"Business Process as a Service" (BPaaS)

"Business Process as a Service" (BPaaS) is considered as a new paradigm that introduces the next abstraction from IaaS, PaaS, SaaS towards domain specific BPaaS.
Hence, BPaaS is not seen as a technical combination of SaaS, but is seen as a mediator between IT-agnostic business users and Cloud computing.

Business process management based on modelling is a well established approach, hence CloudSocket uses business process models as the source of IT-Cloud requirements.

This projects puts forth the idea of a “hybrid process” modelling framework applying well-known techniques for semantic, rule-based inference, meta modelling and
knowledge management techniques to bridge the gap between business needs and the use and exploitation of Cloud resources and components.

The proposed framework implements a layered approach for managing the complexity of bridging the semantic distance from business process to workflow
configuration of BPaaS in the Cloud.

The CloudSocket Challenge

The CloudSocket Challenge:

Business Process Model based approaches have two categories:

  • Business Process Models can be used for configuring software but also act as a basis of organisational knowledge.
  • Business Processes are interpreted as the know-how platform of an organisation serving both (a) human and (b) machine interpretation.

CloudSocket addresses the latter interpretation of the business process and hence addresses semi-formal, graphical representation that are intended to be read by human and not by machines.

This results in the huge challenge to bridge the semantic distance from human-interpretable business process models that are intended to be read by users towards workflows and corresponding deployment information that is intended to be automatically processed by machines.

APQC Classification of Business Processes

The term business process and workflows are often confused. For a clear spearation of terms please visit D2.2.

In order to underline the nature of the business process as a potential know-how platform of the organisation and not a software orchestration, some categories of the APQC framework are shown in a BPaaS Designer. Reading those categories should stress the fact that human users are reading the graphical representation in order to better understand the operation of the organisation.

CloudSocket uses this instrument, by better explaining the added value of cloud computing for the organisation.

BPaaS offerings in the Marketplace

In order to target CloudSocket customers with BPaaS offerings, the CloudSocket Broker is creating a marketlace. The top figures indicates the initial mockup of a potential marketplace, with the APQC classification on business processes on the left side, and after selecting a concrete business process category a list of business processes on the right side.

The different business processes are compared according cloud characteristics.

Current BPaaS marketplace is depicted as the right lower figure, showing three BPaaS offerings. Currently the technical properties are presented as text to enable the comparison between the BPaaS offerings.

The major challenge is to find the correct abstraction level to describe Business Processes as a Service, so on the one hand they provide useful information to the business user to select a BPaaS, on the other hand the information is reasonable detailed for technical staff to operate the corresponding workflow.