Business Process Management has been around more than SOA or at least computers around. You can see that from below picture based on Google Trends. Just like Good Trends can predict the flu outbreak, it can go back in time for fact finding.
But now it is completely different. There is no BPM without SOA…here is why. To understand that you need to dig little deeper in the history of its evolution.
Services have become an important factor for growth and the creation of jobs. Most of the new jobs created in the U.S. in recent decades are jobs in services . Leading enterprises in the U.S. derive most of their revenues from services. This applies not only to pure services, such as transportation. but also to material products that are augmented by services such as maintenance, consulting and training. Through these services, enterprises earn their revenues. In addition, services have become popular as modules for enterprise architecture. An enterprise architecture defines the interaction between business and information technology. Thus, a service-oriented enterprise architecture uses service to describe the interaction of business and information technology. It is important to note, that services are much more than just “function call or object with a longer wire” as found in some interpretations of so-called Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA).
Wikipedia defines a service system as “a configuration of technology and organizational networks designed to deliver services that satisfy the needs, wants, or aspirations of customers”. A service oriented enterprise architecture also requires a new class of support systems service management systems. They have to support the creation, administration and execution of services. Thus, they must be able to store the service definitions and make them available for stakeholder in a service catalogue. The same applies to the so-called service-level agreements that define the quality of service agreed upon with customers. Upon a service request from a customer, the process which produces this service has to be instantiated according to the service level agreements and provided to the customer. During process execution, the service support system has to monitor the fulfillment of theservice-level agreements; remediation procedures contain so-called escalation mechanisms. Based on the monitoring, improvement procedures shall be established.
Take any business process now a days, it could be an intra or inter company based but it will consume service from a service management system knowingly or unknowingly (to the consumer). Hence SOA forms the back bone of BPM. SAP makes life easier by providing Workflow in SAP NetWeaver for this purpose. Here is some of the tools such as workflow are part of service management system such as Duet, MDM, ECC and etc. It is important to BPM Tools of Trade Series: Questions that need to be answered before jumping into any process improvement project.