Time to rethink how OnBase helps organizations realize their full potential

Independent research and advisory firm Forrester Research recently recognized Hyland, creator of OnBase, as one of the 13 most significant providers of horizontal dynamic case management (DCM) platforms. The recognition was published in The Forrester WaveTM: Dynamic Case Management Q1 2014 Forrester defines DCM as:

A highly structured, but also collaborative, dynamic, and information-intensive process that is driven by outside events and requires incremental and progressive responses from the business domain handling the case. Examples of case folders include a patient record, a lawsuit, an insurance claim, or a contract, and the case folder would include all the documents, data, collaboration artifacts, policies, rules, analytics, and other information needed to process and manage the case.”

We didn’t top the charts in this particular Wave, but we’re very pleased to be in the mix nevertheless. Here’s why:

First, Forrester views DCM as a major subset of the market for Smart Process Applications (SPAs). The firm estimates that the market for SPAs will grow to $34 billion worldwide by 2015. The emergence of SPAs is part of a broader realization that’s shaking up the world of enterprise software:

  1. The recognition that improving the productivity of knowledge work is essential for organizational effectiveness in the 21st century.  
  2. All manner of process applications exist to perform low-level information processing work for people. Relatively few apps exist to enable people to do a better job at higher-value activities where the basis for action depends on their discretion, creativity and judgment, not pre-defined rules invoked by software.
  3. A great deal of knowledge work takes place in the “white spaces” that exist between silos of enterprise applications. Enterprises have largely relegated the task of making knowledge work more productive to the world of shadow IT where people rely upon a fragile mix (often self-provisioned) of custom code; rigid, single-purpose packaged apps (aka point solutions), spreadsheets and manual data entry.

Horizontal platforms for DCM and SPAs help organizations fill those white spaces with reusable frameworks for creating rapidly-deployable and highly adaptable applications designed specifically to help people get knowledge work done more effectively.  Inclusion in this Wave means that Hyland is among the vanguard of vendors attacking an addressable market that’s larger than the enterprise content management and business process management (BPM) segments combined.

Second, we believe our inclusion helps bring another perspective to the table that we hope broadens the discussion around DCM. With a few notable exceptions, the market conversations surrounding DCM, and its close relative, adaptive case management (ACM), are dominated by voices from the BPM community. It’s only natural those vendors and pundits would emphasize the importance that BPM component technologies play in the DCM equation.

In our view, DCM isn’t just about process management. It’s equally about information management. Unfortunately, we feel there’s been too little discussion about the suitability of many BPM suites for solution scenarios where the flow of work is largely driven by the knowledge in people’s heads or in spreadsheets and, therefore, not easily modeled with workflow capabilities in advance. In these instances, process patterns often don’t reveal themselves until you give people an effective place to manage information. Forrester refers to this as taking an information first approach to solution implementations.

In fact, more than 300 OnBase customers have taken an information first approach to deploying case-driven solutions. They’ve done so by using the configurable application framework called WorkView | Case Manager that has been a native component of the OnBase platform since Hyland first released it in 2003.

Perhaps you didn’t realize OnBase had these capabilities. Well, now that we’ve officially thrown our hat in the DCM/SPAs ring, you should expect to hear a lot more about how OnBase can help your organization realize its full potential by enabling you to fill in application white spaces and make knowledge work more productive.

Ken Burns

Ken Burns manages the Analyst and Influencer Relations program globally for Hyland, creator of OnBase. He is responsible for keep leading industry analyst firms informed about Hyland’s company and product strategies. He has worked in the ECM industry for nearly 15 years and is a keen observer of the customer and competitive forces shaping the software segment.

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