyone pursuing process improvement or automation in a demanding business context. Firstly, it allows you to create sophisticated, dynamic process applications with advanced case management and analytics-driven features; and secondly it enables you to deal with complex and demanding change and variation requirements across large programs of work.

Support for different types of work

Automated work: There’s strong support at both design time and runtime for automated work scenarios – with good error handling and integration facilities, and the addition of Pega Robotics further strengthens its hand. With its rules- and analytics-based foundation it’s also no surprise that decision automation is a very strong capability. The new Live Data capability further simplifies application integration.

Transactional work: The fact that Work Objects, rather than Flows, are the central modeling concept in the Pega platform sets a foundation for very flexible transactional work support. Sophisticated organisational modeling, calendaring, document management integration via CMIS and the power of Visual Business Director are all big contributors.

Exploratory work: Over its past couple of releases the Pega 7 Platform has become extremely capable in support of exploratory work scenarios, with sophisticated Case Management support at design time and runtime. Pega also goes further than others in providing very useful monitoring and optimisation features.

Rapid prototyping / quick-start

Pega Express is for prospects and customers wanting to carry out rapid prototyping exercises, run quick proofs-of-concept, and so on. It’s based on the full Pega 7 Platform, but does a great job of specialising and narrowing the toolset so that even relatively non-technical business analysts can deliver first-cut applications quickly. Pega Express applications are built on the same platform and can be easily extended and finalised in the full platform when appropriate.

Change management

Change management is perhaps the area in which the Pega 7 Platform offering excels most impressively – particularly with the optional Virtual Enterprise Repository. The ability to manage application and asset change and variation across projects and programs, at a large scale, is a market-leading capability.

User experience options

With the current set of platform releases, Pegasystems has focused a lot of effort on simplifying application user experience design. The inbuilt responsive UI framework is easy to build on and test with, and there’s much sophistication if you’re looking for full-blown mobile app experiences. There’s also an extensive API that enables you to build completely custom experiences or embed Pega functions into existing apps if you want.

Deployment options

Most customers use Pega’s Cloud for dev/test. The company also offers virtual, private, public and hybrid cloud options and is pushing hard to make its cloud more suitable for a wider range of customers. Partner-led managed hosting services are part of the picture.

Inside Pegasystems’ platform

Pegasystems’ Pega 7 Platform addresses all design, construction, deployment and management aspects associated with Process Application Platforms. The platform is now on version 7.2.1.

As mentioned above, the company doesn’t just sell its platform; it continues to make market-leading investments in applications – hardening what it previously called ‘industry frameworks’ into a portfolio of ready-to-use applications for industries that span scenarios around marketing, sales, service and operations. Currently around 25% of Pegasystems’ R&D expenditure is given over to developing and maintaining this application portfolio.

Key tools and capabilities

The Pega 7 Platform comprises a set of tightly-integrated tools, each of which has a very clear role to play – and there is little functional overlap between them. The platform brings together four main capabilities:

Also related to the core Pega 7 Platform, Pegasystems offers:

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