Well, I might suprise you by saying among other things of course, but BPEL is certainly a topic of interest to me. yes! This question is motivated by the fact that I discovered that my blog was listed on BPEL.XML as a blog dealing with BPEL. I was surprised and pleased at the same time. You can see the whole list of blogs here, if you are interested.
It is not because BPEL like BPM, web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, SOA and other acronyms And this for many reasons has become a piece of jewelry that every blog can afford and has to wear in order to attract some readers. BPEL is a de facto standard for business process execution languages. This itself is a reason enough. All technical BPM vendors I know of support BPEL. In ARIS too BPEL is supported (Modeling and transformations from business process modeling notations like EPC and BPMN for example) in ARIS (e.g. SOA Architect). Designing Business Process Models with the background idea that these are destined to be transformed into BPEL is fundamentally different from utterly designing BP models on the business level. A whole set of additional constraints become necessary, on what the modeler is allowed to model.
Additionally, the ultimate goal of process transformations, is to achieve the ability of propagating all the models information and data you define for business processes to the execution level, where processes really take place. This would show the strength and power of such transformations. Simply because they form a transport channel of the business requirements and logic from the business level to the execution level, where the modeled and incepted added value is really realized. Every bit of information (your business system's entropy, if you will) you lose on the way to the execution system is a loss for the business.
These are the reasons why I think that although separation between BP modeling and BP execution is necessary for the sake of business, being really careful about what happens with BPEL and paying attention at how it could influence BPM is crucial.
Marwane El Kharbili.