BPM is commonly thrown around. Often linked to automation. However, despite popular theories BPM is not a single application or product. It is a process. It is a business practice. It is centred around improving business processes, not participating in them, but designing and monitoring systems to advance efficiency and effectiveness.
Business Process Management (BPM) is a discipline compromising of software and services that aim to improve business performance, agility and operational visibility. The broad umbrella spans interpersonal relationships, organizational boundaries and information patterns. BPM aim to develop efficient and effective systems to improve performance and simplify procedures. In doing so they provide businesses with a competitive advantage. The key concept of Business Process Management (BPM) is the convergence of technologies with process management theories. This convergence produces new process design and implementation approaches that enable what Michael Hammer terms the process enterprise (Chang- BPM Systems: Strategy and Implementation), making it intrinsic to businesses (as highlighted):
I think BPM is still seen as relatively unsexy, a sort of necessary evil. However look at BPM the right way, and it has the potential to transform businesses, says Theo Priestly newly-appointed chief technology evangelist at Software AG.
BPM can provide big data insights
BPM, through both predictive and adaptive disciplines and capabilities, leveraging actionable insights. BPM can be used to not only extract data from multiple applications (improving data quality), but also to port to a central data store where analytics software can be run. This replaces old legacy applications, providing a more cost effective analytics and storage solution for big data.
BPM can transform the customer experience
Automation through a BPM product can ensure transparency during processing. This means customers are notified throughout the process. This could be anything from customers receiving an automatic email when their order is shipped to receiving a renewal notice one month before their contract expires. BPM products also simplify alerting and notifications, enabling faster response times to customer queries and complaints as they arise. Real time responsiveness reduces downtime and unscheduled maintenance. Not only does this improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty it also reduces employee time on such administrative tasks.
BPM improves mobility
Setrag Khoshafian explains that, ‘mobile BPM will allow organizations to seamlessly initiate and complete automated case work, end to end via mobile devices.’ Such apps will create a more mobile, responsive workforce. IBM Worklight is an example of a mobile BPM product. It delivers a comprehensive mobile application platform to develop your own HTML5 apps for advanced security. Alternatively IBM BPM can also be used on mobile devices to collaborate on tasks.
Makes Social and Collaboration More Integrated
Social BPM products such as IBM BPM Blueprint enable concurrent editing for enhanced, real-time collaboration. This increases both awareness and transparency across a project. Activity streams with tasks, user comments, notifications and updates make managing social networking more efficient. In this way BPM automates and moulds workflows. Allen Bernard (2013) says, ‘when you integrate social—or, in this case, collaboration—capabilities into these platforms, you can dramatically affect how well people perform their jobs.’