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Business Process Management

Solution
RFP Development Guide

VERSION 1.0
MARCH 7, 2007

S UBMI T T ED TO: [V EN D OR ]

B Y : [Y O UR C OM PAN Y ]
Business Process Management Solution RFP Development Guide

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS..............................................................................................................................2

PURPOSE......................................................................................................................................................3

1. OVERVIEW...............................................................................................................................................3

2. WHY A BPM PROJECT?.........................................................................................................................4

3. DERIVING VALUE FROM BPM PROJECTS......................................................................................4

DEVELOPING THE RFP FOR A BPM PROJECT OR


ENTERPRISE SOLUTION..........................................................................................................................6

1. BUSINESS USE CASE—CLIENT/PROJECT BACKGROUND.........................................................6

2. RFP VENDOR INFORMATION............................................................................................................7


2.1 COMPANY OVERVIEW/PROFILE..................................................................................................................7
2.2 FINANCIAL VIABILITY...............................................................................................................................7
2.3 PARTNERSHIPS.........................................................................................................................................7
2.4 INSTALLED SITES AND REFERENCES............................................................................................................8
3. BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTION REQUIREMENTS........................................9
3.1 GENERAL PRODUCT INFORMATION..............................................................................................................9
3.2 COMPONENTS..........................................................................................................................................9
3.3 FEATURES...............................................................................................................................................9
BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTION RFP DEVELOPMENT GUIDE......................2
3.4 SYSTEM INTEGRATION............................................................................................................................10
3.5 BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT...........................................................................................................11
3.6 RULES MANAGEMENT............................................................................................................................12
3.7 HUMAN TASK SUPPORT..........................................................................................................................13
3.8 BUSINESS PROCESS ANALYSIS, MODELING AND SIMULATION.......................................................................14
4. VENDOR SUPPORT SERVICES..........................................................................................................16
4.1 IMPLEMENTATION/INSTALLATION..............................................................................................................16
4.2 TRAINING AND DOCUMENTATION.............................................................................................................16
4.3 MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT..................................................................................................................16
5. SOLUTION INVESTMENT INFORMATION....................................................................................17

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PURPOSE
The purpose of this document is to present and describe the type of
information and questions to consider when defining Business Process
Management project solution.
[Note: a quick way to do a minor customization of this document in order to present
it as an RFI/RFP to a specific vendor is to do a ‘Search/Replace’ of the word ‘Vendor’
with the ‘Name of the Vendor’ to whom you are submitting this document. And then
also delete this note before sending this Guide out to vendors.]

1. OVERVIEW

Every business is essentially a collection of processes - some strategic, some


tactical, but all necessary. And today's processes are increasingly complex,
full of deeper interactions across systems and dependent on more
collaborative activities between users. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)
promises to usher in a new era of business agility. But that agility depends as
much on supporting new efficiencies for people as it does on liberating
access to systems and services. This is the role of Business Process
Management in the world of SOA, helping today's leading businesses attain a
competitive edge through repeatable and predictable process and
compliance execution involving people and systems.
Business Process Management requires software that integrates the
modeling, implementation, execution and monitoring of end-to-end business
processes to support continuous optimization of the entire business process
lifecycle. A Business Process Management solution should move beyond the
limitations of traditional human workflow and process technology and
augment the power and extensibility of system-to-system enterprise
application integration software by bridging the two to support the complex,
collaborative business processes of today's heterogeneous enterprise. This
type of business process involves all the elements of BPM plus collaboration
and knowledge management that a portal-based composite application
delivers.
Companies require the quickest time to deployment.
 A business process management product suite that integrates the
modeling, implementation, execution and monitoring of end-to-end
business processes to support continuous optimization of the entire
business process lifecycle.
 A portal and user interaction framework to deliver a volume and variety of
composite applications that assemble services and integrate content from
across the enterprise.
 An integrated collaboration platform that allows users to share and
manage documents and project information, engage in online discussions,
and coordinate through notifications and synchronized calendars.
These general business objectives are further refined by a company’s specific

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industry, market and business requirements. To this end, companies and


their leaders seek the ability to automate business processes, readily access
enterprise resources, and swiftly adapt information systems to dynamic
business requirements. Most often this starts with meeting a specific
objective or objectives by providing new IT capabilities through a BPM
project.

