Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Business Process Management

What is Business Process Management - BPM?

Business Process Management or BPM, is the practice of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of any organization by automating the organization's business processes. BPM used to be also know as Business Process Reengineering (BPR).

  • • Many companies have business processes that are unique to its business model. Since these processes tend to evolve over time as the business reacts to market conditions, the BPM solution you choose must be easily adaptable to the new conditions and requirements and continue to be a perfect fit for the company.
  • • In order to use BPM effectively, organizations must stop focusing exclusively on data and data management, and adopt a process-oriented approach that makes no distinction between work done by a human and a computer.
  • • The idea of BPM is to bring processes, people and information together.
  • • Identifying the business processes is relatively easy. Breaking down the barriers between business areas, and finding owners for the processes is difficult.
  • • BPM not only involves managing business processes within the enterprise but also involves real-time integration of the processes of a company with those of its suppliers, business partners, and customers.
  • • BPM involves looking at automation horizontally instead of vertically.

Examples of BPM tasks that your organization performs that should be automated include:
• Expense Reports Travel Requests
• Purchase Orders Human Resource Management
• New Accounts and Credit Authorizations Sales Orders
• Project Management Software Change Management

The following example illustrates the power of BPM:
When an B2B partner needs some inventory, he can log into the web site and order required inventory. An email will be generated and sent to the supervisor responsible for the partner's inventory. The supervisor can click on the link in the email, login to the site and approve the inventory. The partner will be notified of the allocation and the inventory will be shipped.

A Business Process Management (BPM) Solution has Six Components
  • • BPM IDE. Business Process Management (BPM) IDE is an integrated design environment used to design processes, rules, events and exceptions. Creating a structured definition of each process is very important to any business and the IDE enables a business user to design all processes with no help from IT.
  • • Process Engine. The process engine of a Business Process Management solution keeps track of the states and variables for all of the active processes. Within a complex system, there could be thousands of processes with interlocking records and data.
  • • User Directory. Administrators define people in the system by name, department, role and even potential authority level. This directory will enable tasks to be sent automatically to the defined resources.
  • • Workflow. This is the communication infrastructure that forwards tasks to the appropriate individual.
  • • Reporting/Process monitoring. Enables users to track the performance of their current processes and the performance of personnel who are executing these processes.
  • • Integration. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and/or Web services is critical to BPM as business processes will require data from disparate systems throughout the organization.
  • • BPM makes it easy for companies to program their current processes, automate their execution, monitor their current performance and make on-the-fly changes to improve the current processes.
  • • The process managed enterprise is the company of the future.
  • • A BPM software enables you to automate those tasks that are currently being performed manually. Many of these tasks require some type of application process, approval or rejection process, notifications and status reports. A BPM solution can make these processes automatic.
  • • Handling exceptions is an area where BPM really shines. Organizations have few problems when its process run smoothly ninety nine percent of the time. However, it's the one percent that are exceptions that dominate the majority of the company's time and resources.
  • • BPM is excellent for processes that extend beyond the boundaries of an enterprise and communicate with processes of the partners, customers, suppliers and vendors.

Who are BPM Software Vendors?

Many software companies make BPM Software Solutions. Following are some of them:
• Microsoft (BizTalk)
• Savvion
• TIBCO (with the Acquisition of Staffware)
• Business Objects
• Cognos
• Computer Associates
• Metastorm
• Fuego
• Lombardi Software
• FileNet
• Staffware
• Vitria

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