Atul Saini, CEO and CTO of Fiorano Software, shares with CIO his vision for BPM and SOA for the Indian CIOs.
Under the present circumstances, how important a role do you think BPM plays on a CIO's agenda for cost savings?
BPM is reasonably important but not critically so. BPM is normally used in situations where there is a lot of human intervention with software applications. A good example is Insurance claims, where the transaction has to be approved by a number of people, etc. For most enterprises today, the pain point is basic integration of systems and not BPM. CIO's in India are still in the early stages of understanding the importance of Integration. BPM follows easily once one has integrated systems, so integration is an important pre-requisite for BPM.
Do you think SOA has really taken off in the Indian context?
No, SOA has not 'taken off' in the Indian context. Managers and engineers have heard about SOA, but there are few SOA architects and fewer running SOA projects. The commitment to invest in SOA as a long-term strategy has not really been made by CIOs, CFOs or CEOs because this needs an investment in sharp engineers and architects and also in new SOA infrastructure technology. The uptake has been slow because these investments have not been made quick enough.
What future do you see for SOA and BCA going, especially in this recovery phase of the IT industry?
Companies that have invested in SOA and Business Component Architecture will find it easier to implement new processes and be able to automate their operations a lot more seamlessly than their competitors. The value is significant because it leads to real-time data flow across the organization and gets critical information into the hands of the right people at the right time.
Do you think Open Standards have any advantage when it comes to integration middleware? Do you see any challenges?
There have been mature open standards for integration now for over 7 years and these have helped a lot. Security, Transport, Connectivity, etc. are now all based on open standards, so the adoption of integration technology today is a lot easier than it was 7-10 years back.
What are your plans for the Indian market, to leverage the recovery?
Fiorano is focused on the Financial Services and Manufacturing verticals, where the need for integration is most critical. We see a lot of interest from the market and lots of projects. We are currently investing significantly in educating the CXOs of companies about the value of integration in general and the Fiorano approach (and uniqueness) in particular. We already have a marquee customer (United Spirits - the UB Group) and we plan on being in India for the very long term. We've got a strong plan both for marketing and sales in India.