2. WHY A BPM PROJECT?

The role of technology in the organization has grown from providing specific
functionality to becoming part of (or a facilitator of) organizational strategic
initiatives. The packaged applications and custom built solutions to solve a
specific business problem now need to seamlessly collaborate.
Unfortunately, in many cases, these projects were originally completed in
isolation or “silos” and an overall, consistent approach (platform) was not
used to roll out the different projects and solutions. Typical pain points
include:
 High cost of business operations because of manual processing, errors
and redundancies
 High total cost of ownership—lack support of standards among diverse
internal and external technology systems; requirement of specialty skills
to support IT infrastructure
 Disconnected business processes—redundant processes span multiple
internal systems and Inability to get a clear view of their own customers
and processes, making it impossible to respond in a timely manner—
meaning bad customer service and poor decision-making
 Inability to execute on strategic initiatives—constant challenge for IT fill
the gap to support the changing business initiatives (operational,
marketing, customer service, HR, etc.) in a timely and effective manner
 Inability to get a clear view of the company’s customers and processes,
making it impossible to respond in a timely manner—that means bad
customer service and poor decision making
 Employee productivity and satisfaction deficiencies
 Making change is costly, resource intensive, and time-consuming …overall
very hard to do

3. DERIVING VALUE FROM BPM PROJECTS

Your BPM solution should provide the following key benefits to your
constituents:
 A new era of business agility that helps enable new workplace efficiencies
and liberating access to systems and services.

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 Transcend the boundaries of traditional BPM products by providing market


leading support for collaborative business processes.
 Improve productivity of employees and their business processes
 Allow employees to work as their requirements dictate, not how IT
dictates
 Give LOB users control of their business processes

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DEVELOPING THE RFP FOR A BPM PROJECT OR


ENTERPRISE SOLUTION

1. BUSINESS USE CASE—CLIENT/PROJECT BACKGROUND

The first and hardest step for any company considering investing in a BPM
and SOA project is evaluating all the facets and defining what is important to
meet both immediate goals as well as long-term corporate goals. It is
common for a basic BPM project to become a phase of a larger SOA solution.
It is thus very important that the project is well thought out in order to
provide the best foundation in the most cost effective manner.
The following bulleted items list information to think about and include the
appropriate information in the RFI/RFP in order to obtain accurate,
comprehensive responses that best address your specific requirements for a
more relevant evaluation.
 Describe your current situation as it relates to your BPM and SOA project
in detail. What systems/applications and infrastructure currently exist?
What do you do now? What are your relevant processes? Where are the
bottlenecks?
 Describe your company’s goals. What are the specific goals/expectations
for this BPM and SOA project? What are the key factors and priorities for
this project? What specific business initiatives are associated with the
RFP? What problems do you expect to solve? What phases or steps do
you expect to go through in the transformation from disparate parts
(applications, systems) to unified platform?
 Describe the current architecture. What are your company’s plans over
the next 3 years?
 Who are your internal (and external) customers and suppliers for this
project? What is important to them?
 Evaluation of in-house IT staffing skills—What level of control/role does
your company want to have over the BPM and SOA project for
implementation of project and ongoing development/support? For
example, some clients use vendors to provide the majority of the
implementation with the client receiving enough training to maintain the
system but engage vendor resources for future development; some clients
have vendor provide guidance and best practices to internal development
teams that are responsible for building future projects; and some client
outsource hosting and development.
 What are your measures for determining the success of this project?
This information helps define the priorities your business is facing in BPM and
SOA and helps the vendor provide the best options for your current and
future needs.

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2. RFP VENDOR INFORMATION

2.1 Company Overview/Profile


Typical information that is relevant to your organization for the decision
making process.
 Provide a brief company history and overview.
 Where is Vendor headquartered? How many additional offices
does Vendor have and where are the offices located?
 What market solution(s) does Vendor’s product(s)/service(s)
serve such as EAI (enterprise application integration), BPM (Business
Process Management), Application Server, Portal, SOA (Service
Oriented Architecture) Solution, etc?
 Which industry boards, standards bodies, councils, and working
groups does Vendor have representation on that are specifically
related to this market?
 List any industry awards or recognition received in last 12
months.
 Is Vendor an existing supplier for our company?

2.2 Financial Viability


 Please provide financial summary for past three years. Provide
a link or electronic files of the past two annual reports and most
recent financial filing (if public company).
 How much does Vendor spend on Research and Development
annually?
 How many employees does Vendor have and how are they
distributed: number of employees in R&D/development; Customer
Support; Professional Services; Training; Sales & Marketing; and
Operations?
 How many customers do you have? What are the primary
industries of Vendor client base (i.e. Manufacturing, Financial
Services, Retail, etc.)?

