I’m having lots of discussions with the Avaya folks about Communication Enabled Business Processes (CEBP) while in Boston at the Avaya Analyst Conference, and I’m finally starting to see why they’re differentiating CEBP from Unified Communications. I originally disagreed with Avaya about separating out CEBP from UC, since I (and my UCStrategies.com colleagues) believe that business process integration is a key part of UC and its value proposition. That being said, CEBP (the way Avaya defines it) is indeed different from UC. While UC is generally person triggered (an individual or worker initiates the communication), CEBP is event triggered (a business process-related event initiates the communication). The event could be an inventory shortage, a stock price change by a specific percentage, a manufacturing malfunction, a shipment delay, etc.
I’m thinking that instead of calling it CEBP, it should be called Automatic CEBP (ACEBP), since the key is to have the events automatically trigger the communications related to the business process. Rather than having an individual identify a problem or situation and initiate a phone call, conference call, web conference, etc., a specific event automatically generates the notification and communication with the appropriate parties. This may or may not include presence and UC capabilities.
So this really comes down to semantics – CEBP, the way it’s defined by Avaya and others, is indeed different and separate from UC. I still have some problems with the term Communication-Enabled Business Process since Unified Communications is optimized when comm-enabling business processes and applications. The difference is that CEBP does this automatically based on an event trigger.
I’ll be having lots more conversations with Avaya about CEBP and UC over the next couple days, so stay tuned.