On the Radar: Be Informed

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1 ON THE RADAR On the Radar: Be Informed Business Process Platform Reference Code: OI Publication Date: April 2012 Author: Joe Dignan SUMMARY Catalyst The Holy Grail for public sector IT is a single view of a citizen across multiple departments, be it benefits, health, tax, or pensions. This arena is sometimes described as next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP). Current process mapping for workflow is labor intensive, time consuming, and inflexible. Be Informed s solutions have the potential to be a disruptive technology as they provide an applied expert shell where the client controls the policy so that each instance going through the system travels by its own unique path that is automatically discarded on completion. This provides customers with the unique ability to model policy and respond to political or economic imperatives. Key messages Be Informed delivers a next-generation business process platform that has substantial references in complex enterprise environments. These include large-scale public sector deployments and implementations in the financial services sector. It offers a monetized return on investment business case. The solution allows for adaptations informed by business analytics, while allowing IT to secure high-performance, reliable operations by managing the underlying technology and integration with other systems. Model-driven solutions provide prebuilt frameworks for multiple case types to jumpstart initiatives. Tangible results are measured in weeks and months, rather than quarters and years. Ovum (Published 04/2012) Page 1

2 Ovum view The last two years have seen the IT industry focus on the three dimensions of cloud, consumerization, and big data, which have redefined how solutions can be delivered. A number of new niche players as well as larger vendors have re-platformed and positioned offerings around these innovations. However, Be Informed may have defined a new domain known as modeldriven applications, where the traditional constraints of classical development and programming lifecycles have been turned on their head, resulting in dramatic productivity gains matching that of cloud computing. One wonders what the result would be if the two processes were combined. Enterprises should monitor this space carefully in the future as it may well be that cloud and models are the alchemy of the next era. This is the future of ERP and possibly the answer to the single view of a customer. It will be interesting to see who Be Informed partners with in the future. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENTERPRISES Why put Be Informed on your radar? Be Informed is a model-driven business process platform with unique dynamic case management capabilities. It is best described as an enterprise-scale solution for knowledge-intensive administrative processes. Knowledge-intensive processes tend to be mass-customized, which means that every transaction or case can be unique, and customers and citizens increasingly expect to be treated on an individual basis. Be Informed s greatest differentiation is that it is fully model-driven. There are no predefined processes. Commonly, a business design consists of a description of all the activities that an organization can have in order to successfully complete a transaction or case, and their pre- and post-conditions. In some situations where organizations have all the information required, cases can be treated as straight-through processing (STP). In others, there may be incomplete information, meaning that the system needs to ask a few things to complete the case and come to an operational decision. Finally, there are cases where there is little or no information available to be processed manually. As every instance is different (and there can be millions of them), each individual case follows a unique path through the system that is dynamically decided by the rules engine. This is a significant difference to traditional business process management (BPM) software and business applications. With traditional BPM, it is possible to define processes and redefine them in an agile way. However, with Be Informed s solution, the process is inferred from the model, and each case is instantly assigned to its correct and individual process. Ovum (Published 04/2012) Page 2

3 In Be Informed s solution, the model is accessible for adaptation by business analysts as it is not part of the code of the application. This means that business analysts can change the business logic themselves, leading to changes in the behavior of the application immediately or when timestamped. This highlights why the semantic qualities of Be Informed are so important. The Be Informed model contains a rich set of attributes and relationships to describe all the business activities, which allow meaningful changes to be made in a matter of minutes. The advantages of this approach are tangible and can be monetized. Be Informed s figures state that its solution can lead to the following benefits. A 30% reduction in the cost of operation due to high STP rates, high first-time right percentages, and productivity gains. A 60% reduction in total cost of ownership due to multiple case types being routed through the same system, rather than through the traditional one system per process or product approach. In addition, having one model to maintain all relevant policies saves considerable time and effort in maintaining the process and system. A 90% improvement in time to change. Be Informed quotes one public sector customer as saying we used to have nine-month release cycles, now I make changes in 10 minutes, and really big ones in treaties between countries take me two hours. From an implementation point of view, the model-driven approach is five to seven times faster according to function point analysis. For example, Be Informed implemented a complete set of tax and social welfare solutions for the Dutch Caribbean Islands within a few months. Based on a generic business process platform, Be Informed offers a number of model-driven solutions. They contain all the standard functionality necessary to support multiple case type processes, and only need to be fed the specific business rules for each case type. Each of these sets of business rules is part of Be Informed s Public Service Platform, which combines the solutions into an integrated service layer for governments and public sector entities. The business rules are taken from Be Informed s experience with public sector agencies in Europe and the financial services sector in the US, and include the following solutions. Multi-Permit Solution enables agencies to release permits and licenses efficiently, and respond rapidly to policy changes. Multi-Benefit Solution allows efficient and accurate distribution of social, welfare, or pension benefits while at the same time combining human interaction or STP. Multi-Tax Solution enables tax management regimes to be rapidly implemented and effectively enforced in a changing policy context. Ovum (Published 04/2012) Page 3

4 Multi-Registration Solution allows registration and management of citizen and land assets, combining both manual and automated master data management. HIGHLIGHTS Background Be Informed was founded in 2005 based on the work of a multi-year research project involving the founders of the company, academics, and the Dutch government. Since then, the size of the implementations that Be Informed has been involved with has grown. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment claims that Be Informed s permit process saves the government 130m per year. The Dutch Land Registry is replacing its legacy systems with a Be Informed solution, and the office responsible for managing health benefits uses a Be Informed system that spans multiple regulations. The Dutch government s Central Administration Office has stated that the importance of Be Informed s flexibility is hard to underestimate as even after the go live date, Parliament passed further amendments to the underlying act, which could immediately be adopted by the system. Current position Be Informed intends to consolidate its position in the Netherlands. It is currently being considered for a universal credit project in the Netherlands, and recently won a project for all patent processes at a large international patent office. Be Informed started its internationalization in 2010, and already has a presence in the Caribbean through its implementation partner Bearing Point Latin America. It has recently opened offices in the UK and the US. Initially, the company will build on its experience in tax, social security, immigration, criminal justice, health and welfare, environmental protection and planning, and land registry. It will concentrate on its core offerings of model-driven business process platforms and model-driven business applications. Ovum (Published 04/2012) Page 4

5 DATA SHEET Key facts Table 1: Data sheet Product name Be Informed business process platform Product classification Enterprise resource planning Version number 4.1 Release date April 2012 Industries covered Relevant company sizes General purpose, but deployed mostly in the public sector and financial services Ranging from small (tens of employees) to large (enterprise-wide deployments) Geographies covered Licensing options Europe, North America, Caribbean Non-perpetual, SaaS URL Route(s) to market Direct, through technology and implementation partners Company headquarters Wapenrustlaan DL Apeldoorn The Netherlands Number of employees 200 Source: Ovum O V U M APPENDIX On the Radar On the Radar is part of Ovum s series of research notes that highlights up-and-coming vendors that bring innovative ideas, products, or business models to their markets. Although On the Radar vendors are not always ready for prime time, they bear watching for their impact on markets and could be suitable for certain enterprise and public sector IT organizations. Author Joe Dignan, Chief Analyst, European Public Sector Ovum (Published 04/2012) Page 5

6 Disclaimer All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Ovum (an Informa business). The facts of this report are believed to be correct at the time of publication but cannot be guaranteed. Please note that the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that Ovum delivers will be based on information gathered in good faith from both primary and secondary sources, whose accuracy we are not always in a position to guarantee. As such Ovum can accept no liability whatever for actions taken based on any information that may subsequently prove to be incorrect. Ovum (Published 04/2012) Page 6

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