Thursday, February 11, 2010

And Just What is Business Process Management?

The financial slowdown notwithstanding, the BPM arena continues to grow. Various businesses are constantly looking for new ways that can help raise their performance levels as well as means to effectively address the ever changing market demands.

If you do intend to incorporate a BPM strategy in your business, it becomes important that you have your basics in place. This is essentially because businesses generally have various processes that need to be addressed while implementing an overall BPM strategy, and while your primary focus should always remain on delivering your products/services to your customers, it is also important that you remain in the know how when it comes to your business’ BPM strategy.

The History:

Do know that workflow automation is, by no means, a recent phenomenon. Office automation ideas were seen in the late 1970’s, and this led to the introduction of various workflow systems that helped automate different processes, requiring minimal human interference. Also, while the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) applications of the 1990’s did simplify matters further still, there still remained the problem of operating these across different workflow platforms. This was addressed through the use of EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) systems in the early part of this century. It is this very integration of EAI systems with ERP applications that gave rise to the modern day BPM solutions.

BPM is:

BPM is essentially a process of streamlining the functioning of your business using a set discipline through the use of one or more technology while also incorporating a framework of rapidly developed applications. In simple terms, you use technology to automate aspects of your business. By using an effective BPM strategy a business can quickly move from the idea stage to the implementation stage; and this is through the use of productivity tools which help develop, test, and implement process models, thereby helping increase productivity.

Can BPM Help Every Business?

The way I (and scores of other people from this field) see it, any business would benefit by understanding its primary business process, looking for areas that can be bettered, and then bettering them. There is no dearth of businesses which have used BPM strategies to help address complicated business related problems, and these include both big and small businesses.

While BPM solutions would work best with businesses that already have a technological mindset, looking at technology to simplify and streamline a business is always a good idea. Also remember that incorporating BPM solutions into your business sphere could call for some radical changes, and this makes it important for the management to be open to change.

The best part about looking at BPM solutions is that you would get solutions that would take your exact requirements into consideration. Therefore, as opposed to looking at ‘stock’ options for automation, businesses now have access to tailor made or configurable BPM Suites, which are agile, flexible and powerful.

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