BPM (Business Process Management) is a business solution approach which views a business as a set of processes or workflows. BPM Software is software which enables businesses to model, implement, execute, monitor and optimize their processes.
Disambiguation: BPM can stand for several things, such as Beats for Minute, Beam Propagation Method, and Sirius XM (a satellite radio channel), but this article is about its use in business process management. Below are several examples of concepts, methodologies and features, which have become prevalent in the business world since the introduction of BPM approaches and technology.
For a closer look into the core concepts of BPM, best practises and project methodology, check out our BPM Traveler’s Guide eBook:
Watch a Video: What is BPM?
The following 3 minute video explains the main concepts behind BPM, using an example of a Customer Self Service application:
Core Concept – the Workflow
In BPM frameworks, solutions are nearly always based on a workflow or set of workflows. The concept is that work in a real-time business environment should not be static, rather it should progress through a series of steps (‘a process’) in time. Basing a solution on sequential activities is effective in encouraging teams to reach completion of goals within a set period. The system encourages progression through tasks by sending the participants reminders and indications of their completion status and due date. Because of this, teams who use BPM solutions tend to perform faster and accomplish goals more consistently.
Beyond Workflow to BPM
While there are various types of workflow software, BPM software is distinguished in that it provides additional capabilities, beyond just workflow. These capabilities round out the BPM suite’s ability to cover a fuller business scenario. They typically include:
- Business Rule management
- Integration with external systems
- An end user environment
- Charts and Analytics
- Communications between users
Here we provide a set of terms that are commonly used in relation to BPM applications:
- BPMS: A Business Process Management Suite. A software suite which enables a business/organisation to implement BPM solutions.
- Intelligent BPM: A Gartner concept, which describes the next generation of BPM suites. These are suites which include intelligent features such as adaptive analytics, mobility, social collaboration, ad hoc processes, and cloud deployment.
- iBPMS: An Intelligent Business Process Management Suite (as defined by Garter in their Magic Quadrant for iBPMS 2012).
- Predictive: Features which enable predicting the outcome of processes by extrapolating analytics in real time.
- Adaptive: A framework which enables processes to be adapted as they are run in production based on dynamically changing conditions.
Features and Deployments:
- Mobile: Management/operation of business processes via mobile devices
- Social: Social process features, such as Questions and Answers, Comments, Process Wall, etc.
- Cloud: A business process solution that is deployed over the cloud. Companies are opting for cloud options more and more frequently as it provides fast time-to-solution with low infrastructure costs.
- On-premises: A solution that is deployed on premises.
- Horizontal solutions: Solutions that can be applied across several industries.
- Vertical solutions: Solutions that are specific to a particular industry or type of process.
- BPMN: A graphical representation for specifying business processes in a business process model. It was previously known as Business Process Modeling Notation.
- ROI: The return on investment from implementing a BPM solution.
- SOA: A solution which implements a SOA (Software as a Service) model.
- BPM for Enterprise: A BPMS which is robust and scalable enough to provide a viable solution for a larger enterprise.
- BPM for SME: A BPMS which is appropriate for SMEs in its scope and scalability.
- Iterative BPM: A model for improvement whereby processes are optimized in an iterative fashion.
- Case Management: A parallel discipline to Business Process Management (overlapping in some cases) whereby each instance of the solution focuses on solving a particular case. A knowledge worker solves each case, employing unstructured processes and other resources. Learn more about case management and case management software
- Intelligent Analytics: Analytics which can be plugged back into the process to optimize its performance/flow over time. Intelligent Analytics are an integral part of Intelligent BPM.
Methodologies and Tools:
- Lifecycle/Cycle of Improvement: the cyclical lifecycle of a project which includes: Modelling, Implementation, Monitoring, Improvement
- BPM Methodology: A methodology which promotes the above-mentioned life cycle of improvement and other best practises.
- Collaborative BPM: A methodology which promotes social features and collaboration between stakeholders to improve process performance.
- BPEL: Business Process Execution Language for Web Services.
- Business Intelligence (BI): Software systems and tools that extract practical conclusions from accumulated data.
- Business Analytics: Accumulated and organised data on business processes that enable stakeholders to monitor and analyze process metrics, and respond to changes.
- Process Discovery: A system whereby areas of operation which could benefit from a solution are discovered.
- Simulation: A method of simulating process execution before or during development.
- Business Process Modeling Tool: A software tool that enables Business Analysts, Managers, Architects to create business process diagrams.
iBPMS vs. BPMS
While Business Process Management Suites have been around for more than a decade, Gartner (who coined the term “BPM”) has recently introduced a second concept: iBPMS. Standing for “Intelligent BPM Suite”, Gartner defines an iBPMS as a suite with next-generation features which enable intelligent business operations, such as intelligent analytics (processes that learn to perform better over time based on real-time data), and advanced mobile, social and cloud capabilities.
When you purchase a new phone, do you buy a classic model, or a smartphone? The answer should be obvious – the smartphone. PNMsoft Sequence iBPMS (Intelligent Business Process Management Suite) is the only Microsoft-technology based pure play vendor defined by Gartner as an Intelligent BPM Suite (Gartner’s iBPMS Magic Quadrant from 2012 and onward). For companies with Microsoft infrastructure such as SharePoint, Dynamics, Office, Azure, it is the leading choice for Process Management software.
Sequence Intelligent BPM Suite
PNMsoft’s Sequence iBPMS goes beyond the classic feature set of suites and incorporates:
- Process Optimizing Analytics
- Dynamic Process Change
- Case Management & Work Optimization
- Communication with External Systems
- Social Collaboration
- Mobile Process Operation
- iBPMS Cloud Services
…with unique HotChange® technology.
PNMsoft is positioned on Gartner’s iBPMS Magic Quadrant.
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