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Fujitsu Software's i-Flow Automates Travel Risk Management

  • July 01 2004, 1:00am EDT

REVIEWER: Greg Meyer, chief technology officer for iJET Travel Intelligence, Inc.

BACKGROUND: iJET Travel Intelligence, Inc. specializes in providing real-time intelligence and proactive travel risk management services to multinational corporations and their employees.

PLATFORMS: Fujitsu Software's i-Flow BPM is used on Windows NT server and Solaris server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: i-Flow enabled iJET Travel Intelligence, Inc., the first intelligence organization for the global travel industry, to model, automate, manage and optimize its business processes, which resulted in improved productivity, cost reduction and increased profitability. It made collaboration easy, providing staff and analysts with data and task management options they needed to run the business efficiently. i-Flow enabled iJET to react quickly to customer needs, changing market dynamics and competitive challenges. i-Flow has given iJET robust capabilities to meet the demands of its users in real time. The 9/11 disaster and the breakout of the war in Iraq drove corporations to find sources for intelligence to protect their workforces and expatriate communities. During due diligence of private intelligence firms, iJET was always immediately able to provide a solution set to a corporation, while iJET's competitors were taking weeks to change their business processes to fulfill these requests.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: iJET embedded i-Flow Business Process Management engine into its intelligence production system. The combined products provide a continual stream of travel updates that reflect the latest information from more than 15,000 sources worldwide on topics ranging from health, security and transportation to entry/exit rules and communications. i-Flow BPM allows iJET to create, optimize, change and manage its business processes quickly, without costly and time-consuming intervention by its IT department. It helped complete a 6-month project in just over six weeks. i-Flow helped iJET achieve the business process change in 2.5 hours versus several weeks.

STRENGTHS: No other BPM environment provides a time to market capability that i-Flow does: implementation, customization and wide-ranging changes are accomplished in less time than any other BPM environment. i-Flow is the first Java-based and only 100% browser-based business process automation engine, making it a natural choice for Web-based systems. i-Flow has an easy integration capability. It facilitates, tracks and automates business processes to operate efficiently and seamlessly enabling us to get up and running quicker. i-Flow has a user-friendly graphical interface facilitating smooth, straightforward operation; support for dynamically changing process models; and the ability to span an entire enterprise.

WEAKNESSES: iJET found that there was direct relationship between the complexity of implementation and the feature set of the product: i-Flow is incredibly flexible and extensible, but its implementation is not for the faint of heart.

SELECTION CRITERIA: i-JET's business process management environment is a strategic asset that has a direct effect on the company's success. The BPM selection process was as rigorous as it is for key infrastructure. iJET considered product maturity, viability, total cost of ownership, ROI, support policy, quality, integration and extensibility before arriving at its decision to implement i-Flow. The most important selection criteria were directly associated with time-to-market issues. iJET required a business process manager that could provide flexibility to change key business processes as quickly as the business environment changes. A potential mix of 58 BPM products was tested, and due to i-Flow's time-to-market capability, extensibility and adaptability, iJet chose the Fujitsu Software's i-Flow business process manager.

DELIVERABLES: The ultimate deliverable of the i-Flow BPM environment is intelligence: information that is professionally authored and is characterized by being objective, timely, accurate and actionable. This intelligence is packaged and distributed in several ways to create intelligence products and services.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Fujitsu, as one of our vendor finalists, worked with us to run their solution in a dedicated test bed. After that, each finalist was installed in the iJET operational environment, and each business process was simulated. In addition, test cases that addressed each assessment point were developed and exercised. The process was rigorous and Fujitsu did a great job. The best part of working with Fujitsu Software is their responsiveness: this is evident not just in timeliness, but also in the level of engineering expertise that they bring to the table.

DOCUMENTATION: The substantial documentation is segmented for different user communities (e.g., analyst, IT professional).

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