Process Integration for the Extended Enterprise
Abstract: In many industries today, the speed and costs with which new products are delivered to customers provide the basis for competitive advantage. Electronic business (e-business) is a concept that shortens the “time to market” and enables transacting at lower costs. Currently, one of the main limitations in the exploitation of e-business is the lack of efficient Information System (IS) integration, both in intra- and cross-enterprise environments. Intra-enterprise integration is complex, as the business needs and the underlying information systems do not evolve in accordance. In the cross-enterprise context, transparent system integration is hardly achievable due to the incompatibility of the services of the involved partners. This means that the future success of the integration depends heavily on the possibilities offered in terms of interoperability among the involved enterprises. The Business Process Management (BPM) discipline addresses this challenge, as processes have been recognized as key mechanisms through which most intra- and cross-enterprise interactions take place. The development of methods for successful integration of process models is one of the essential issues for the use of the BPM approach in the application and evolution of e-business.In this thesis, we address two topics in the area of business process management: 1) intra-enterprise process integration which concerns alignment between the internal business processes and information systems enclosed in the form of software services and 2) cross-enterprise integration which concerns coordination of the internal business processes of an enterprise with the processes of its suppliers, intermediaries, or customers. The goal of the thesis is to add theoretical and applicable knowledge to the field of business process management by using the proposed approaches for improvement of process integration in intra- and cross-enterprise contexts.
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