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How BPM is being perceived..?

In the last few years, SAP customers have started looking at replacing their existing workflow solutions (both SAP & non SAP) with SAP NW BPM. While this would definitely help organizations to modernize the technology landscape & automate some of the business processes, most often companies fail to tie it up closely with an equally important BPM methodology to it.

This is because, BPM is most often overlooked as just a modern technology foundation for effective process automation or some even consider it as just an advanced workflow management engine. Based on my real world experience as a SAP NW BPM consultant for nearly 4 years, still the perception is same even among the top business & IT groups in various large organizations. As a result, organizations doing BPMS (Business Process Management Suite) implementations don’t reap the full benefits or sometimes even fail as they don’t attach a strong process management methodology (which defines what needs to be improved in a given business process and how).

In plain terms, BPM is a confluence of IT innovations and process management methodologies. Organizations wanting to be process centric have to understand this key point that both the arrows in the picture below are to be given due importance in order to bring in large scale process improvements.  


Another important aspect is that organizations often compare BPMS to a workflow engine. BPMS has emerged as a multi-dimensional weapon that efficinetly handles and takes care of numerous operational aspects (represented in the model below) associated with the execution of business processes.


With these real world observations, I believe that it is increasingly becoming important for BPMS experts to enable customers better understand BPMS and BPM implementations in general. Has anyone else experienced something similar to this? Please leave a comment to let me know..

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  • Hi Bala,

    First of all, great article. The challenge that BPM consultants like us face is that customers are looking at BPMS as merely yet another workflow or technology tool and this is taking a taking a toll on the outlook towards BPM. I believe the whole approach towards BPM and BPMS would differ if business heads and process owners actually start looking at BPM as a methodology for business enablement and continuos improvement rather than being seen as yet another IT tool