Jeff Willinger interviews Robert Hutter

Jeff Willinger, MVP, JWILLIE PARTNERS, USA interviews Robert Hutter, FireStart, Austria

Video Transcript

Jeff: Hi my name is Jeff Willinger J Willie on Twitter and I am super excited to be here at the European SharePoint Office 365 and Azure conference here in beautiful Prague Czech Republic. We are here in the middle of the conference floor of ESPC19 and I’m lucky enough to have the CEO from FireStart Robert Hutter with us Robert thank you so much for joining us today and I apologize for any background noise but like I said we are in the middle of the conference floor and it is very bustling the keynotes just finished and FireStart decided to be the premier sponsor of the conference and I’m curious Robert before we get into who FireStart is and who you are why did you decide to invest in this conference?

Robert: Yeah first of all thanks for the invitation it’s really great being here we decided to be the main sponsor this year because we see a lot of going on into how orchestrate business processes we’ve been over a decade very close partner to Microsoft, to Microsoft collaboration partners especially addressing how to build lasting human-centric business processes so the thing today when you talk about digital transformation you set up of organizational guidelines that becomes more and more topic that people are interested in and this is where we can bring in a lot of knowledge and experience from the past ten years we have brief build our platform.

Jeff: I know that you’ve won a number of awards especially you know business process management platform of the year but talk to me about you talked a lot about bringing people and technology working together, controlling business processes and as you say ignite your potential. Talk to me about what that means.

Robert: Well I think when you look at your own organization people get very frustrated when processes are not working properly and it’s a very becomes also a very emotional topic not just for efficiency or cost perspective and I think leveraging that potential that every company has by just building better processes you already have a lot of energy on the arena east side that you can re-energize into the business process and the thing that’s that just set up something completely new but just stick to the processes you have and make a better version of it and use the potential that you have on your employee side.

Jeff: So I know a lot of organizations struggle with this idea of Business Process Management can you give me the sort of Reader’s Digest version what is it and why do organizations need it and how can it help organizations.

Robert: Well I think a big problem is the separation from the organizational part how you design processes and the technical part how you automate processes and if you have a separation in these two areas you speak a different language and that makes a misfit in the communication and I think one of the big piece of FireStart is really bridging this gap between business requirements and automation capabilities on the technical side and making both areas speak the same language to really understand the business requirements in daily business not on an abstract level that an M deep dive technical level but really on an employee daily business level. I think that’s the sweet spot where I need to start building the business processes.

Jeff: And where does fire start sort of come into you know what separates you guys.

Robert: Well it’s again the let’s say very human centric approach so that you don’t have like a data centric approach or just a business centric approach would we like this end user productivity level approach but building into a broader governance because like it’s not like processes live side by side but they incorporate each other into bigger high-level business processes and building it consistent management governance around it is kind of a unique thing because if you break the governance then you have to restart all of that and you and make it not a project level approach but really a lasting continuous approach that we want to incorporate and also going beyond Microsoft and SharePoint technologies because it’s not just companies care about Microsoft technologies just for that part but they have a backbone the fsvp integrations they have open text they have Salesforce so there’s a lot of ecosystems around SharePoint that they need to incorporate into the business processes another thing for this incorporation Firestar be a very good platform to do that.

Jeff: Yeah from what I’ve been seeing you don’t necessarily I mean obviously we’re here at a SharePoint conference but your platform could sit alone or sit on top of office 365.

Robert: It can sit alone so it’s a completely independent stack but we put a lot of effort into the integration into Office 365 and SharePoint so that for the end user it’s a harmonized experience but on the backbone you have a dedicated platform approach with more capabilities in building the business processes and running the business processes.

Jeff: You know they’ve been a lot of talk about AI and this is RPA where’s RPA the robotic processing automation where does that sit with within your stack yeah and do you do you think about it does it where’s the intersection?

Robert: So business processes workflow management is very related to RPA in terms of the automation intersection right but it’s a you come from a different perspective addressing the problem we come more from a business process approach from a top-down planning approach how you tackle automation usability RPA comes from the user front-end approach so RPA helps you as an individual recording repeating tasks and play them so it helps use an individual but it’s not a backbone yet where you build the end-to-end business process so RPA on the end user level fits into a BPM strategy but not the other way around you should not build a BPM strategy on top of RPA and this is where these two technologies are related and I think people mix it up very often because they see automation here automation there but it’s really like the one is the screen automation level the other one is the business process and the price level and they are completely different requirements and stacks but they fit together very good. So what now Microsoft does with UI flow things like that that fits very good into our BPM strategy with Forrester.

Jeff: You know when I found out that I was gonna be able to talk to you and I there’s been so much buzz about RPA it’s like the hot thing and BPM is sort of not however based upon what you’re telling me I think that more organizations really need to know more about this.

Robert: I think in that regard just another comment RPA like a painkiller yeah so you as an end user has a pain and the RPA can help you immediately easing that pain from an automation level but it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem business process problem in the backyard and therefore you don’t want to end up taking drugs all year long but you want to find out what do we need to tweak and the backbone process to make the pain that happen on the end-user level and this is I think the approach where you should not end up in building a lot of end-user automations without thinking the business process in the backyard but have pain ease here and restructure there and then hand-to-hand way I think that’s the way I would recommend using these two technologies.

Jeff: Very cool very cool how did you come up with the name FireStart I know you’re a lifelong entrepreneur yeah you enjoy starting companies like being a mentor to other start-ups how did you come up with FireStart and I know the company has really evolved over the years.

Robert: Yeah so on the one hand we put it wanted to put emotion into the whole topic so this is where fire is a very good metaphor for emotional…

Jeff: Was that your idea at the beginning of the keynote with all the fire did that hav..

Robert: That was a coincident but it was a very good..

Jeff: At the beginning to kick off the conference there were fire dancers and I said to myself I wonder if Robert was any part of this but I mean a perfect time for you guys.

Robert: It is really good yeah but it’s again you have emotion with fire is very emotion and like people don’t should be bored by a designing process but this should put emotion and empathy into the whole topic and you should get quick results so where this is where start comes so not just planned for a decade but really like getting quickly into the topic building stuff that works getting our eye out of it and then build the next steps on top of it. So it’s like a small step but consistent into a bigger bigger and better process.

Jeff: I that’s really all I had for you today Robert is there anything that I maybe I missed that you want it to cover.

Robert: Basically I think when you think about the whole Microsoft SharePoint ecosystem there’s a lot of services coming up AR is popping up but really like I think people and company should think about not just using services side by side but how can I get an interests effect on it yeah and this is where BPM comes in place by linking services through a bigger service to a bigger process there’s not just one and one is two but one and one multiplied with BPM is ten yeah so in that regard people who think not just using isolated services but think in a bigger business browsers way how you address collaboration topic this is would be my…

Jeff: I think that’s where you came up with your kind of catch phrase as well because when I saw the catch phrase, I said what did that have to do with business process automation not the way you explain it really makes sense now.

Robert: That’s good to hear thanks a lot for inviting me to the session.

Jeff: Thanks for joining me again I’m Jeff Willinger J Willie and we were live at ESPC19 in Prague.

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