As the Senior Director of our Pega Community and Developer programs, it’s my job to make sure our world-wide ecosystem of partners and developers is supported with the most up-to-date knowledge and training on our Pega solutions. So, I sat down (virtually) with Pega’s Senior Vice President of Products, Kerim Akgonul, to find out what our clients and developers need to know about Pega Infinity™ and the newest features and updates in Pega Platform™ version 8.5.
Hi, Kerim! So, what’ new in 8.5? What are the features in 8.5 that you are most excited about and that Pega clients absolutely need to know about?
Kerim: Hi, Steph. There’s a lot new in 8.5 to be excited about, but the biggest improvement is that we’ve joined our low-code app development capabilities with our Pega Express Methodology. This enables organizations to build enterprise-grade, low-code solutions fast by starting quickly and then scaling across an enterprise. In the coming weeks you’ll hear us talk more and more about how 8.5 supports, supplements, and enables the Pega Express methodology.
Why is the Pega Express Methodology so important?
Kerim: Because the Pega Express Methodology allows organizations to focus on what we describe as a Center-out™ approach – a business architecture where AI and business rules are built to operate across channels. In development, it starts by defining the outcomes that you want to drive then capturing those outcomes as microjourneys directly in the system (for example, a “Payment Inquiry” microjourney). And for each of those microjourneys, you identify the personas that you will engage with, the channels on which you’ll engage, and then build out that experience for each persona. The Pega Express Methodology uses design-thinking techniques that make it easy for professional developers and citizen developers to follow best practices from a technical perspective. And by baking that methodology into the Pega Platform, developers are able to work directly in the App Studio to build and upgrade Minimum Loveable Products quickly and easily.
How will this change affect Pega clients?
Kerim: By putting the microjourneys at the center of their engagement strategies, clients will be able to more easily identify and define the dependencies needed to drive automations in their systems. The Pega Express methodology and a center-out approach help enterprises think about and organize data objects and relevant system components. They also enable app development with velocity - helping to quickly build robust apps; easily modify those apps; and scale apps to function across different channels, geographies, and lines of business enterprise-wide.
The capabilities built into 8.5 solve for issues around citizen development, as well. We recognize that, as more and more businesses look to enable their business users and citizen developers, they’re going to face challenges with compatibility and compliance. The built-in Pega Express Methodology is designed for cross-functional collaboration – bringing business developers, professional developers, and your IT management together, so that everyone is designing and developing with the same set of rules, guardrails, and guidelines.
And that desire for low-code development is something we continue to hear from our ecosystem and one of the main reasons we recently restructured the learning missions in Pega Academy with more variety and accessibility. By building the Pega Express Methodology into the Pega Platform, I agree that, not only will organizations be enabled to build more robust and scalable solutions, but they will be better able to collaborate and manage the development across all of their dev teams.
Kerim: Exactly, Steph, and that was also some of the feedback we in product development were hearing from organizations. There are dozens of app dev platforms and tools out there to choose from. Some are fast but not open. Some are open but integrating with other enterprise and apps and systems is an issue. What distinguishes Pega’s platform from the pack is the ease at which organizations can build apps that are consistent and comply with an organization’s requirements, plus can easily be adopted and pushed live. With the 8.5 version of Pega, developers don’t have to worry about the back end. We help organizations avoid those problems.
What else should the Pega Community know about 8.5?
Kerim: Because Pega is committed to embracing an As-a-Service architecture, we continue to evolve the architecture to be cloud-native, moving towards microservices and building services-based components. Our Process Fabric capability helps manage workflow in this type of distributed environment, prioritizing work across multiple applications and systems. And our Pega DX API, introduced in upgrade 8.2, makes it easier to build dynamic, front-end experiences with model-driven APIs.
We’re also focused on being the leading solution for intelligent automation and one-to-one engagement, combining the best case management, responsive UI, powerful mobility capabilities, and real-time decisioning to drive greater interaction and engagement with customers. More specifically, we focused our efforts on making one-to-one a reality for everyone – delivering awesome new capabilities like Value Finder, which identifies under-served customers; 1:1 Operations Manager, which is a new change management module directly in Customer Decision Hub where clients can create new, empathetic actions; and Scenario Planner, which clients can use to easily simulate “what-if” scenarios to more accurately forecast results, optimize strategies, and explore potential tradeoffs in each option.
These industry-leading capabilities also serve as the foundation for our strategic applications, like Pega Customer Service™ and Pega Customer Decision Hub™. For example, Pega Customer Service is taking advantage of the Pega Express Methodology and Center-out architecture to help clients work faster and speed up implementation time with out-of-the-box, best-practices case templates. There are also a number of new microjourneys – thoroughly pre-configured case types designed for specific industry use-cases – that build on these templates for faster resolution. All of the enhancements enable service teams to be more agile and adaptable in the fast-moving world that we’re all navigating. It’s about simplifying service for both customers and customer service agents.
Check out our “What’s New” page to browse through all of the newest platform features.
Have any clients put these new capabilities to the test yet?
Kerim: We’re running a lot of workshops on this. Our Pega Catalyst™ engagement teams have been using the Pega Express Methodology to successfully launch digital transformation projects around the globe. Building it into the Pega Platform is a differentiator and an advantage. The speed at which apps can be built and launched came into play during the height of the COVID-19 crisis this Spring. For example, our partner T-Systems worked with the Bavarian Government to digitize and automate a once-manual and paper-based economic assistance application program in just five days. That’s the kind of velocity that the current platform is delivering.
Thanks, Kerim, this has been great. I appreciate you sharing your insights on 8.5 with us.
Kerim: And thank you for keeping the Community in the loop on our latest Pega technology. I can’t emphasize enough to partners and clients the importance of staying up-to-date with platform upgrades. We’ve put so much time and effort into our tech, making it easier and more intuitive to build, launch, and manage Pega apps. But clients won’t be able to take advantage of all our low-code and AI-based capabilities if they’re not on the current version.
Great point! To get more info on our Proactive Patch Program and the latest Pega Platform features, visit our Pega Upgrade Center.
- See what’s new in Pega Platform version 8.5.
- Watch one of our Tech Talk Live replays for a deeper-dive into new Pega features.
- Visit our Upgrade Center to access the latest features for your Pega software.
- Take the Pega Express Delivery course from Pega Academy and learn the best practices that help you quickly deliver customer outcomes.