REVIEWER: Roberto Silva, CT and vice president of Business Development for TCDS.

BACKGROUND: TCDS is a consulting firm focused on providing sustainable business competitivity. We help our customers achieve their goals consistently in an agile business environment. We provide professional and consulting services that accelerate the development of agile organizations, producing profitable and growing business results.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: JBOSS J2EE-compliant application servers running in Windows XP.

PROBLEM SOLVED: EXP CARNOT aligned business process automation. Today, teams are working in a synchronized way toward common goals and metrics. Each team member is task-guided by the process engine, which orchestrates data, applications, services, business rules, events and activities in a heterogeneous environment.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We are executing explicit measurable processes based on business rules that are automatically managed by EXP CARNOT. Staff productivity has increased, but more importantly, team contributions have had a direct impact at the business level. The combination of a common business language and a BPM software solution such as EXP CARNOT is very powerful for effective team collaboration. The Eclipse-based Workbench is very easy to use and makes it possible to combine all the related technologies without investing much time and money up-front. In just minutes, it is possible to have a prototype running, and, in a few days, have the same prototype with some basic applications integrated. The end-user interface is very flexible and very suitable to be presented as a service in an SOA environment.

STRENGTHS: EXP CARNOT is easy to use, easy to integrate and is flexible. EXP CARNOT provides specialized interfaces for IT and business teams who share a common business process repository to accelerate the business process modeling phase and increase productivity. It can be installed in any Java-compliant platform and can be integrated in a heterogeneous IT environment. EXP CARNOT provides natural SOA integration as well as tools for rapid process engineering and prototyping. EXP CARNOT is open, meaning there is no technology lock-in of the product because its architecture is based on standards such as XML, XPDL, Java/J2EE BPMN and is application-server independent. The main reason we continue using EXP CARNOT is because of customer satisfaction with the EXP CARNOT-built solutions.

WEAKNESSES: Currently, there is no process simulation feature. Sometimes the documentation is unclear or incomplete. At times, installation configuration is complex (e.g., certain features on particular platforms, such as Linux, or some graphical features, such as Live Diagrams). Activity costing management is not a straightforward feature and has room for improvement.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Our main selection criteria in choosing a BPM solution were: ease of use, open architecture, flexibility, scalability and low total cost of ownership. Compared with competing products, SunGard's EXP CARNOT clearly stood out. Another big advantage is the application-server independence and RDBMS connectivity.

DELIVERABLES: EXP CARNOT produces a process model based on BPMN and XPDL standards. The same model is presented in two views: one for business analysts and one for IT. EXP CARNOT also provides a visual representation of running process instances and can extract performance metric reports. About 50 predefined templates exist, and the ability for full customization is provided as a standard out-of-the-box feature. All relevant performance metrics are extracted from the audit trail database with facts about execution, executable processes, user rights and privileges, logs, pending activities and other valuable business information about orchestrated processes.

VENDOR SUPPORT: SunGard EXP has provided very responsive support for EXP CARNOT. They have provided samples of process templates, helped us understand specific issues and cleared up any language barriers to avoid misunderstandings. The support team has given us customized URLs for downloading patches and samples.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation sometimes has incomplete sample template information, so it can be difficult to get up and running quickly. Although the documentation addresses the main aspects, it sometimes requires additional research or testing to run the application. Therefore, it occasionally takes a few additional days to make the application run.

SunGard EXP
104 Inverness Center Place
Birmingham, AL 35242
(205) 437-7500

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