Interesting note in this EDS blog on the commoditization of process. What is interesting to me is that all this discussion is around the flow, management and performance being standardized or commoditized. If you use these processes, and so do your competitors, how can you still differentiate yourself? Well you could make sure the business rules that drive the decision points in the process are unique and a match for your corporate perspective/attitude/philosophy. Using a business rules management system you can inject automated decisioning into the processes, whether you run them, someone else runs them or you use a standard one. Not only will this give you efficiency gains, by eliminating manual decision-making steps, it will let you easily change the decision policies within your process maximizing agility, allowing for personalization and ensuring that your customers still feel they are dealing with you, not with some generic enterprise.
I wrote on this topic a couple of times previously here, in the context of Business Process outsourcing - http://www.edmblog.com/weblog/2005/11/business_proces_4.html and http://www.edmblog.com/weblog/2005/10/outsourcing_and.html.