Ovum: Comms enablement must drive your business processes

But Ovum warns that many development platforms are "highly proprietary"

Companies must take greater advantage of communications technologies to improve their business processes, says analyst Ovum.

In its "Achieving the True Business Value of Communications-Enabled Business Processes (CEBPs)" report, Ovum says CEBPs can drive business agility and ease mobility integration.

Ovum says communications enablement can "reduce the latency associated with human involvement in business processes, and provide many benefits, such as more efficient resource utilisation, faster time-to-value and more effective collaboration".

Ovum analyst Saurabh Sharma said: "The rapid proliferation of mobility solutions is creating complex integration issues that need new solutions.

"Lightweight mobile middleware is gaining ground as a suitable approach for integration of mobility solutions with enterprise IT systems and business processes."

But Ovum warns that many CEBP development platforms are "highly proprietary" and do not provide all the necessary tools and interfaces to ease the complexity of communications and business process integration.

Customisation work done by system integrators to enable the integration of communications services with specific business processes adds to the total cost of ownership of unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions, says Ovum.

Such a way of working is not "sustainable in the long run", the analyst house says.

Sharma added: "CEBP development should not be approached as a one-off project. Instead, organisations should develop a strategy and roadmap, and prioritise business processes for communications enablement based on their business value."

He said, "Organisations should focus on leveraging existing integration architecture for the development of CEBPs and to enable integration between disparate applications. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) and event-driven architecture (EDA) are architectural prerequisites for CEBPs."

Ovum says interoperability and integration remain a major barrier to CEBP adoption. This is because "only a few" CEBP development platforms support a wide range of open standards and protocols, such as session initiation protocol (SIP), voice extensible markup language (VoiceXML), asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax), web services description language (WSDL), and extensible messaging and presence protocol (XMPP).

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