webMethods Debuts Continuous Controls Monitoring for Sarbanes-Oxley

Compliance solution validates completeness, accuracy, validity of transactions and business processes for regulatory requirements

Compliance solution validates completeness, accuracy, validity of transactions and business processes for regulatory requirements

Fairfax, VA  July 18, 2005  B2B integration specialist webMethods today debuted a new solution designed to verify the completeness, accuracy and validity of transactions and business processes in accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulatory requirements.

The new solution, webMethods for Compliance, built with the technology components of webMethods Fabric, is intended to provide businesses with the ability to continuously and automatically monitor their compliance control points without the risks or costs associated with manual testing and controls.

At the same time, the process integration, assembly and optimization capabilities offered by the solution can be used to streamline and improve operations, helping enterprises to use their compliance investments to achieve continuous process improvements, webMethods said.

The Costs of Compliance

Building and sustaining compliance controls have proven costly for most corporations. According to AMR Research's John Hagerty, writing in a research alert: "Making compliance repeatable, sustainable and cost-effective must become the priority for ongoing investment. Continuous monitoring and automated testing is maturing in approach and applicability to be considered for evaluation now rather than later."

Without standardized business processes, or integration between business units or divisions, companies often rely on manual monitoring and spot-testing to verify compliance agreement, which provides limited predictability or certainty. webMethods said its Compliance solution can bring extended visibility into these high-risk enterprise business processes, provide for continuous monitoring of process controls, and standardize and automate resolution procedures.

The result, the solution provider said, is that enterprises have the opportunity to reduce compliance costs and realize other benefits through the automation and real-time monitoring operations enabled by the Compliance solution.

"The monitoring, analysis and evaluation of internal controls is labor intensive, costly and often fails to flag issues in time to take corrective action," said Arnold Huffman, vice president for global strategic business solutions at webMethods. "webMethods for Compliance leverages the proven capabilities of our business integration product suite to fully monitor critical business processes so that real-time alerts of potential and actual violations can be consistently enacted. Automation of this process is critical and can produce significant savings for the corporation."

Predicting Future Patterns

webMethods said its Compliance solution encompasses the following components:

  • Business process automation and management  Allows business users to model and execute business processes encompassing a variety of certified requirements, such as e-signoff and other authenticated approvals.

  • Continuous controls and monitoring  Intended to mitigate risks by proactively identifying material events and violations in real-time.

  • Compliance dashboard  Provides users with additional process visibility, with correlations to key performance indicators, graphically depicted.

  • Document management  Designed to improve and secure information flow by controlling and managing all control and disclosure procedures.
One of the key benefits of the solution, webMethods said, is greater predictability by which enterprises can track key real-time operational and business metrics without the need for additional programming.

In addition, these monitoring and alerting features provide users with the ability to better anticipate and predict future patterns in business operations based on comparison with past activity for a given time of day, day of the week and time of year, the solution provider said. Alerts are automatically triggered when key performance indicators or control points move out of range relative to historical norms and the previously-seen anomalies detected with webMethods' "fingerprinting" technology.

webMethods for Compliance, which is available now, is the first in a series of new business process productivity solutions that webMethods plans to release. Additional offerings for the consumer goods, financial services, manufacturing and retail sectors are scheduled to debut later this year.

Additional Articles of Interest

 For more information on Sarbanes-Oxley, read Parts 1 and 2 of the recent SDCExec.com series on Contract Management: Five Myths of Contract Management, and Contract Management: Improving Corporate Governance.

 Other recent SDCExec.com articles on Sarbanes-Oxley: