All posts tagged: IBM BPM

Apex at OPEX

This week David Knapp, Nick Laughton and Jay Birchmeier head out to San Diego for PEX’s OPEX Week: Business Transformation World Summit Summer Conference.


We’re hosting two round tables later today:

Enabling stakeholders to create their business transformation
•  Business led process and decision initiatives
•  Rapidly envision and deploy micro apps and services without coding
•  Leverage Cognitive, RPA, and Cloud to optimize

We’ll also be showing off our collaborative work with IBM BPM and IBM ODM, as well as giving demonstrations at our booth of Apex Designer, Apex SalesForce Toolkit and much, much more!

erikafulkApex at OPEX
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Apex and First Tennessee Bank to present at IBM Interconnect 2017

Apex Process Consultants is proud to present at IBM Interconnect with First Tennessee Bank. Please see below for the session description.

Rapidly Enhancing an Enterprise Services Layer with IBM BPM and ODM at First Tennessee Bank

First Tennessee Bank (FTB) and Apex Process Consultants have implemented a system-guided process to assist the customer service representative in completing the online banking enrollment process. By leveraging IBM BPM and Apex Coach Views, the solution was developed, tested and ready for production in under five weeks. The ability to develop the solution in such a short time provided an extremely quick ROI. FTB is now leveraging both BPM and IBM Operational Decision Manager (ODM) to enhance its enterprise service bus by providing both guided process and decision management across the enterprise. In the latest enhancements, business decisions in ODM provide an early warning mechanism for the bank’s deposit system to detect potential fraud.


Come see the First Tennessee Bank presentation at InterConnect 2017 to learning more.
Session:  HBP-2208
Time: Mon, 20-Mar 01:00 PM – 01:45 PM
Place:  Mandalay Bay South, Level 2 – Mandalay Bay Ballroom I

erikafulkApex and First Tennessee Bank to present at IBM Interconnect 2017
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Apex named one of Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America

Today Inc. released their annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America.
And guess who was on that list?!
That’s right! We are!
I know what you are thinking, “Man, they are only 4 lines into this blog post and they’ve already used their allotted exclamation points for a whole year!”
And, you’re right! But we’re just so excited. Apex has spent the past 7 years working hard, building a strong team and powerful toolkits. We’re super proud of this achievement.
Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 12.28.31 PM
erikafulkApex named one of Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America
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Apex Coach Views Release 2


Apex was one of the first IBM partners to release a Coach Views toolkit for BPM.  Apex Coach Views leverage client-side data patterns to make powerful, intuitive and great-looking UIs.

Apex Coach Views is a library of 90 ready-to-use layouts and controls designed for business technical users. They enable rich user experience with the latest dynamic client-side technologies under the hood and are ideal for both task completion and ad hoc information management user interfaces.

•Powered by AngularJS
•Styled with Bootstrap CSS
•Powerful and Easy to Use
•Fast and Light
•Mobile and Responsive
•Easy to Style and Extend
•Available on 8.0, 8.5 and 8.5.5

If you want to stay up to date with Apex Coach Views 2 please fill out this form.


erikafulkApex Coach Views Release 2
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Apex Repository 3.0

Apex Process Consultants is pleased to announce the general availability of Apex Repository 3.0.  This release expands on the success of the original Apex Repository and offers new functionality designed to make the implementation and maintenance of a system of record faster and more efficient.  The goal of any agile development project is keep moving forward efficiently thorough each iteration. Maintaining the system of record and keeping it in sync with changing business objects can lead to delays, especially when specialized tools and skills are required.  The team at Apex Process Consultants understands this and Repository 3.0 will help your team stay agile and deliver more business value.


(click image for larger view)

This release of Apex Repository introduces a new configuration wizard that allows you to:

  • Map business objects to tables using rules-based defaults with manual overrides
  • Easily identify database updates based on changes to your business objects (and apply those changes to your database)
  • Implement primary and foreign keys
  • Bulk load and manage data using Excel

With this release, Apex Repository includes a full set of ready-to-use integration services (no development required!), as well as, a set of integration coach views that retrieve and manage data directly from the client (no Ajax services to build!).  You’ll be able to quickly define and maintain the relationship between business objects and the system of record database whether you have an existing database schema or need to create a new one from scratch.

For more details, please visit the Apex Repository page.

Contact Apex Process Consultants with any questions or to set-up a demo!

erikafulkApex Repository 3.0
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Announcing Apex Firebase Integration

Apex Process Consultants is pleased to announce our newest product – Apex Firebase Integration.  Available now, the Beta Release includes a set of coach views and services (packaged as an IBM BPM Toolkit) to help you to build realtime applications with Firebase.

Check out this video to see Firebase in action:

The key features of the Firebase Integration Toolkit include:

  • Realtime Apps:  Data updates in Firebase are automatically pushed to your coach (within milliseconds) ensuring your users are always looking at the most up-to-date data!
  • Minimal Time to Get Started:  No need to install a database – import the toolkit, connect your coaches, and you’ll be up and running in minutes!
  • Client Side & Server Side Support:  Whether your app requires client side or server side data, the toolkit has coach views and services that easily integrate!

The Firebase Integration Toolkit enables:

  • Aggregation of Data Sources:  Firebase allows you to easily set up an aggregated view of data (populated via different sources) that can be displayed on a coach and updated via integration services.
  • Collaboration:  With data always being in sync, users can easily collaborate on any given task!

For more details, please visit the Apex Firebase Integration page.

Contact Apex Process Consultants with any questions or to set-up a demo!

lgerhardAnnouncing Apex Firebase Integration
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Evolution, Aliens and Agile

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.” -John Gall

I first encountered that opening quote from John Gall’s Systemantics back in 2000.  At the time I thought it was an amusing, albeit cynical, assessment of how systems work.  By systems Gall was not referring to computer programs – it was 1975 and the complex, networked, firewalled, data-based systems of today were only hinted at.  But business processes and methodologies were in place and Gall’s book railed against both bad system design and the futility of trying to design complex working systems.

During the past 15 years or so, my opinion of Gall’s quote (which in systems studies is known as Gall’s Law) has changed.  It’s not cynical – it is brilliant.  Gall’s insight is a deeply important one that has ramifications; not just for corporate processes, but also for engineering, politics and biology.

When one encounters a complex working system it is often natural to assume that some clever person or persons created the system out of thin air.  Of course, this is absurd if you think about it – we all build on the knowledge of our predecessors.  And systems evolve.  Smart phones didn’t spring from Steve Jobs’s skull like Athena from Zeus.  Before the iPhone, there was an evolutionary tree from the radio car phone to the brick to the flip phone to feature phones with apps – and what about Blackberry and the Palm Treo?  These predecessors are quickly forgotten in the wake of a more successful working system, but it is the nature of the human mind to marvel at the momentary and not reflect on the complex history that led up to the present.

Gall’s insight is true for many “mysteries” of human history, such as the Antikythera mechanism.  This mysterious device is an ancient mechanical computer.  It may be two millennia old; yet, it contains precise gears that simulate complex astronomical behavior to allow date calculations to be performed.  When faced with the complexity of this ancient device, many people come to the conclusion that it was either built with the help of aliens or was the product of some amazing savant.   Using Gall’s law as guidance, the more reasonable conclusion is that before this device was built there were simpler devices.  Earlier machines used gears and earlier designers worked with mathematicians and astronomers to turn their knowledge of the solar system into machines to simulate their understanding.   There would not have been a single device such as this.  There would have been prototypes, and more primitive predecessors that worked, that were not as complex, and which have been lost to history.  But they certainly must have existed.

One of the more recent developments in software design is the adoption of a methodology known as Agile Software Development. In compliance with Gall’s law, the Agile methodology itself evolved from other software development methods – taking those parts that worked and rejecting those parts which did not.  Agile has several characteristics – more than are within the scope of this article – but the one I find most constructive is that throughout the lifecycle of the project you develop working systems first, and then elaborate on them.   Agile Software Development is Gall’s Law in action.  A software project is broken up into development segments called “sprints” during which working prototypes are built.  Developers work with users to ensure that requirements are captured.  As the project develops, clients and developers share insights into how the software can work better.  New requirements emerge. Through continuous collaboration, the project evolves and there is a much greater chance that the end product will work properly, give the customers what they need and hopefully, be the kind of complex working system that leads people to wonder, how did they come up with this?


Questions or comments? Contact Blake at


erikafulkEvolution, Aliens and Agile
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Apex Coach Views Release 1.5 Available

Apex is pleased to announce general availability of Apex Coach Views Release 1.5 that includes new capabilities described below.  This release contains 11 new views enhancing our data binding, layout and grid functionality.  Additionally, many views have been updated to support responsive mobile design and to improve page performance.  Check them out!

Enhanced Data Binding

  • A new Binding Coach View has been added to the toolkit to make it easier to work with server-side variables on the client.  Additionally, the @binding and @options capabilities make it easier to perform client-side logic when server-side variables change.

Dynamic Table

  • A set of coach views has been introduced to enable client-side editing of data in a grid presentation.  These views include Dynamic Table, Row, and Cell.  In prior versions of ACV, editing data in a grid format was accomplished by using a combination of Dynamic Section and field views.  The Dynamic Table and it’s related views simplify your design and allow you to implement this interface faster.

Client-side Data Manipulation on Lists

  • The new Calculate and Iterate views have been released to allow you to easily manipulate lists of data on the client.  These views are not visual in your design but have a wide range of use when needing to run client-side calculations or JavaScript operations on a list of items.

Grid Row Section

  • The Grid Row Section extends the library of Grid views by introducing a new interface for viewing additional details and editing an item within a Grid Row.  Multiple rows of data can be edited at a time with Grid Row Section and since the interface is inline, you won’t lose access to any data on your screen.