2.3 Partnerships
 Describe Vendor partner strategy with other vendors:
technology platform, software infrastructure, packaged applications,
systems integrators, etc.
 What partners do you recommend for the solution you are
proposing? If any.

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2.4 Installed Sites and References


 How many clients do you have using this product/solution? How
many new clients?
 Detail where the proposed solution has been installed at other
sites with short summary of project/solution.

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3. BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTION


REQUIREMENTS

3.1 General Product Information


 How long has the software been on the market? (Please include
date first version or release of software was released, as well as the
date the current version or release went to market)
 Describe the overall product capabilities in reference to our
requirements. What additional product capabilities are relevant to
our business requirements?
 Describe the key strengths and differentiators of Vendor
solution.

3.2 Components
 An Integrated Dashboard (such as a Portal) with access to all the
applications/ tools/ information that the user may need at any point
of the process.
 A Business rules engine integrated with the workflow of the
Administration system to enable rule execution on manual,
systematic and scheduled triggers/ events.
 A Business Process Management component to facilitate
automation, integration, and optimization of processes across the
different components from the Platform to achieve business
objectives and enable agile improvements.

3.3 Features
 A single sign on access to all integrated applications that can be
accessed from the user’s Dashboard
 The Administration system should be available to the user via a
Web-based, thin client.
 Ability to customize the components that should get displayed
on the Dashboard based on user role.
 Ability for flexible placement and resizing of the panels within
the Dashboard, while still allowing the administrator to lock the
presentation view at individual user level.
 An easy to use UI allowing for creation, maintenance and testing
of the business rules.
 Centralized control for Administrative users for creation,
configuration and control of Metadata tables:
 Business Metadata related to workflow and other

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 Presentation Metadata to control and configure the user’s


experience with the Integrated Dashboard
 Administration Metadata to manage the roles, users,
components and features of the system
 Workflow management to promote the agility of the system in
order to remain in compliance with changing business processes.
 Ability for all users to use the email and fax correspondence
functionality from the Integrated Dashboard
 System Administration capabilities to administer the security of
various applications from the platform, manage the creation,
configuration and maintenance of roles, users and system resources
and to control the access rights, enabling of features, logging etc.
 Performance management features for activities such as
monitoring the system’s access by users, capturing of usage and
error trends, providing guidance and alerts to users, viewing of
performance statistics real time, online help /consultation for the user
etc.
 Rules-based or user-determined reports generation feature for
different levels of audience, both real time and in batch mode

3.4 System Integration


 Please describe your preferred and supported integration
strategy/methods with external/enterprise systems?
 Please describe how your product handles various messaging
semantics, such as point-to- point, publish and subscribe, message
oriented middleware, etc.
 What pre-built adapters do you have to support 3rd party
applications?
 What formats does your proposed solution accept and send
messages to/from other systems?
 How does your proposed solution handle secure/encrypted
communications between applications?
 How does your proposed solution handle message routing?
 Please describe in detail your solution’s ability to integrate with
following enterprise-wide technologies:
 Portal systems
 Bespoke Java and Cobol-based systems
 Document Management Systems
 Content Management Systems
 CRM systems
 Business Intelligence Systems

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 Data Warehouse
 Please describe in detail how your system integrates with
external business rules engines? Please list the external Business
Rules Engines that you have successfully integrated with in live
systems. Provide details of your largest rule volume base and
associated performance metrics achieved.
 Please describe the robustness of your proposed solutions
runtime integration environment in terms of high performance,
reliability, and scalability?
 Please describe in detail your solution’s ability to support
orchestrating services, composites and sub-flows in execution mode.
 Please provide in detail how your solution can provide
capabilities to interact real time with other external applications.

