ON Demand BPM is a recent phenomenon that is creating some excitement and expectations in the BPM space. Essentially, BPM system offered as a subscription based service is being referred to as “On Demand BPM”. So far, Lombardi software and Appian are the known BPM vendors who are offering “On Demand BPM”. As per Sandy Kemsley’s recent blog, Lombardi is offering their process analysis tool while Appian is offering the complete BPM suite as a subscription service. Indeed SaaS is an interesting area for software user organizations, however the road towards SaaS is of is full of challenges. As a user of enterprise IT systems, I think SaaS will kick off in a big way if SaaS and BPO offerings converge.
Now, coming back to On Demand BPM. I am not happy with the way current licensing models are being offered by BPM product vendors. BPM product vendors can certainly change their pricing model and make it “On Demand” even in their current mode of BPM as a software product. Currently the licensing for BPM server is typically a combination of server and user based license. In a such a scenario, an Indian Insurance company such as ours which experiences seasonal peaks in business in the month of March (we process 33% of our annual business in this month) have to buy licenses for this peak business period which is almost 3-4 times higher than the need for user licenses during our average bsuiness period. Thus, the licenses we buy remain un-utilized for most part of the year,which makes investment intensive initiatives such as BPM very difficult to justify. I expect a licensing regime which allows user organizations such as ours to rent rather buy peak period licenses for a month or 2. If we can hire temporary manpower, temporary office space, and temporary office equipment to process our peak business then why not have temporary software licenses?