Growing Demand for Mobile BPM
Critics have claimed that mobile BPM (Business Process Management) is a gimmick, a way for BPM vendors to jump on the bandwagon and say “Yes, we also have mobile” (much like social, and to some extent, cloud). But our experience is showing that more and more of our clients are finding our mobile BPM features to be not just nice to have, but critical to their business.
We are seeing this in two industries so far – utilities and public infrastructure. These are two industries where a decent proportion of the workforce tends to be in the field, and agents use tablets and mobile devices to complete their work. In such cases, being able to access and approve processes via such devices can make a giant difference in the ability to carry out field processes altogether.
For example, one of our clients is a national road services provider in EMEA. We designed a process for them which enables requesting and approving road maintenance. Most of their agents are in the field, and as such, they need to approve requests via table or mobile. These agents are thrilled that they can now accomplish this via PNMsoft’s mobile BPM app – Process TO GO. Process TO GO enables agents to view request details, and approve or decline requests in one touch. This is make-or-break functionality for the project’s success, not just a bell or a whistle.
Another example is in utilities. A major North American utilities provider receives service requests from private homes and businesses. We created a process which guides field agents towards completing such requests. Using their tablets or mobiles, agents are directed to the correct location via Google Maps, and are then given the service request details. They perform the necessary on-site action items and then record any issues along the way. Once completed, they send a report off to their superiors. None of this could have been possible without mobile BPM capabilities. Again, Mobile BPM isn’t just a nice to have, it’s a must have.
Admittedly, in some cases Mobile BPM is an extra, something that gives our customers the extra flexibility to manage processes on the go. But with an ever-increasing mobile workforce (Gartner has already predicted that tablet sales will outpace PC sales by next year), mobile BPM is turning into a core feature.
Not all Mobile BPM vendors were created equal. In Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Mobile Applications (2014) it states, “Don’t assume that all BPM vendor claims about mobile BPM are equivalent”. Gartner mentions PNMsoft as one of five Mobile BPM vendors it studied for the report.
Taking a closer look at what our Process TO GO offers, essentially, all core process management features can be accessed via mobile device. That includes:
- Kicking off processes
- Completing forms and tasks
- One touch approvals
- Mobile charts and analytics
- Access to images, video and maps
What’s not available? Process design is still done via PC, where advanced features and sometimes back end coding is necessary. We don’t expect that all work can and should be done via mobile, but certainly process operators and managers should have the option to complete the majority of their work via mobile. This makes processes more accessible, gives users greater flexibility and in some cases (as described above), its the only way for workers to get their job done.
To get a closer look at ProcessTO GO, complete the form below to see our Mobile BPM slideshow.
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Eli Stutz is Head of Knowledge and Collaboration for PNMsoft, the authors and publishers of PNMsoft Sequence – a Gartner Magic-Quadrant (MQ) rated Intelligent Business Process Management Suite (iBPMS). Eli Stutz conducts live monthly webinars on BPM and workflow topics, and authors case studies and white papers.