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Q: Who are the main vendors for WorkFlow solutions ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Who are the main vendors for WorkFlow solutions
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: redcap2004-ga
List Price: $185.00
Posted: 06 Jun 2004 06:55 PDT
Expires: 06 Jul 2004 06:55 PDT
Question ID: 357095
I would like to find out who are the best vendors of WorkFlow
(Business Process Automation/Management) solutions, for a Microsoft
environment.  We want to select a WorkFlow solution (Eg. Teamplate,
K2, etc) for a medium sized Microsoft oriented company, and want to
know which vendors should be evaluated.  So I would like to have a
list of the 7 best/leading/most recognised vendors of these types of

Some general things to be considered are:
- If the vendor has won any awards
- If they are a leader in their field
- If they integrate with other Microsoft products like SharePoint
- If they have a large installation base or good references

Depending on the researchers skills we might later offer a seperate
amount to perform a technical comparison between each of these
vendors, against our criteria.  This can be discussed later.  The task
at this stage is just to provide the 7 primary vendors.
Subject: Re: Who are the main vendors for WorkFlow solutions
Answered By: tox-ga on 12 Jun 2004 16:39 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
- If the vendor has won any awards
- If they are a leader in their field
- If they integrate with other Microsoft products like SharePoint
- If they have a large installation base or good references


I spent quite a while reading though analyst reports and related
literatre about WorkFlow and BPM vendors and a few names came up
repeatedly.  I thoroughly researched them and pared the list down to 7
key players in this business, as you requested.  I will provide my
list as well as justification of selection for each.  This
justification is the format you requested in your question.  If you
have any questions or would like some elaboration, please feel free to
request a clarification before closing and rating this answer so I may
best help you.



The List:

 - Ultimus
 - Captaris Teamplate
 - Metastorm e-Work
 - FileNet's Business Process Manager
 - SourceCode's K2
 - Staffware's Process Suite
 - Ascentn AgilePoint BPMS

----- Ultimus ------
Ultimus has won: 
 - Technology Fast 500 Award from Deloitte & Touche (won twice)
 - Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
 - CRN Test Center Editors' Choice Award 
 - Best of COMDEX (1999)
 - Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider Award (1998)
 A more complete list of awards may be found at:

Ultimas has been involved in the workflow/productivity management
business for nearly 10 years and has shared a close relationship with
Microsoft for much of this time.  They are generally considered to be
among the top leaders in its field.

As for integrability, Ultimus FloPorts boasts out-of-the-box
integration with Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows
SharePoint Services.  Also, it can be paired with Microsoft BizTalk
Server to "automate more complex processes that include a balance of
people and systems."

Ultimus certaintly do have a large installation base; they have the
second largest market presence of any WorkFlow vendor as evaluated by
Forrester, an independant research firm.  The also claim that they
have "business operations and sales offices throughout North America,
Europe, Asia, and South America. Through these offices and a network
of more than 85 partners in 60 countries, more than 1000 customers,
including Carnival Cruise Lines, _Citizens Bank_, McKessonHBOC,
_Microsoft_, Rubbermaid, Sony, and Siemens have deployed the Ultimus
Workflow Suite".  More current figures place their customer base at
over 1100.  They also have a number of good customer references, as
this is a requirement for Microsoft Gold Certication that must be
continually renewed.

A key strength of Ultimus' product is its price.  They use a blended
model for pricing.  The minimum cost for their BPM suite license is
$10,000.  The average sales price is $95,000 in the US and $50,000
overseas.  Maintenance costs are about 20% of license fees.

Forrester Executive Summary:  "Ultimus is a profitable ISV with 200
employees. Its extensive VAR network and strong partnership with
Microsoft have helped it build an installed base of more than 1,100
customers. The vendor's product, Ultimus, is best suited for
automating people-intensive business processes with minimal
integration requirements."

A summary of Forrester's findings can be seen at:

----- Captaris Teamplate -----
Teamplate  has won: 
 - Technologic Partners' Investors' Choice Award (2003)
 - Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
 - .NET Connected Premium Partner
 - Global New Solution Developer of the Year (2002)

Teamplate is definitely the global leader in workflow management for
Windows environments.  They have been heavily involved in the field of
productivity solutions for nearly 17 years and have a reputation for

Teamplate has a very close relationship with Microsoft and their
products are developed with a focus on integration.  They claim that
"with version 4.1 Captaris Teamplate continues to support previous
integrations with Microsoft SharePoint, CMS, Outlook, BizTalk, Office
System, and MBS but also strengthens that integration with expanded
use of XML, adoption of version 1.1 of the .NET framework and new
re-engineered webparts."

The fact that Teamplate has Microsoft Gold Certification indicates
that they have a number of good references and a few excellent ones
can be found at the following sites:
However, more noteworthy is their enormous customer base.  They
software has been installed in over 80,000 systems in 44 countries
and, incredibly, 93 of the Fortune 100 companies' systems.

