Invensys Operations Management, a global provider of technology systems, software solutions and consulting services to the manufacturing and infrastructure operations industries, announced April 21 that it has acquired Skelta Software, a privately held software company headquartered in Bangalore, India.

This acquisition fits the trend of including business process management and workflow technology into manufacturing enterprise information technology offerings. I’ve seen several other companies moving this direction. This acquisiton should also give some momentum to IOM’s Enterprise Control System strategy.

Founded in 2003, Skelta provides enterprise-wide business process management (BPM) and advanced workflow software solutions for companies of every size in several industries, including manufacturing and infrastructure operations. The Skelta BPM suite offers leading capabilities for business process modeling and execution and includes unique, integrated capabilities for business rules management, forms management, document management and business activity monitoring. It also includes connectors to popular Microsoft offerings such as SharePoint, BizTalk and Microsoft Office.

“This acquisition further extends our Enterprise Control System strategy,” said Sudipta Bhattacharya, president and chief executive officer, Invensys Operations Management. “Simply put, Skelta technology will enable Invensys Operations Management and our global network of ecosystem partners to deliver new, easy-to-configure workflow, collaboration and process-centric applications. This, in turn, empowers our customers and partners to be more productive and innovative as they strive to achieve productivity excellence. Every business needs the flexibility to respond to new business challenges in real time. By extending our open Wonderware System Platform and InFusion Enterprise Control System offerings, we further accelerate the development of applications that improve collaboration and workflow across people, systems and documents.”

Skelta offerings enable customers to build powerful BPM solutions in the financial services, healthcare, life sciences, energy, manufacturing and infrastructure operations industries. These software solutions are proven to accelerate customer deployments with a high return on investment and lower total cost of ownership. Skelta also offers prebuilt solutions, such as accounts payable, document management, and governance, risk management and compliance, to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. These offerings include advanced collaboration tools, real-time work flow processes and new application development tools, delivered and serviced by more than 80 partners, including systems integrators and valued-added resellers, who will join Invensys Operations Management’s existing global network of more than 3,000 ecosystem partners.

“Combining our strengths accelerates the development and delivery of solutions that help customers improve collaboration and empower their workers with actionable information, driving real-time process improvements and increased profitability,” said Sanjay Shah, chief executive officer, Skelta Software. “Our customers will continue to work with the same strong Skelta team and continue to receive the same excellent products and services, but now they will be backed by an industry-leading company with global capabilities, allowing us to further expand our suite of BPM software, services and solutions.”

The business will continue to be managed by Skelta’s existing executive team, adding approximately 130 employees to Invensys operations in India.

Embeddable BPM Framework

Skelta BPM is one of the first completely embeddable business process management and advanced workflow frameworks, and like Invensys’ ArchestrA software framework, it is built on Microsoft .Net technology, making it open, extensible and scalable. The Skelta BPM software will extend the Invensys Wonderware System Platform and InFusion Enterprise Control System with new workflow capabilities that can help customers improve their process execution, standardization, quality control, regulatory compliance and environment, health and safety programs.

Skelta BPM technology can improve productivity for clients in many industries, including food and beverage, oil and gas, and power. Its agile framework links manufacturing and infrastructure operations systems to existing business and departmental workflow systems, helping customers achieve better business results in real time. Personnel at every level of the operation, including quality managers and planners, can use the resulting solutions to help control their daily workflows, as well as improve demand response, issue resolution and corrective and preventive actions. For example, because it is being integrated with the InFusion ECS, Skelta technology will help make it quicker and easier for customers to initiate a production change sequence as a result of a large order or to manage workflows associated with maintenance issues, such as faster recovery from unplanned downtime. Preconfigured industrial and manufacturing-specific workflows will be built into future Invensys offerings, with the goal of dramatically reducing the cost and complexity of implementing high-value workflow solutions while driving productivity excellence.

“Expanding the System Platform offering to include a strong workflow component is almost revolutionary in the benefits it will bring to users,” said Mike le Plastrier, director, EOH, a South Africa-based distributor of Wonderware software solutions. “In asset-intensive industries such as mining, there is inevitably a requirement to work with transactional data from multiple sources, such as a LIMS, vehicle management or assay management system, to create a common platform for the complete mine. Our customers require a workflow system to ensure their data is effectively correlated and stored. In addition, with embedded workflow solutions, System Platform is now ideally suited to allowing logic to be placed on production streams, providing, for example, real-time accounting capabilities.”

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