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Distributed Extraprise Performance Management (DEPM)

Originally published November 9, 2004

Outsourcing individual manufacturing processes help to improve business operational cost efficiencies. But, at the same time, this will add barriers to a complete “360o view” of the total information life cycle needed for an effective DEPM. Information is the primary enabler for agile manufacturing. How effectively you craft and manage integrated intelligence services, aligned to your business strategic objectives, determines the agility of your profitable business operations. Emerging distributed intelligence agents and composite application technologies are on the horizon to make this dream come true.

So what does this all means to your business? A consistent and manageable distributed service-oriented intelligence infrastructure across loosely and tightly coupled manufacturing and business processes. Collaborative manufacturing patterns require a business-technology framework to choreograph distributed business services, supply chain networks and manufacturing processes across the globe, in which analytical services are embedded within the supporting services for an active DEPM.  The recipe of such an agile environment must have the following three ingredients:

  1. Converged Intelligence Services: The intelligence services must be woven within the infrastructure to support a wide array of loosely and tightly coupled processes across the information supply chain.  Moreover, the intelligence is not limited to structured data alone such as CRM, orders or product quality key performance indicators. In addition, intelligence services exploit knowledge that is hidden deep in the enormous untapped unstructured resources of an enterprise such as voice, image and documents. Business application vendors have started to march on to this intelligence-convergence road, which minimizes decision-making latency needed for optimum services-oriented processes. The ERPs-centered convergence of business intelligence and knowledge management services, along with reference data services, will play an integral role in realizing true DEPM systems. Make distributed intelligence services an integral part of your service level agreements when negotiating business services.
  2. Adaptable Technology Platform. Architecture, Framework and Technology: The agility of your business process depends on the granularity of your services. This granularity will give you the capability to develop new services and implement new business processes that will allow you to exploit profit opportunities. For example, product design, manufacturing, testing and delivery depends on the granularity of individual services and the framework that supports the ability to architect and choreograph new collaborative business processes when needed. To achieve this successfully requires a platform that offers a consistent framework to weave individual reusable services and deploy new business processes by selecting the right technical components and distributed business processes. Orchestrating a chain of services that span the distributed supply chain process is a daunting task. Having access to the correct intelligence will make or break your supply chain network. Use a platform that offers an integrated framework of key business technologies such as intelligence, portals, workflow and life-cycle management based on acceptable industry standards that supports both loosely and tightly coupled services. Otherwise, you will end up ‘integrating the integration tools.’ Understand the economic value of a process change. Look for emerging embedded meta-agent technologies as components of core distributed services as DEPM enablers. 
  3. Intellectual Property and Safeguard Services:  As more companies outsource their business operation beyond manufacturing services or customer support services to actual product engineering and design of newer and/or sensitive technologies, you are faced with a huge challenge of safeguarding intellectual property and/or the material that may be sensitive to one and not to another business partner. For example, biomedical, drug discovery and chemical products. Similarly, increased use of wireless technology poses new privacy and security challenges that may impact your business opportunities. The companies must understand the economic, geo-political and geo-legal risks associated with loosely coupled distributed business operations and wireless technologies. As part of a complete DEPM solution, you must also include agent-driven risk assessment services that will allow you to gather risk metrics.

Business agility depends on how quickly you recognize and react to specific business events before they affect your overall business operations. DEPM must be an integral part of your business strategy. To realize this vision, distributed autonomous intelligent agent technologies must be utilized to span global distributed supply chain business services, orchestrate activities and provide the right information to participating services to make profitable decisions.

  • Naeem Hashmi

    Naeem is Founder and Chief Research Officer of Information Frameworks. He is an author, speaker, thought leader and a world-renowned expert on information integration technologies. He also advises IT vendors on integration strategies with SAP Solutions. Naeem can be reached at nhashmi@infoframeworks.com.

 

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