Today saw the launch of Effektif, a cloud-based work co-ordination platform built by Tom Baeyens (erstwhile leader of the jBPM and Activiti open-source workflow engine software projects) working in close collaboration with Signavio (report).
Effektif combines two work co-ordination models in one platform: a loose, ad hoc task management model where users can very quickly create lists of tasks, collaborate with others on tasks and assign tasks to others; and a more structured workflow management model where tasks are created and assigned according to a pre-defined flow. The service is being launched in stages, with much of the functionality required for a rounded BPM platform still in development and scheduled for later in 2014; today’s launch focused on the release of the base collaborative task management functionality.
I had a briefing from Tom a few days ago where we walked through the service that’s now available, as well as short-term plans for Effektif. We’ll be publishing an ‘On the Radar’ report on Effektif out of that briefing in the next couple of weeks, and that will go into quite a bit more detail on what’s available and what’s planned.
In advance of that, though—is Effektif just another BPM technology in an already crowded marketplace? Let’s face it; many pundits believe the BPM technology marketplace is already pretty mature and has maybe even stagnated. Is there a real opportunity for Effektif?
In brief, the answer is ‘yes’. There are four reasons why Effektif is not “just another BPM technology platform”, and why it’s worth considering as an outfit with some real value to add and potential in the marketplace:
- There’s a heap of invention and development activity now impacting the marketplace for tools that can help businesses co-ordinate their work. At one end of the market, the highly-established Appian continues to do great business with its cloud-based service, while all the other established players continue to pour money into launching cloud services; at the other end of the market, new cloud-based task management services (Asana, Trello, etc) are proliferating; cloud-based integration flow platforms like IFTTT and Zapier are making waves; and French cloud-based workflow platform pioneer RunMyProcess (report) recently got acquired by Fujitsu.
- The driving force behind the project is Tom Baeyens. This is a guy who really knows how to build core BPM software and has a big network of industry contacts.
- Effektif has been built according to some very clear design goals, and it shows—there’s a very clean and focused user experience with little extraneous detail. A lot of this comes from the team’s idea of ‘the 5 minute experience’. In short: everything about the way that you learn and use Effektif is designed to make it possible to create something with real utility, and deploy it, in 5 minutes from when you first get your hands on it.
- Signavio invested EUR 1.2m in the project a year ago—but more than that, it also provided time and manpower to the project. Signavio designers and engineers have worked on the design and development of the service, and on the marketing and communications for the Effektif launch. Just as importantly, Signavio is providing sales and marketing resources to the project. Signavio’s customers and community will all be exposed to Effektif.
As I said, we’re expecting to publish a more in-depth analysis of Effektif in the next few weeks; watch this space! In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you think about the potential for services like Effektif. Is this just a flash in the pan?