When you are running a business, there’s a need to know how everything related to the company is working. For doing this, we always rely on some kind of statistics and numbers that can give us some measure on how we are doing. Every business has their own measures. And each person running the business may want to see numbers that others in the same industry may not want.

The principal problem with these numbers is that, sometimes, they don’t exists at all. And in my opinion this can be a huge problem. It’s like driving a car in the desert, without any kind of knowledge where north is or how much gas I have left.

More important is the fact, that any time that I want to improve my business, I need some kind of metrics to tell me how I am and where I want to go. If I want to do process optimization, I need to know how the process is doing right now.

When I first started blogging in this site, I didn’t have the left column with information about me, the site and what we do as a company. I already had statistics about the site and how much time people entering here was staying around. Having these numbers, I wanted to increase the time they stayed. So I implemented the about me information and what do we talk about here and since them, that number went up at a steady growth rate. It worked. And I know it because of the numbers.

When I try to optimize some aspect of the business, I take a look at the numbers first and trace a goal of where I want to go.

Implementing BPM solutions will help your business when you want to optimize business processes. That’s why the original recommendation when implementing this kind of solution is to do it initially with the original process in placed. For example, in a vacation request form, automate the request with the original process in placed. Then measure the performance of the process and based on the discoveries and numbers you can get from the reports, trace a route of where you want to go.

This is one of the best benefits of a workflow product that really affects your business and increment your operating performance and your productivity.

Business Rules

Terry Schurter writes a pretty good article about Business Rules in BPM applications. He talks about how to use business rules, not only for controlling the flow of a process, but also to do smart things.

You can use business rules to transform a typical process into an intelligent process, allowing it to make decisions on his own and reducing costs at the same time in the organization. He shows a good example about a loan application request but you can take this to any level or industry in the marketplace. For example, in a hospital, when a patient comes in and his chart is filled or a prescription is issued, the process can determine internally, base on history, if the patient is allergic, even suggest some kind of disease based on pattern from previous visits.

Possibilities are endless.

Procx Tip #4 – Integration

When you are orchestrating business processes in the organization, what you are controlling is the flow of information. This information can be used for taking decisions using business rules, creating documents, etc. In some time of the process, generally at then, the information needs to be persisted in some sort of system for later consultation and reporting.

Procx provide this capability using industry standard Web Services. Inside processes, you can place web services activities and send information from forms through them. This allows you integrate with third party systems like accountant systems or customer relationship management systems. In a expense approval process for example, at the end you may want to send this information to the accounts payable system directly. Even more, if your third party application supports it, you can print the check also. Possibilities are endless.

Not only you can send information, but you can also receive information inside processes using Procx. You can use this for example for taking decisions. In a loan application, during the process you may want to check the credit score of the applicant, and make decisions based on that.

When talking about integration, web services are the best technology tool to use. They are easy to build by developers and almost any new software application is coming with pre-built web services for integration purposes.


Ensuring quality in the products that our
company deliver to customer can be a very complicated process. Sometimes this
involve making complex calculations that involve measuring variables from the
production process. This calculation turns results verifying the quality of the
service or product.

If this processes are not followed in a
rigorous way by the company and their employees, quality can become compromise
and immediately affecting the satisfaction index of the customers. This is why
organizations take in a very serious way how quality is handled.

Because must of the quality procedures
available in the market are process based (Six Sigma for example) it is simple
to keep track and control of them using a
Business Process Management (BPM) solution
. They will provide a central
repository for processes, one interface for changing the them and enforcement of
the business rules. This is very important because for the quality process
implemented to work, every step must followed and completed for it to be

For example, CMMI assures a software
organization is operating in a certain level of quality. Level 5 of CMMI is the
highest level and this means supposedly that good quality software is coming
from them. What the framework assures the software organization is that the
processes installed in the company ensures the quality of the service. Processes
are the base for quality, if they are not implemented and followed, there’s no
way we can predict what is coming out of the production line next week. The same
thing happens with ISO-9000 for the rest of the industries.

Almost immediate ROI (Return on Investment) can
be achieved automating quality processes in organizations. The capturing of
measures can be another factor of importance. This measures can be saved in
databases using third party integration and make alerts from them for example.

Huge benefits can be taken automating quality
processes in organization, specifically for enforcing the process, the business
rules and the tacking of measures of the whole process.

Procx Tip #3 – Workload Balancing

Assigning tasks to people in an organization is what defines the everyday operations of a company. Request can come from anywhere in the organization or from outside and they must handled in a certain way. For example, a bank must handle loan requests from customers or the accounts payable department must handle expense request forms from any department.

As the company grows, the amount of requests also grows. Sometimes we need to balance the amount of work between several group of people. We can assign requests to them base for example in a one by one basis. We assign one loan request form to official 1, the next one to official 2 and so on until starting again from official 1. Or, we can assign more requests to the fastests official, so we can increase productivity.

Both models of assignment are supported in SkyXoft Procx activities. You can configure the group of roles that will handle requests and the type of assignment. You’re incrementing the performance of processes automatically besides the performance gain from automating them.


