Carlsbad, CA — June 16, 2003 — Business process automation specialist NexPrise today rolled out the latest version of its flagship solution, adding support for personalization, Microsoft's SQL Server, secure integration and ad hoc collaboration, among other new features.
NexPrise said its nProcess Platform 3.0 offers manufacturers a foundation for building customized business process automation (BPA) applications that mimic their current processes, allowing for the automation of processes across multiple applications, enterprise departments and beyond the firewall to link with customers, suppliers and partners.
Typical processes that companies are automating using the NexPrise solution include quote management, cost estimating, project and contract management, engineering change order and quality assurance, among others.
The nProcess Platform comprises both development and runtime environments. Built-in features such as security, Internet collaboration and data modeling and mapping are available to all applications built on the platform. The development tools are graphical, and when applications are "published" to the server, the platform automatically generates the process code.
Among the new features, Version 3.0 allows users to create a personal homepage that reflects a user's individual requirements and preferences, as well as how the user employs the tools. The new platform now also supports Microsoft's SQL Server, a relational database popular among many small and midsize businesses.
In addition, 3.0 includes an improved secure Internet-based collaboration hub that allows manufacturers to incorporate suppliers, customers and other business partners into their processes for faster communication, while the solution's Web Application Studio features an improved roles-based user interface that is customizable based on specific user roles. Enhancements in handling tables, selection lists and evaluation functions allow faster development of more powerful user interfaces, according to the solution provider.
A new messaging tool captures communications associated with individual processes and can be retrieved to support decision-making and documentation, and another new component to the platform, Action Item Manager, allows users to manage and track new processes associated with action items.
This release includes new searching capabilities to identify and eliminate process bottlenecks. This search functionality allows the user to search on attributes from different related objects and combines the information to produce reports. Users also can now run complex searches on key words associated with project names and nicknames or track documents related to a topic.
Finally, with version 3.0 administrators are able to track usage and how processes are being used, and they can generate reports based on the usage for billing purposes and resource allocation.
NexPrise, which currently offers 20 different pre-built process-specific applications, also has released upgrades to three of those applications. The new quote management application gives purchasing with a tool for communicating information to potential suppliers, answering supplier questions and monitoring supplier response status.
In addition, the latest version of the cost estimating application estimates the needs for immediate access to past quote responses and collects cost data from various departments and suppliers. And the provider's new reverse auction application is intended to facilitate the bidding process and provide an online forum where buyers and sellers meet to collaborate in real-time, including both public and private online chat capabilities between buyer and suppliers.
The nProcess Platform runs $135,000, and NexPrise charges an annual subscription fee ranging from about $30 to $150 per user, depending on the process, the complexity of the process and the number of users.
The company currently is targeting manufacturers in the aerospace and defense, automotive, high tech and medical devices sectors. Its customer base includes such marquee accounts as Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Praxair, Raytheon, Ross-Royce and the Budd Co.