3.5 Business Process Management


 Please describe in detail the different components of your
product suite and the salient features of each. How do these features
integrate to provide enterprise wide BPM capabilities?
 Please describe in detail the IDE capabilities provided by your
solution to allow the business administrator to design, create, save
and maintain business process. Please describe in detail the process
and user interface that the system provides for testing, simulation
and analysis of the business processes.
 Please describe the capabilities of your system to provide a real
time dashboard for functions such as process monitoring, process
orchestration, real time process management etc.
 What features are provided by the system to assist the users in
integrating processes with external applications and databases?
 Please describe the system’s ability to provide an integrated
Version control functionality for users? How does the system
integrate with an external Version control system and which systems
can it support?
 What features are available to the user for searching and
leveraging business processes from the process repository? What
metadata is saved by the system for the processes in the repository?
 Please describe in detail your solution’s capabilities to integrate
with and leverage information from a CRM application within the
process workflows. What external CRM systems have you integrated
with?
 Please describe in detail the analytics features provided by your
solution.
 Please describe the capabilities and features of your system’s
process execution engine.

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 Please describe the change management capabilities for rules


and process management provided in your system. Describe the roll
back capabilities provided for any changes made by users.
 What workflow types (e.g. Person to person, Person to system,
System to system) are supported by your system? Please describe
each type with examples. What additional features does your system
provide to the user for managing these workflows?
 Please describe in detail the solution’s capabilities and methods
to incorporate the interaction of human centric processes with
automated processes?
 Please describe in detail the solution’s capabilities and methods
for analyzing process trends, and optimizing and redeploying
processes?
 Please describe in detail the solution’s capabilities to support
maintenance of the process Execution History. What features are
available to the users to view and analyze the saved records?
 Please provide your solutions ability to provide the following
features for the workflow management functionality of your system:
 notifications and recommendations for tasks, configurations,
rule sets
 missed workflow steps for creating processes and/or business
rules
 ability for manual intervention to handle a special or exceptional
scenario in a workflow
 modeling of a workflow, or work process, performance
recommendations, process concerns, best practices
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides the ability to
modify in-flight workflows (Update, Suspend or Terminate a running
workflow based on observations). Describe the system’s ability to
start such modified flows from the previously suspended or an
intermediate point.
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides the ability to
have multiple versions of the same workflow running at once
(comparison between the results of incrementally changed versions
of the workflow to determine the effect of the change). How is this
integrated with the version control component?
 Please describe any multiple-language support incorporated into
your product.

3.6 Rules Management


 Does your solution have a Business Rules engine component?
Please describe in detail the capabilities of your solution to support
business rule creation and execution.

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 Does your system integrate with external business rules


engines? What Rules engines have you integrated with your product
to date, in live systems? Provide details of the largest volume base
in terms of number of rules created/ executed and rate (number of
rules per unit time) of rule execution, number of users/systems and
performance requirements.
 Please describe your solution’s ability to provide an IDE to allow
the business administrator to create, save and maintain business
rules. Please describe in detail the process and user interface that
the system provides for testing of business rules.
 Please describe in details the system’s support for different
types of business rules execution:
 Rules based on system events
 Rules based on user’s actions
 Rules that execute continuously in the background
 Rules that execute based on a pre-defined schedule
 Please describe in detail the systems capability to apply
business rules that affect the usability and presentation such as the
fields/ controls that are displayed in the user interface and the data
that is displayed.
 Please describe your solution’s ability to trigger rules depending
on the information coming in from the communication with an
external system or vendor.
 Please describe in detail the systems capability to enter a
comment based on business rules or data field content. What
capabilities does the system have to configure:
 Forcing of comments in scenarios where it is deemed
mandatory. How can validations be provided for the user entered
comments
 Automatic comments for specific system or user events. How
can these comments pick up run-time information (such as the
identification of the current user, event ID)
 Please describe in detail your solutions ability to exert control
over the rules execution, such as but not restricted to:
 have effective and expiration dates for rules and processes
 create substitute rules for existing rules
 notify the user of the impact a rule change has on more than
one rule

3.7 Human Task Support


 Please describe in detail how your solution provides
organizational model support, including reporting and functional unit

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relationships by creation of a visual view of the organization and its


flow, with various functions and their relations.
 Please describe in detail how your solution’s modelling tool
provides the ability to define human workflow steps, with visual drill-
downs and sub-levels to visually depict business functions’
association with a department, function, process, or attribute
supported.
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides workflow
monitoring features such as tracking; alerting and escalation
capabilities to address human centric tasks (e.g. delayed work,
critical events).
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides
customisable work lists (modifiable task list that can be used as
templates) for human task access. Please describe how these can be
used to represent process that alternate between automated
processing and human tasks.
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides the ability to
include processes outside the BPM technology domain (e.g. obtaining
information from an external vendor) as part of the process being
modelled.
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides access to,
and management of work queues, depending on user needs.

