Goodby to ActionBase

Well, I am no longer at ActionBase. It has been in the works for a while, but now it has finally happened. Even though I expected it, it is still a little sad.

ActionBase will still be around, focusing exclusively on the Israeli market. It will be morphing from a product based organization to a services one.

In the end it was a failure of customer development. ActionBase has lots of satisfied customers in Israel, but we were never able to translate that success outside the borders of Israel. It is clear that the need for the product is there, we just weren’t able to translate that need into enough sales.

I think the evolution of the thinking around BPM and unstructured, unpredictable knowledge worker processes over the last few years has been nothing short of amazing. I remember our booth at the fall 2008 Gartner BPM conference where no one (including the Gartner analysts – except for Jim Sinur who had just returned) had any idea about what we meant when we talked about ad-hoc, unpredictable human processes. After that came Keith Swenson’s and Nathaniel Palmer’s WfMC meeting that coined the term “Adaptive Case Management (ACM)” and led to the book “Mastering the Unpredictable” – which never would have happened without Keith’s leadership and hard work. That was a turning point and now just about everyone in the process community knows about it. There is still a lot of disagreement about what exactly ACM is – but I see it as healthy arguments between people that are passionate about it. I don’t think there will ever be an “exact” mathematical definition for ACM (just like there isn’t one for BPM) – but I do think there will be a growing set of tools and techniques available for ACM, and the knowledge and skill to apply them. Given the state of the BPM world – I think it will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.

I’ve moved my blog to be hosted on WordPress ( Not sure yet what I’ll be blogging about, but I plan to continue blogging. I also haven’t decided whether to move my twitter account.  I’ve really enjoyed being part of the ACM community, and plan to stay in touch, no matter what I’ll be doing next.



4 Responses to “Goodby to ActionBase”

  1. Adam Deane Says:

    Hi Jacob,

    There is a reason I follow people and not companies. I believe people, their thoughts, their ambition and their innovations are what makes a company famous, and not the other way around.

    This is not a “I wish you well on your new path” kind of message.
    It’s an “I’m excited to see what Jacob will come up with next” message.


  2. Sandy Kemsley Says:

    I’m with Adam — I follow people, not companies. Always good to have your own domain for blogging and maintain your own persona front and centre, regardless of where you land next. It’s your ideas that count, not where you work.

    By the way, a Feedburner feed would ensure that you can move subscribers over to any new domain automatically. 🙂

  3. Scott Says:


    looking forward to reading your thoughts on this blog as well as the last one. always enjoy debating (and often agreeing) with you. Thanks for sharing with us and good luck to you!


  4. How are the BPM Vendors Doing Now? » Process for the Enterprise Says:

    […] Jacob Ukelson reports that ActionBase is retrenching in the Israeli market and focusing on professional services operations.  With today’s ASPs for small enterprise software companies, this isn’t surprising – likely much (all?) of the real profit comes from the professional services operation.  Cost of sales for enterprise software is high – but yet there is downward pressure on Average Selling Price (ASP). […]

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