Google leapfrogs into BPM with Noodle!

Google has finally arrived into the Enterprise space with their Enterprise BPM offering called Noodle (named after process spaghetti!). They have silently put together their technology and shaped them beautifully into what we have been missing “in one single platform” for a long time. Here’s a sneak-peek at what they have unleashed out of the blue…

Process discovery: With Google’s powerful presence in the email & productivity space, combined with the strong tagging and pattern recognition technology, there’s finally a way to auto discover the spaghetti of processes. It uses the groups and aliases given to all the people and tracks down the frequently used labels and combines with who connected with whom most often, to come up with this. There’s also a way to search and filter the communications to trim off the garbage from this spaghetti.

Collaborative Modeling: Now, here’s a blessing. With a cool collaborative technology using the behind the scene syncing technology around Google docs, and a simple drag & drop and tagging interface, you have a collaborative process modeling environment. There’s obviously no match for “all-attend-in-person” process workshop, but there’s so much that happens after you’re out of that “workshop zone” that brings you back to the real world reality. And ability to remotely collaborate over process model is something that is indeed a blessing.

On the Cloud: Google is on the cloud, your process models will be on the cloud, your processes would execute from the cloud. Unless you have outsourced the process participants’ jobs too, people remain in-house with you.

BPM and ACM, meet each other: A process model designed and deployed through the modeler, process executes through emails, messaging, and the engine that keeps track of a “fixed” and “variable” parts of the process. You obviously cannot do it without detaching the models from the hard definition and single-model-across-instances approach. It works, here, similar to what happens to a Google Doc in a shared mode – while you’re viewing a doc on the cloud it remains the same copy for all. The moment you edit it and make it private for you, it creates a separate process instance so to say – in process world still visible for monitoring and process participation to others. What’s more, you can define which roles can “actually” edit and make the process better. While kicking off a new case/process, one can pick among their favorites. You can like and favorite the process designs you prefer for your group/instance! So, here’s to the process continuum that travels between structured and unstructured without having to pick a separate isolated tool set!

On Mobile: With the Android Apps and (I don’t still know how they did it being two completely disparate organizations even within google) by prebuilding an interface that every Android phone understands natively with Google App Engine, your processes can execute seamlessly from any handset that is powered by Android. It’s also beautiful to know that you can still keep the process going by a single click on the “go ahead” while filling out the detailed forms in parallel. The next participant gets a preview of the task up in their bin while they can wait for the previous form submission from previous participant. Cool!

Social, what social? When you do the collaborative modeling & execution and enable people to participate and subscribe in processes, and you have Android interfaces for capturing the relevant tags and kicking off the process instances, say in customer service; you’re already doing social, aren’t you! Then, you have cool stuff of liking, favoriting and sharing the process templates, Cool!

And there’s a bunch more in sneak-view with google’s marketplace and App Engine based approach that offers the potential to keep expanding the capability without having to fight around whether it is BPM or ACM or Social or mobile or even on cloud or not. Business happens!


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  1. #1 by Neil Ward-Dutton on April 1, 2011 - 1:37 pm

    Good April Fool’s, Ashish! Nice one!

    • #2 by Ashish Bhagwat on April 1, 2011 - 1:41 pm

      Could be real (hope readers pick the April’s Fool – could get serious otherwise). Google won’t in its lifetime I guess, 🙂 but, other vendors can take a cue! Fantasy world would never end though, how about doing a Tolkien, sometime…! Thanks for coming by Neil!

  2. #3 by aravind y on April 1, 2011 - 2:55 pm

    Frankly. Too hard to believe. Nice try though.

    • #4 by Ashish Bhagwat on April 1, 2011 - 3:02 pm

      Can’t make it too believable my friend! There’s a bit of serious bit in it which shouldn’t be taken too seriously! If you had fun, that’s enough 🙂 🙂

  3. #5 by Nathaniel Palmer on April 2, 2011 - 3:09 am

    Okay, you got me too (!!)

    I was dubious with the sycophantic praise uncharacteristic of your other writing — but my interest was piqued enough to ‘google’ “noodle” before bothering to read this all the way to the end.

    It is bound to happen sooner than later, but no doubt won’t be as praise worthy. I have definitely seen some strange vibrations over there and you know they’re planning something. They’ve already made BPM-ish R&D investments that allegedly eclipse most if not all existing vendors (at least that is one of the many urban legends coming out of Mountain View.)

  4. #6 by Blueworks Live on April 2, 2011 - 3:31 pm

    Ashish, while reading your blog, I was getting excited about the fact that finally someone took us on on our challenge to try to make BPM in the cloud simpler than Blueworks Live.
    I guess we’re still the place to be if you want a simple and affordable way to document, automate and collaborate around business processes.

  5. #7 by David Locke on April 5, 2011 - 4:47 pm

    I was going to rip Google for once again being evil. Having all that money should mean building some future technologies, rather than try to compete in all categories with web-based, same old, same olds. But, no, Google wants to kill off the software industry even if the web isn’t really a part of the software industry. I suppose the software industry has already killed itself off.

    I was also going to rip Google for going enterprise. Enterprise is a pricing model that puts useful software beyond the reach of non-corporate users.

    But, this was a joke.

  6. #8 by the_bpm_freak on April 6, 2011 - 9:06 pm

    good one !!….

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