3.8 Business Process Analysis, Modeling and Simulation


 Please describe in detail how your solution provides easy-to-
understand flow and rule modeling standards such as BPMN, UML etc.
 Please describe the Business Process Analysis capabilities
provided by your solution. If your solution has a separate component/
tool for managing BPA, please describe the features and user
interface of the tool. What external BPA tools can your system
integrate with?
 Please describe the features and user interface of your solution’s
Business Activity Monitoring component/tool. What metrics are
provided as output from your BAM process?
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides metrics and
attributes (such as for cost, time, value and risk supported for
simulations), to allow the reviews of process/ workflows for analysis
and improvement purpose.
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides dynamic
simulation (discrete and continuous). What metrics are provided as
output from the process Simulation?
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides a financial
and risk analysis component (to support key business metrics for
functions such as ROI analysis).

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 Please describe in detail how your solution provides critical path


analysis (to identify the steps comprising the critical path of the
process) and value chain analysis (to identify tasks that could be
moved within the process to add more value).
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides abilities to
determine resource utilization and optimization.
 Please describe the Business Intelligence capabilities provided
by your solution. What metrics are provided as output from your
Business Intelligence reporting? If your solution has a separate
component/ tool for managing the Business Intelligence functionality,
please describe the features and user interface of the tool. What
external BI tools can your system integrate with?
 Please describe what devices and metrics are available to
support information dissemination (e.g. built-in reports, interfaces for
various devices such as printers, plotters etc. with print preview
abilities).
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides a rich
process repository with an extensible process model, model merge
and versioning/ locking support.
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides a rich
graphical process designer with flow animation and auto line drawing
with smoothing.
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides swim lanes
representational approach for visual modelling.
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides saved
preferences by process modeler / process viewer (e.g. for creation of
templates). What features does your solution provide when creating
a model so you can review the complete process in the case of
large/multi-process workflows (e.g. print preview)?
 Please describe in detail how your solution supports or provides
a separation and control of features and components of the system
based on skill sets (e.g. a "power user" role with professional
developer features and wizard-like assists).
 Please describe in detail how your solution’s modelling tool
provides customisable representations of workflows and inclusion of
graphical formats, such as icons, stencils and shape libraries.
 Please describe in detail how your solution provides security/
administration features for the assignment of ownership privileges
and access to modelling artefacts (templates, icons, stencils). How
can the icons and stencils be customized if required, for specific
users or roles?

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4. VENDOR SUPPORT SERVICES

4.1 Implementation/Installation
 What is the typical installation procedure?
 Does Vendor provide implementation services for the solution?
What is Vendor’s implementation methodology?
 What role would Vendor play in the implementation? What
expertise does Vendor provide in installing, configuring, testing, and
administering the software associated with the solution?
 What is a typical implementation timeframe?
 What are the risks associated with these timeframes, and how
can the timeframes be adjusted to meet the required objectives?

4.2 Training and Documentation


 What are the various types of training programs offered?
 What training is recommended or required for this product?
 What training is offered at the customer site?
 Is customization of the training materials available? What does
that cost?
 What source code, development tools, and documentation are
included in the purchase of Vendor product? How current is the
documentation? How often is it revised?

4.3 Maintenance and Support


 Describe Vendor support/maintenance packages. Please specify
hours of support and whether support is via web, email, or direct
phone.
 What are Vendor’s response-time standards?
 What is the process for critical situations?
 Do you provide support for user/developer groups? If so, please
describe.
 What other support services are provided?
 Describe the product release strategy, e.g. version updates,
patch releases, platform preference, etc.
 What is Vendor’s upgrade policy (for example, how long will you
support an older release)? How are product and service upgrades
communicated? Delivered?
 What processes are in place for customers to report bugs and
receive software fixes? What are Vendor policies about notifying
customers of known bugs not reported by them?

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5. SOLUTION INVESTMENT INFORMATION

 Describe Vendor’s licensing approach. Do you provide the ability


to extend the original licensing agreement?
 What client, server, or third party licenses are required to run
the software?
 What are the annual maintenance/support fees on software?
 What are training costs? At vendor facility? At client site?
 What are typical implementation costs? Provide daily rates for
different roles required for implementation.
 What are the costs associated with upgrades?
 What other potential costs are not listed?

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