Grid Complex Row

  • The Grid Complex Row increases the amount of data that you can show in a Grid by allowing multiple lines of data per grid item.  By putting Grid Row views into a Grid Complex Row, you can expand the attributes shown for a single item and conditionally display Grid Rows making Grids more effective in narrow layouts.

Collapsible Sections

  • Several layout views have been updated to allow the section to be collapsible.  The Vertical, Horizontal, and Table Sections have all been enhanced to allow the contents of those sections to be collapsed or expanded on page load, and then be collapsed or expanded by the user clicking an icon.  Of course, the regular way of having the section always visible is still available too!

Responsive Mobile

  • Making corporate applications operate on mobile devices is increasingly a requirement for application developers.  In this release, certain coach views have been updated to enable better usability on mobile devices.  These include:
    • Horizontal Section – Introducing a “Wrap” config option, which dynamically adjusts the content of the section to fit a smaller mobile device.
    • Dynamic Section – Introducing an “Orientation” config option, which will allow the repeating section to repeat vertically or horizontally.
    • Tabs – Introducing a new layout option, “Accordion,” which will present your tabs in collapsible content panes.
    • Grid – Introducing a “Minimum Width” config option on columns, which allows you to specify the minimum width of the column before it is hidden on the grid.  Columns hide from right to left as the screen is made smaller.

Performance Improvements

  • Release 1.5 introduces the Template Loader and Template Wrapper coach views that allow sections of your application to be cached and loaded only when needed.  Packaging a portion of your coach into a Template Wrapper only takes minutes and can greatly improve the performance of your application.  Additionally, in 1.5, the coach view code has been repackaged into a JavaScript file cached on the client.  The result is a much smaller page size and additional improvements to performance.

We’ll be releasing video updates on these new features in the coming weeks, make sure to stay up-to-date with all of Apex’s new features!

erikafulkApex Coach Views Release 1.5 Available
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Other Interesting Sessions at #IBMImpact

Here are some other interesting presentations at Impact next week:

TBU-3079 : Case Study: The State of Alaska Unified Permit Project
Speakers: Scott McEwen, State of Alaska Dept of Natural Resources; Zoya Ponomareva, State of Alaska Dept of Natural Resources
Abstract: The State of Alaska had a backlog of permit applications from entities wishing to use state resources. It needed a solution that would enable it to streamline its processes and eliminate the backlog. The state engaged IBM to create an agile BPM environment using a 14-week Quick Win Project and IBM Blueworks Live and IBM Business Process Manager Advanced software. The solution provides greater visibility into processes along with greater consistency, helping speed the application process. Plus, the platform can be extended to deliver even greater ROI.
When: Wed, 1/May, 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM
Where: Venetian – Delfino 4005

TBU-1775 : Case Study: Grupo Nacional Provincial Enables Business Decisions in Real Time
Speaker: Pablo Vidales, Grupo Nacional Provincial
Abstract: With IBM Operational Decision Management and IBM BPM, GNP deployed a central business rules repository to adapt business behavior to strategy in real time. By automating the health policy underwriting and issuing processes, GNP gained the following benefits: increased efficiency and agility, the ability to dynamically distribute workloads based on process exceptions, better customer service, lower costs, and a self-service solution that allows customers to participate in the process end-to-end. In the future, GNP will extend the solution and benefits to its main business lines: car insurance, life insurance, procurement, HR, and more.
When: Tue, 30/Apr, 05:15 PM – 06:15 PM
Where: Venetian – Delfino 4005

You can find these sessions and add them to your agenda here.

jvolpeOther Interesting Sessions at #IBMImpact
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Apex Presenting with Delphi Automotive at #IBMImpact

Jim Volpe

Apex has played a key role in three projects to implement IBM BPM at Delphi.  The first project was with their purchasing process centers, which was highlighted in a presentation last year at Impact.  We also worked with Delphi to build an engineering change process and are now helping them to complete a process for new business acquisition.

Next week at Impact, I will present with Richard Rossio from Delphi Automotive, discussing our approach to the new business acquisition process and lessons learned from engineering change.   You can find the session to add it to your agenda here.


Abstract: Delphi Automotive implemented a system to improve the efficiency and standardization of their quoting process using IBM BPM. This presentation will illustrate how they delivered a process application quickly to provide early value, then continued to work toward providing additional value through iterative releases. The presentation will include a discussion of assembling the right team and how the diversity of the team’s capabilities was important. It will also look at the complexity and challenges that the team faced. These included integration with several systems and the need to build advanced user interfaces to view and edit complex data, both easily and quickly, within IBM BPM.
When: Thursday, 2 May, 08:45 AM – 09:45 AM
Where: Venetian – Delfino 4101A

If you would like to set up a meeting with us to discuss the project or the cool new products from Apex, please contact us.

jvolpeApex Presenting with Delphi Automotive at #IBMImpact
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