Business Event Management in a Nutshell

This is not an article on how to organize your next company party or sales event. Business event management (BEM) is a method on how to detect deviations of the effectiveness in your business and pro-actively reacting to changes.

Forrester defines business event management as:

“Business event management (BEM) is the process of capturing real time business events from multiple sources and assigning them to the appropriate decision maker for resolution based on the business context of the events”

The main focus is on the terms real time and multiple sources. This is the only way to intercept business processes that are out of control or are about to miss their target. Business process management virtual roundtables is the method to ensure that a business process has a clear definition form start to finish with checkpoints along the way. Business event management is also known as cousin to workflow. Workflow management ensures that a single business process completes successfully and in a timely fashion. Whereas business event management combines multiple business processes, monitors its progress and lets process owners know when things are about to go wrong.

Another term that is frequently used in combination with business event management is complex event processing (CEP). As CEP implies, business event management is a complex method to detect patterns that are exceeding a certain threshold or are about to exceed them. To boost the effectiveness of BEM, the pattern detection must be done in a timely matter to stop a bad situation from getting worst.

As an example, in the restaurant industry, fraud detection is a big problem. Detecting these fraud patterns as they happen would save an immense amount of money. Without BEM the detection happens after closing the books, a long time after the potential fraud happened, and a lot of man hour is spend to scan the transactions for irregularities. This is a good example on how BEM can apply complex event processing in real time to detect situations that exceed a predefined threshold. The timeliness of the detection is the real money saving factor in this example.

BEM doesn’t need to be a messenger of bad news. Monitoring positive situations is as important to a success of a business as preventing negative situations. Identifying positive situations initiated by an employee and recognizing this employee will not only boost morale, but ultimately boost the bottom-line.
There are many vendors that are offering their implementation of BEM. Most of these products are vendor centric, meaning that they are not capable of correlating multiple sources of event data. This defeats the primary objective of Forrester’s BEM definition. Other vendors went too far with their BEM implementation and made it overly complicated and unnecessarily complex.


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