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IBM, Savvion tackle business work flow

Big Blue and Savvion, a specialist in business process automation software, debut tools to help companies model and track the performance of their business processes.

IBM and Savvion, a specialist in business process automation software, this week introduced tools to help companies model and track the performance of their business processes.

Business process management (BPM) software provides companies with tools to automate complex processes such as product manufacturing. The field, which analysts say is poised for growth, has attracted several start-ups as well as established companies such as IBM, Microsoft and BEA Systems.

Savvion on Wednesday debuted its BPM suite called BusinessManager version 5, which adds a visual design tool to model and test changes in business processes. For example, a business analyst could simulate a company's call center work flow and indicate which systems need to send data to a service representative's screen.

The Savvion software can generate reports that compile statistics on business processes, such as average waiting time per call or the number of transaction processed, and it can simulate the impact of changes before they are made.

IBM, meanwhile, on Monday released an update to its own business process modeling tools, which Big Blue gained through its acquisition of Holosofx about one year ago.

The latest version of the software, called WebSphere Business Integration Modeler and Monitor, lets customers simulate and analyze business process before they're implemented. The updated software is more tightly integrated into IBM's Message Broker integration middleware.

BPM products can help corporations integrate their existing data and applications into new business systems. Software companies claim that BPM software allows customers to more quickly react to changing market conditions by using process models to design and build more flexible applications.