Chris Adams, VP of Product and Technology at Ultimus, and Kevin Smith, Director of Information Technology at Pentair Water Pool and Spa, answered the following questions from the SharePoint & Ultimus: A Customer Success webinar.
Why use Ultimus to link in with SharePoint when you can also use Windows Workflow Foundation? (Answered in webinar recording as well.)
Windows Workflow Foundation is a workflow toolkit. Workflows can be built using WF, but compared to a BPM Suite, there is a higher amount of coding required. As such, WF versus a BPM Suite usually comes down to a “buy versus build” argument. If you do not have .NET developers on staff, or cannot afford the time and cost needed for coding projects, then deciding on a BPM Suite for your process platform makes most sense. - CA
What are the cost differences between WWF & Ultimus for set up and then a simple flow e.g. holiday request?
Microsoft WF is available at no cost, but there will be a cost to code the workflows. On the other hand, while most every BPM Suite comes with a software license cost, the amount of time needed to build and deploy processes is much less and more affordable. - CA
Is SharePoint the only document management solution that works with Ultimus?
No. Ultimus provides integrations with many other document management solutions in the market today, such as Documentum and Hummingbird. - CA
Some ERPs have a workflow or similar tool already embedded. When would you use Ultimus and when would you use an embedded workflow tool?
Many companies today have multiple workflow and process solutions (and also many existing applications today come with a workflow component to them). ERPs tend to be expensive to license and also expensive to update and change. Applications with workflow components often do not have the ability to integrate with other applications. BPM Suites provide the best of both worlds: inexpensive process solutions that integrate applications across the enterprise. - CA
Who defines the processes? IT? Users? Do you have a team in the organization to define processes?
Users request the process automation. IT will work with the users to further define the process and present the proposal to the governance committee. The governance committee will select and approve. The users and IT will work together to implement, with the users owning the project management. - KS
What do you use as your form front end?
Ultimus client right now. We are anxiously awaiting the ASP version of the application. - KS
Can I link Ultimus with Google Maps?
Ultimus Adaptive BPM Suite can integrate with any application or protocol using web services, .NET code, XML, e-mail, and Database communications. - CA
What programming language needs to be used?
Building and deploying processes using Ultimus does not require programming language knowledge. While processes can be automated by individuals who do not have programming expertise, Ultimus also offers APIs and coding extensions (whereby processes can be further customized for unique integration needs). Ultimus Adaptive BPM Suite is built on the Microsoft platform but also integrates with Java APIs. - CA
Are you using Floports for the integration?
Yes. - KS
What is the right approach to deploy Ultimus in highly complex organization?
“Start small but think big”. No matter how big and / or complex your organization may be, success with any enterprise BPM application starts with “one process at a time”. By focusing on automating and deploying your first process, you achieve process success as fast as possible and you can start realizing your return on investment immediately. After deploying your first process, endeavors on your second process makes sense. - CA
What level of developer would need to be in charge and maintain the workflows?
Administration does not require someone too technical. The development requires some serious skill sets, especially when you get into data integration points. SQL, etc… - KS
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