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Thoughts on the upcoming conference “BPM2009”

Starting on September 7 and lasting until September 10, this year’s BPM Conference is taking place at the Ulm University, Germany.

The conference has the following goal BPM 2009 is the seventh conference in a series that provides the most distinguished specialized forum for researchers and practitioners in business process management (BPM). The conference has a record of attracting innovative research of highest quality related to all aspects of business process management including theory, frameworks, methods, techniques, architectures, and empirical findings.

There are some interesting demos including:

  • DECLARE Demo: A Constraint-based Workflow Management System
  • ProM: The Process Mining Toolkit
  • Experiencing Process Flexibility Patterns with Alaska Simulator
  • Extending a Business Process Modeling Tool With Process Configuration Facilities – The Provop Demonstrator
  • Monitoring Business Process through Event Processing with Business Transaction Monitor

Interesting workshops include:

  • 5th International Workshop on Business Process Design (BPD’09)
  • 3rd International Workshop on Collaborative Business Processes (CBP’09). This workshop is especially intriguing, since it looks at the phenomenon of “Social BPM” in detail
Thoughts on this conference

I found out about this conference (which I unfortunately won’t be able to attend) through Sandy Kemsley’s blog which contained the following description of the event:

This is an academic/research BPM conference that draws the best research minds in BPM from all over the world, mostly from universities and corporate research institutes. I attended last year in Milan, and was overwhelmed with the quality and forward-thinking nature of the presentations. This conference gives a glimpse into the future of BPM, and I urge every BPMS vendor to get someone from their architecture/design/engineering group there to absorb some of this.

Most of us are users of BPM technology that come from various vendors. Events such as BPM2009 presents ideas and concepts that influence the products with which we will be confronted in the future. Although Sandy suggests that vendors in particular should attend, I’d like to suggest that users should be at least aware of the results of such conferences. If you can’t physically attend the event, try to follow the information flows (I’m assuming the best choice will be twitter) that resonate from such conferences. This awareness is critical for end-users, because it allows us to understand future BPM trends before they become productized. This knowledge assists us to determine what features are important to us rather than having vendors make the short list of features and then allowing end-users to determine what is useful.

Note: I know that I’m simplifying the product cycle but I’m trying to make a more fundamental point about how end-users relate to their vendors.

Besides as I discovered via my Enterprise SOA Explorations: The BPX is dead. Long live the BPX., the stuff discussed at such conferences is usually very thought-provoking. The ideas that surface may end up in vendor’s offering in 5 years or maybe not at all. If you don’t know what is possible (as seen in demos or tutorials presented by academics or the research teams of vendors), how will you ever know what to ask your vendor for.

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