Project managers who lament that it never seems to take the amount of time to do things as they thought might want to look at what BP Logix Inc. has developed.
The company’s patented product called Process Director is getting positive reviews for its innovation from those who rely on business process management software — BPM for short — to plan and execute a wide variety of projects, especially those with critical steps that affect other steps. Process Director helps managers plot the order in which they need to do all the tasks that add up to a big project.
Big business and other organizations use BPM to devise step-by-step plans, tracking how one step flows into another and plotting how each member of a large team will contribute to a massive undertaking. A large pharmaceutical client, for example, might need to subject promotional material to several levels of legal and medical review before it can release it to the public, said Scott Menter, BP Logix’s vice president of business solutions.
BP Logix’s twist on BPM is Process Director’s ability to keep track of time and learn from the past. The software will compare a current project to past examples of the same thing and predict whether deadlines will be hit or missed. Unfavorable predictions can alert managers early and spur them to alter plans for better outcomes.
Menter cited a large hotel chain that uses the software to update its information technology at hotels across the country. There is a certain point during installation where an IT specialist needs to fly to the site, and a delay in an installation would affect the specialist’s travel plans.
BP Logix also touts Process Director as offering a Web-based graphical user interface for workflow building that doesn’t require users to do programming. And its workflow-management function, which can automate an organization’s critical processes, is also designed to continuously evaluate and improve them over time.
Predictive Scheduling Sets Apart
BP Logix and its lawyers convinced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the company’s process management system and method were worth a patent, which was issued in October 2012 to CEO Jay O’Brien and Joby O’Brien of BP Logix. Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP helped with the effort.
BP Logix makes itself different in other ways.
The software company is based in Vista, far from Silicon Valley. With a handful of employees, it competes against giants such as International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Oracle Inc. (NYSE: ORCL), along with several smaller players. BP Logix has amassed large customers such as Abbott Laboratories, DuPont Co., Rite Aid Corp. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
Rick Colen, who handles information technology for Fresno County, said his staff evaluated several BPM software packages before it chose the one from northern San Diego County. He said the predictive scheduling feature sets it apart.
Colen gave the scenario of the Central Valley county having to replace 300 desktop computers. A planner might set aside a week for the replacement, but the software compares that estimate to the historical record and finds that a large-scale computer refresh project takes three months. It informs management that the installation isn’t going to happen on that ambitions timeline.
Fresno managers use the software to electronically approve activities, and they can tap into the software to receive status updates on projects of interest.
Still New to Market
Although it’s not the leading BPM vendor, BP Logix has shown itself to be an innovator among its peers, according to Info-Tech Research Group, an information technology research and advisory company in Ontario, Canada. Info-Tech gives BP Logix very high marks for its usability and architecture.
The business still has challenges, Info-Tech said, noting that BP Logix is a fairly new competitor with minimal penetration outside of the Americas and the Asia-Pacific market. It is also relatively new to the midsize enterprise market.
The software runs on a typically configured Windows server machine with database. A person gets to the software through a desktop computer or mobile device using an Internet browser.
Other large BP Logix customers include the National Institute of Mental Health and a major utility, Memphis Light, Gas and Water.
BP LOGIX INC.
CEO: Jay O’Brien
No. of local employees: Fewer than 30
Investors: The O’Brien family
Year founded: 1995
What makes the company innovative: Created software that adds a dimension of time and historically based predictive capabilities to business process management