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Business process management solution offers tools to accelerate development of customized applications

Business process management solution offers tools to accelerate development of customized applications

Tuscon, AZ — October 21, 2003 —, a developer of software for business process management, has announced its new enterprise-class software platform, GroupSystems Cognito, a solution for electronic decision support and business process management.

Cognito features a client/server architecture that scales to support hundreds of users, configurable applications called ActiveMethods that guide teams through specific processes, a graphical authoring environment for assembling and customizing ActiveMethods, and a communications infrastructure that transfers data securely over local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs) and the Internet, according to GroupSystems.

The Cognito Web Portal and Task Server run on Microsoft Windows 2000, and the Cognito End User Client runs on Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME and Windows XP operating systems.

The solution provider said that Cognito was designed to help businesses and government agencies to produce better results while lowering costs and accelerating project cycles.

"GroupSystems Cognito applies the lessons learned from over a decade of intensive research in the areas of business process management, electronic decision support and online collaboration," said Dr. Jay Nunamaker, co-founder of

"The introduction of Cognito represents an important milestone in the history of," said Dr. Ken Smith, chairman and CEO of the solution provider. "With Cognito, we're moving from a product to a platform, complete with an authoring environment and interfaces for integrating with other IT systems."

Smith added that the solution offers process experts, facilitators and team leaders an authoring tool, Cognito Studio, for creating customized applications that guide teams through a series of steps. These applications, which are called ActiveMethods, can be deployed on any Cognito server.

"For an organization to develop a similar application from scratch might require weeks or months of work and involve a small team of programmers, including business logic experts and [user interface] experts," Smith asserted. "Using the graphical tools in Cognito Studio, an expert can create an ActiveMethod in a couple of days — or even in a couple of hours. This dramatically lowers the labor costs associated with creating customized process applications."

The Cognito Server includes an ActiveMethod called Teamwork, which features tools for electronic brainstorming, categorizing, prioritizing ideas and other basic activities required for ad hoc collaboration. said it is working with process experts both within and without the company to develop more ActiveMethods, including ActiveMethods for everyday business processes, such as responding to a request for proposal, and for highly specialized, high value processes, such as risk mitigation for banks.

The Cognito Server, including the Teamwork ActiveMethod and the Cognito End User Client, is available under a perpetual license and an annual maintenance agreement. Standard pricing for a 10-user system is under $18,000, although the provider said it is offering a discount on the solution through the end of the year.