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Intalio Reaches APEX for Better BPM

Intalio President and Chief Strategy Officer Ismael Ghalimi is so sure that his company is hitting a sweet spot in business process management that he's confident no one comes close to competing.

That sweet spot is providing the leading BPM software platform for market leader SAP's NetWeaver application suite; as Ghalimi told internetnews.com, "enterprise applications are the new legacy -- too expensive to maintain, yet too entrenched to displace."

BPM software addresses how to tie technology with business processes. Oracle , IBM , Microsoft and several smaller players are formulating BPM plans, but Ghalimi believes that Intalio will have the competitive advantage to survive in a space ripe for consolidation, because it has focused on one specific segment.

To wit, Intalio's new Application Process Extension (APEX) suite is designed to help companies manage large applications for enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and supply chain management without altering the software.

APEX enables SAP customers to consolidate most of the instances of their applications without having to write code to reflect the changes or variations. Because code does not have to be written, SAP users can use APEX to curb the total cost of ownership of SAP applications by as much as 75 percent, Ghalimi said.

"The BPM market has been growing significantly over the last nine to 12 months -- a lot of different products -- and to be honest the market is very confused right now," Ghalimi said. "We've decided to focus on one specific customer base, which is SAP."

Ghalimi said it makes sense to focus on SAP's installed base of 24,000, because it is the largest in the space, giving it a significant edge over Oracle and PeopleSoft, its two closest rivals.

APEX provides customers with a unique software suite that allows users to customize their business applications to their business processes. For example, the software lets businesses consolidate multiple instances of mySAP.com, integrate new mySAP.com modules or upgrade to mySAP.com or SAP R/3 4.7.

Ghalimi, also a co-founder of Intalio, said that because integrating new mySAP.com modules requires expensive integration efforts, APEX lets users extend the processes of the master instance to reduce the need for process re-engineering.

The goal, he said, is to offer a "compelling answer for SAP customers looking to keep their SAP projects on time and on budget."

As a complement to SAP's NetWeaver suite, APEX runs on top of SAP Web Application Server, and uses SAP Exchange Infrastructure for connectivity to SAP and non-SAP applications. APEX 3.0 is available now, with pricing based on the number of server and developer seats.

Another young BPM player, Lombardi Software, unveiled its latest suite, TeamWorks 5.

The Austin, Texas, outfit said the new suite offers advanced modeling to let users graphically define the activities, flow and events that drive their process definitions using the same shared model of the detailed deployment tools.

TeamWorks 5 also lets users simulate process execution using both projected and historical data, so they can predict costs and find bottlenecks. It also allows users to graphically model how to track, correlate and respond to external business events.