----- Metastorm e-Work -----
Metastorm has won: 
 - Start Magazine?s Technology & Business Vision Award  (2003)
 - Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
 - Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 50 (2003)
 - Gartner, Leader Quadrant
 A more complete list of awards may be found at:

Metastorm was founded in 1996 and so has quite a bit of experience in
BPM.  Their position as a leader was confirmed by Gartner, an
independent research and consulting firm which named Metastorm one of
four leaders from a field of 50 vendors.  Their criteria for being a
leader was that "leaders are vendors who are performing well today,
have a clear vision of market direction, and are actively building
competencies to sustain their leadership position in the market".  The
full report may be viewed at:

e-Work does in fact integrate with BizTalk Server 2004.  Also, it is
noteworthy that Metastorm is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. 
Further tnformation about the integration capabilities may be found
Metastorm claim "The e-Work Web Part for Microsoft's SharePoint Server
allow users d to participate fully in e-Work processes through the
SharePoint protal environment. Participation is achieved both when
connected to an e-Work service, and when the user is offline". 
Information about integration with SharePoint can be found here:
More general information about Metastorm's framwork for BPM
integration is worthwhile reading:

Metastorm have over 700 customers in more than 37 countries.  In
addition, their Microsoft Gold Certification ensures that their
customers are very satisfied.  A number of excellent references from
high-profile clients may be found here:

----- SourceCode's K2 -----
SourceCode has won:
 - Microsoft® Independent Software Vendor Of The Year (2003)
 - Microsoft® Independent Software Vendor Of The Year (2002)
 - Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
 K2 has also performed very well in quite a number of industry analyst
reviews but seem quite modest as they do not make a complete list of
honors available.  Nonetheless, a summary of press releases may be
found here:

SourceCode has been in business since 1997 and is already generally
regarded as an industry leader.

K2 integrates with both BizTalk and SharePoint.  It's relationship
with Microsoft is very close and as a result, they have recieved quite
a bit of recognition from them.
Information regarding integration capabilities with BizTalk is available here:
Information regarding integration capabilities with SharePoint is available here:

SourceCode was granted Microsoft Gold Certification not long after its
inception and has kept it up since, indicating that they have met the
requirement of excellent customer references.

----- Ascentn AgilePoint BPMS -----
Ascentn has won:
 - Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
 - Software Development Times, Gold

Ascentn has "developed the first comprehensive BPM solution for the
Microsoft platform".  They lead the BPM industry in terms of
integration as well as cost-efficiency.

Their software is highly interoperable with Microsoft products and was
in fact, specifically designed to be so.  In fact, several of their
programs extend Microsoft products such as Visio and Infopath. 
AgilePoint can integrate with almost every Microsoft product,
including BizTalk and SharePoint.

As they are Gold Certified by Microsoft, they have a number of
excellent customer references.  In addition, they are a larger
installation base due to the remarkable affordability of their

Ascentn is best geared towards mid-to-large sized businesses which
have already invested in Microsoft IT infrastructure and is seeking an
affordable BPM solution.

----- FileNet's Business Process Manager -----
NOTE:  FileNet is designed more as a stand-alone suite rather than
software to be run in conjunction with Microsoft's business programs,
it is such a big player in the workflow industry that I felt it
merited being mentioned in the top 7 candidates.  Also, it is possible
to integrate with SharePoint with a 'functional expansion'.

FileNet has won:
 - Gartner, Leader Quadrant
 - Software Magazine?s Software 500, Top Ranking (2002)
 - IDC's Software Vendors Rankings, #1 (2001)
 As well as quite a number of awards pre-2000

FileNet was founded over twenty years ago and is often credited for
launching the workflow software market with WorkFlo in 1985.  They
have been consistently innovated ever since and has been recognized in
Gartner's survery of leaders in the workflow industry.  They are
definitely a leader in their field.

While note as closely geared towards integration with Microsoft
products as the other vendors in this list, FileNet is able to
integrate with SharePoint and many other applications via functional

FileNet has a customer base of over 4,000 organizations, including 80
of the Fortune 100 companies.  This makes them one of the larger
providers of business and productivity management software in the
marketplace today.
A number of excellent references from high-profile clients may be found here:

Since FileNet is such a large company, they have the resources to
offer things than some of their smaller competitors are unable to; for
example: 24/7 multilingual customer support.

----- Staffware's Process Suite -----
Staffware has won:
 - Gartner, Leader Quadrant
 - Crossroads A-List Award 2004

Staffware claims to be "the leading global vendor focused exclusively
on providing BPM solutions".  They have over 15 years of experience
and have been identified by Gartner Research as one of four leaders in
the field selected from a group of 50 major vendors.  It was also
selected by Forrester Research as a leader, making it the only vendor
to recieve this honor from two independent analyst firms.

Staffware is integrable within a .NET framework and is claimed to be
an "open and standards-based BPM solution that, from the outset was
designed to provide ease of integration with existing IT
infrastructures and applications".  Most applications are integrable
with Staffware out of the box, but for those which aren't, there are a
number of available extensions.

With over 1,500 enterprise customers and offices in 17 countries,
Staffware has a wide and diverse customer base.
redcap2004-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the answer.  There was just one misleading statement you
mentioned with regards to Teamplate.  You said that their software is
installed on 93 of the Fortune 100 companies.  It maybe true of
Captaris (the owners of Teample) because they sell a different piece
of software called RightFax to these Fortune 100 companies, but it is
not true of Teamplate and their workflow solution.  Otherwise the
answer provided was what I was after.  Thanks.

Subject: Re: Who are the main vendors for WorkFlow solutions
From: kevin_always_running-ga on 11 Aug 2004 07:17 PDT
K2 ISV Awards from Microsoft are from MS South Africa and maybe
Zimbabwe.  This makes their claim of an ISV award of little value.

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