Greentree unveils BPM offering, targets mobility

Greentree's use of Jade technology is paying dividends, company says

Auckland-based Greentree is continuing to extend its business software suite offering new business process management and mobility solutions to customers as well as a software as a service option.

The BPM module comes as an extension to the workflow desktops Greentree has already launched, says Peter Dickinson, the company’s executive director. He says the BPM offering is now in the market after going through a beta cycle, partners have been trained and a roadshow is planned to promote the new product.

Dickinson says the BPM product was a four-stage build, starting with the workflow desktops, built using object-oriented Jade, which allows flags to be put on objects to allow real-time updates and alerts.

“It’s fantastic technology for business process and workflow stuff,” says Dickinson. “The objects are active things — not polling — and that reduces system overhead.”

The next layer was the approvals, reports and rules engine, then an escalations engine, which “looks for things that are not happening”, according to Dickinson, and finally the new BPM layer.

Dickinson says mid market companies are and have to be nimble. Business process functionality allows experimentation and quick changed to processes that larger companies find hard to emulate.

“Mid-market companies do lots of different things, they change incrementally, using trial and error and work this up into a process,” he says. BPM allows them to do things better and catch “business gotchas” to avoid stuff-ups.

He says an entry level deployment will cost around $2,000, but a typical site will be around $5,000.

Separate BPM products can be hard to implement, he says, needing to be integrated and mapped to databases. Greentree’s sits across the whole Greentree product as part of the suite.

Also going to market now is Greentree’s mobile solution, offering warehouse, sales/CRM and service management on Windows Mobile initially. Dickinson says a key requirement was that the devices work offline.

Users don’t require a continuous connection to the server, he says. In fact, they won’t know whether they are connected or not, using one GUI interface in either situation.

The mobile device is treated as a fully integrated component of the business layer of the Greentree System. Connectivity can be via wireless network, mobile data service provider or Microsoft ActiveSynch.

Greentree Mobile is an application rather than a browser-based tool, he says. That allows approvals and alerts to be pushed from Greentree to the mobile device.

“The underlying technology is the same on the mobile,” he says.

Dickinson says Jade’s technology solves a lot of common problems for Greentree, allowing customisations to stay in synch as upgrades are released. That allows Greentree to release incremental rather than “huge” periodic upgrades.

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