Geoffrey Sparks, CEOThe ability of an enterprise to effectively map existing business processes and creatively re-use, collaborate, streamline and optimize these business processes is at the core of an effective Business Process Management (BPM) implementation that drives success for an enterprise. The current BPM landscape presents challenges in constructing, refining, sharing, implementing and maintaining business process models and solutions. High among these is the inefficient use of tools which creates isolated work products and a lack of traceability and connectivity, which can result in the rapid stagnation of models and errors in implementation. “For 15 years we have pursued the goal of providing a toolset that allows disparate models to be interconnected and traced between,” begins Geoffrey Sparks, CEO, Sparx Systems.
Sparx’s flagship offering, Enterprise Architect is a visual modeling and design platform that is built on top of UML (Unified Modeling Language) and supported by BPMN (Business Process Management Notation) standards. It helps companies meet the emerging needs of business analysts, enterprise architects, and designers to accelerate and integrate software, business and systems development. “Enterprise Architect can not only help businesses capture their current process and requirements, but also allows them to utilize advanced frameworks and visual modeling approaches like TOGAF, Zachman, BABOK and ArchiMate,” says Geoff. “Recently implemented features such as support for cloud based models continue to expand the scope and collaborative possibilities of Enterprise Architect as a shared modeling and design platform.”
In keeping with market trends in the BPM arena, Sparx has recently incorporated BPMN Simulation in Enterprise Architect via the BPSim standard for visualizing and validating the behavior of BPMN Business Process diagrams. The BPSim specification provides a rich set of material on how to configure and assign resources to activities, raise events, and enhance decision making. This change gives Enterprise Architect the ability to apply parameters to BPMN diagrams and then simulate them using the BPSim Simulation Engine.“BPSim Engine is the ideal tool for using BPMN to assess and simulate business scenarios prior to construction and implementation,” says Geoff.
Enterprise Architect can not only help businesses capture their current process and requirements, but also supports the utilisation of advanced frameworks and visual modeling approaches
Enterprise Architect is fully compliant with BPMN 1.1 and 2.0 notations. This allows the modeler to describe the relationships of all business process elements in different contexts. For instance, on one diagram it might show how an activity fits into a specific process in standard BPMN notation, on another it can be linked to an enterprise level requirement to describe why that activity is part of the system in the first place.
Sparx Systems has a culture attuned to anticipating and understanding the needs of their customers. For instance, Port of Melbourne was challenged to generate major efficiency gains and reduce freight congestion in and out of their supply chain system. Enterprise Architect was the preferred choice for the development of a Smart Freight Process Model. By implementing the Sparx solution, the customer was able to develop an enterprise architecture framework within months and realize a significant cost reduction.
With a firm commitment to constant innovation, Sparx has taken a step further by unveiling the 'lite' version of Enterprise Architect that supports both viewing a model and the ability to contribute to discussions and reviews. For the coming years, the company vision is to incorporate new tools and information processing capabilities that support the transformation of models into executable forms, be it BPMN's model interchange format, XPDL or XSD that defines and validates messages based on standards such as NIEM and UBL . “As the world is becoming increasingly 'data driven', we are developing new business processes and behaviors which are fundamental to the enrichment of the BPM marketplace,” concludes Geoff.