9 years ago, I started a software startup company named Selensoft. I had been working as an IT professional for 10 years, mostly on ERP. My goal was to create a company which can support and deliver projects with successful Open Source Business applications. At the time, it seemed like a good idea to me. There was the need in the market.. But that is a different story.
I had been researching the Open Source world for some time. We looked for platforms that were mature, easy to learn, modify and implement. As my expertise was in ERP, I discovered a brilliant ERP project called Openbravo. And we also discovered another project called ProcessMaker BPM, which also seemed to comply with our objectives. We then signed partner agreements with these two companies, instagated localizations, and started marketing.
On the website main page of ProcessMaker, there was a quote from a Turkish CEO, who was managing a large construction company. Basically he was saying “Before ProcessMaker, the first thing we did when we arrived at the office was to look at the newspaper, but nowadays the first thing we do is look at our tasks on ProcessMaker”. Because this company is one of the biggest in its sector in my country, I can use his words as a reference for my future marketing.
I tried to call the company and reach out to the people who are involved in the project so that I could use these information in my marketing efforts. However, I failed. It turned out that these people were working on construction sites in Russia. At that time it was not easy to communicate as today. I hardly found one guy who participated in the project. He told me that the company is buying another BPM, and the main people that created the project are not working in the company anymore.. Ahh, that was heartbreaking for me.
Anyway, I refreshed up myself and continue. In a short time, I did my first sale. A project with ProcessMaker to a municipality in Istanbul. We worked hard and completed successfully. We modeled main processes for 3 departments of the municipality and we integrated Processmaker to 7 external systems that were being used. Not bad for that time for the first project right?
What we loved most about ProcessMaker was its balance between coding and non-coding components. It had ready made components, which you can drag and drop while creating your processes. But also it had the open ends which you can do simple coding -scripting- and achieve high level requirements like integrations and complex calculations. This is called Low–Code these days, which is what ProcessMaker had since the beginning of the project back in 2000s.
Nine years later, an IT guy from a big multinational Turkish company called me. This was what he was saying in brief:
— We are doing a project to move all company servers to the cloud. We have a factory in Russia. We found out (which we were not aware of!) that they have a server with software called ProcessMaker running on it, and it has 400 active users. So before moving that server we thought that we should find somebody who can assist us in case there is a problem.
I responded and informed him that Selensoft is an official partner of ProcessMaker and we have been doing projects with ProcessMaker for 9 years now and we would be happy to assist the operation. But firstly we needed to have an online meeting with those employees who uses the software in order to find out the exact version, process count, case numbers etc. So we wend ahead and scheduled an online meeting with the projects key staff.
During the meeting, when they opened the live system and showed me the instance my eyes were wide open! 6 processes were designed, 400 active users were using them and had been for the last 5 years! More than 20.000 cases had been created.
I asked them, who designed these processes? When this guy answered, I had a flashback.
— I did he replied. I am an industrial engineer. I was working for a construction company before and I used ProcessMaker there as well. When I quit and started this company I used the exact same system.
I said to him:
“Man, where have you been? I have been looking for you for the last 9 years!
A non–IT employee, can build an enterprise-scale BPM system for his company even without formal training, all by himself. If this isn’t proof of a low-code platform, then what is it?