Achieving compliance is no easy task for any
company. In today’s world, compliance is a big factor because it helps you
differentiate from your competitors and deliver good and high quality products
to customers. These factors translate into increase revenue for the business.

If compliance comes as an obligation because of
law enforcement, still is something that will benefit business by staying in the

Business process management
software helps in a
big way to follow compliance scenarios by helping companies enforce processes
through out the organization in a simple and transparent way. For example:

- ISO-9000: one of the requirements of ISO 9000
is to have the organization to adhere to processes for quality management and
improvement. BPM applications can help companies achieve this with minimal

- Sarbanes-Oxley: one of the requirements of
SARBOX is to audit financial transactions. With workflow and BPM products, all
transactions are audited, including approvals, task completition and rejections.
Besides that, you also get process enforcement in the organization.

- CMMI (Capability Maturity Model): This is
like ISO 9000 for software companies. For a company to operate from Level 2 to
Level 5 of CMMI, it must have in place a series of processes for developing and
testing of software. This guaranties that high quality software is been
delivered to the customer. BPM products helps process enforcement and
definition, like the
gathering process

In general, achieving compliance for a company
can be very costly, and sometimes there’s no option. BPM will help organizations
with compliance and, at the same time, keep achieving costs down.

Procx Tip #2 – SharePoint Integration

If you are using a business process management or workflow application like Procx, you can maximize the benefit and your ROI if you use a document management system.

A document management system provides a central repository for documents (any kind of documents), versioning, metadata for documents, advance search capabilities and other collaboration tools (like discussion forums, contact lists, task management, schedules, etc.) that will let you collaborate with the whole company in a better way.

Out of the box, SkyXoft Procx supports Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services (the free version) as a document management system (also supports physical folders). But not only provides support, it also adds integration and a series of tasks that can be used at any moment during your process.

When you define a process in Procx, you can attach it to a document library in SharePoint. Any document created or saved in the the library will automatically start the process. You can also assign processes to folders inside document libraries, and not having to create multiple document libraries for various processes.

Some of the tasks you can use in your process include the Lock Document and Unlock Document that allows you to check-in and check-out a document from a document library and preventing other people from modifying it during the process execution. You also have the Copy Document and Move Document that allows, as the name implies, to copy or move a document. But, not only do this, it can copy or move the document across document libraries or across document libraries of different sites and also (as is this was not enough :-) ) the document keeps it’s version history.

Other useful task is the Document Library that allows you to use the already defined custom fields (the metadata) of the document library where the document resides. You can use this fields for creating business rules in the process, filling out forms or send them to other third party systems using Web Services. A field list from the document library will look like the figure on the right.

This kind of integration will provide the most benefit to any SharePoint installation and also, to any Procx installation, letting you master and coordinate your company processes altogether.

New About Me

Following the guidelines posted by Jakob Nielsen in his article Weblog Usability, I have made a minor redesign to the site.

I have added to the left side a bar that explains pretty much who I am and what I write about. You will also find a page with more details about me, a photo and some other interesting stories.

About Me

I’m Jose Emilio Leon, your host. I’m a software
developer and write about business, process, collaboration and workflow; what
you’ll read more about on this site.

About Me

I was born in La Romana, Dominican Republic.
It’s an island in the caribbean with fine white sand, beautiful beaches and
wonderful people.

I studied high school in San Pedro de Macoris
(from the famous song of Juan Luis Guerra) where great baseball players like
Pedro Guerrero, Sammy Sosa and George Bell are from. Yes, I know, why didn’t I
became a baseball player too? I would have been making millions by now just for
playing. Well, I think about it like once a year, but I always come to the same
conclusion every time: it’s not just for me. I played with my friends back in
high school and always remember been the last one selected on the list. Since
those days a figured something was wrong :-) .

After high school I moved to Santo Domingo, the
capital, where I had the opportunity to enter INTEC, one of the best
universities for studying Computer Science, my fascination. After finishing, I
immediately started undergraduate studies about Information Technology. After a
year and half, I decided something was missing, and started an MBA in the
Universite du Quebec au Canada.

Work Life

Since day one in work, I started as a
consultant in the technology area. First thing I did was Business Intelligence,
using the first version of Microsoft OLAP Services. Then, after a year, I was
transferred to ecommerce and B2B Internet applications, the boom of the moment.

After that, I was developing custom software
applications to several companies and managing software projects. At the same
time, I was teaching about software in my university.


Since I began working, I always though about
starting my own company. There was a moment in my working life (and some feeling
inside) when I decided when was the right moment. So, together with my brother
Emilio Leon, we decided to start SkyXoft on March, 2004. We started as a
consulting company and one of the first projects we came up with was to develop
a workflow application for a client. I look at the needs on the market and
though that every company should have a product like this, and decided to make
it our flagship product. We’ve been growing since day one delivering benefits to
our customers.

Business And Process

I started the site on October 2005 and I’ve
been writing about processes and business since day one. You can start browsing
for articles right now and feel yourself welcome.