IBM to 'verticalise' management dashboards

IBM will next year begin customising a set of management consoles that let users in vertical industries monitor business...

IBM will next year begin customising a set of management consoles that let users in vertical industries monitor business processes.

Such industry-specific dashboards represent the next iteration of pre-built integration processes for banking, insurance, healthcare and other sectors.

Out-of-the-box processes, for example, address a business event such as "settle claim", and are designed to reduce the manual coding needed for a process to execute and pull data and logic from back-end systems.

With WebSphere Business Integration for Industries, IBM is among a raft of application integration players pursuing process automation aimed at vertical markets. SeeBeyond Technology, Tibco Software, Vitria Technology, Mercator Software, Microsoft and webMethods also unveiled so-called "solutions" packages this year.

IBM also plans to extend custom-tailoring to the management end of process automation. Instead of offering generic dashboards to keep tabs on process performance, IBM will design consoles for the needs of vertical businesses, said Paraic Sweeney, vice-president of marketing for IBM's WebSphere Business Integration products.

Sweeney provided the example of a financial trader who wants to manage the flow of a post-trade settlement. "They want to monitor particular accounts with whom they have service-level agreements [SLAs] and watch transactions over a certain value," Sweeney said. "These users want a dashboard constructed to deal with those things specifically."

Over the course of 2003, IBM will build on its business process management technology, gained in its acquisition of Holosofx, to deliver dashboards that reflect varying vertical industry criteria and terminology. Process monitoring and management comprise the final two steps in the integration lifecycle.

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