So Who Buys Case Management Anyway?

If there is one term which is creating a buzz in the ECM world, not to mention the BPM world as well, it is Case Management. Lots of different flavours of it, Adaptive Case Management, Advanced Case Management etc…. EMC and IBM are putting their weight behind it as their strategy for the next few years as well as other organisations such as Nuxeo.

So lets go sell and implement Case Management. Who wants to buy one?

Try and get some time with someone from a Financial Services organisation or a Utility company to discuss Case Management and you’re likely to get short shrift. You’ve got an inkling of a chance in places like Legal Firms or in Public Sector, but still the conversation will be short if you’re not willing to talk specifics.

Case Management is not a solution, they tend to be frameworks or platforms upon which solutions can be built. The accelerators (xCelerators in EMC world) tend to lift the platform nearer to business solutions but they still tend to fall short of being the final business solution. So the questions is who will buy one of these frameworks? I cannot see the majority of end users buying such a framework, there is little in the way of ROI which can be identified to justify such a purchase, unless they have the in house capability, and appetite, to take on the establishment and exploitation of such a platform.

Therefore it suggests that the target market for the sale is in fact the implementers, those companies that can build the business solutions on top of these platforms and then sell these on to the end customers. One could argue that this is not too different from previous models for ECM and BPM but I would argue that the increased focus on delivering value in these times of austerity has meant a further move in this direction. The days of selling the platform and then building the solutions are gone; we are now in a time when the first solution to be built on the platform is the one which needs to drive ROI, further exploitation is a nice to have and will no doubt be considered as a factor but if you can deliver a solution and deliver that ROI then you are in pole position.

This is an interesting movement though as it does place more emphasis on the implementers to invest in business solutions, perhaps more so than before. I know of a number of organisations who are going through with this, would be interested to hear if there is an evidence of this model being adopted? Alternatively are you an end user who is looking at evaluating the Case Management platforms which exist? How much time do you spend looking at the platform or is it the solution you buy?

Another interesting consideration from this is the ability of organisations to exploit that platform once the first solution has been deployed. It is possible that the first solution to be deployed on that platform could be architected in such a way which makes it difficult for future solutions to cohabit. Now that may not be good practice but if the customer is buying a solution and not a platform then it should only be expected.

I have said before that it must be easier for ECM solutions to demonstrate business value and this move to solutions will achieve that but it will require some consideration from those involved in the implementation as to whether this is a one off solution or whether this is step 1 in a longer journey.


5 thoughts on “So Who Buys Case Management Anyway?

    • Michael,

      I’ve watched the video and it is a powerful message, I wonder how many organisations are mature enough to deploy and then execute such a solution? I’ll have a deeper look into more of the ISIS solution and more of Max’s blog posts as the video raises a host of questions which I cannot answer right now including Governance, Goal Design/Identification, Repetition, Integration and more.

      Thanks for the link.


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  2. One of the big reasons why ECM and BPM dont demonstrate business value is becuase of the amount of time it takes to set up, the fact that definitions are rigid and require lengthy periods to change also contribute to this.

    Case Management the framework or the solution is very much the same as BPM the framework or solution. If anything, traditional BPM solutions are more frameworks than actual solutions, especially when we look at real world needs where integration is key to an efficient process.

    The issue here is that too many business needs are split into silos (ECM, BPM, Case Management, CRM, BI etc) and really as a business you need these all in one platform. A holistic approach to solutions is needed, rather than a fragmented, seperate silo approach, with no end of integration issues, costs and flimsy bridges.

    Unfortuntately by saying “We provide case management now” probably means we have a case management module, that is still a very seperate silo and still suffers from integration problems and will need vendors to build business solutions ontop of the framework (hence your statement regarding framework as opposed to solution). With a single platform that provides all of these silos, you quickly find that real out of the box solutions are possible, when this happens business buy in to ECM etc will be far greater…

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