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SAP Business Process Intelligence – What’s the Big Deal?

Did SAP invent Continuous Improvement?  No.  Did SAP invent Business Process Management?  No.  So why would I write about these two widely-known topics?

SAP is disrupting the Business Process Management market with an unprecedented product suite that allows companies to identify their biggest business process issues and take action to improve those processes – in a single solution set.

That’s a pretty bold statement.  Especially that “disruptive” part.

Business Process Management, or BPM, has been around for years, actually decades, and practiced by all companies with any past or current long-term viability.  BPM is a major part of about every company’s continuous improvement program.  Continuous improvement is a “company culture” component.  So why is SAP Business Process Intelligence different?

BPM tools have advanced over the past few years, with various tools (i.e. process modeling, user behavior mining, workflow and RPA, process mining, etc.) brought to market by various companies.  BPM practitioners have assembled their own BPM processes using a collection of tools from multiple, sometimes very small, software companies.  Many parts of their BPM programs continue to be performed manually just as they were 20-30 years ago.

To take it one step further, BPM software tools are almost always provided by companies that don’t provide the software that actually runs the enterprise (i.e. ERP, CRM, etc.).  While all enterprise software companies have tools that can help monitor system usage, the tools for managing business processes for the purpose of improving company performance have been dreadfully lacking.

SAP Business Process Intelligence brings together in a single solution suite all of the tools needed for the analysis of business process performance combined with the enterprise software that is used for enabling and reengineering business processes.  Having the BPM tools required for both process analysis and process improvement in a single package is unprecedented.

There are actually three major parts to this solution.  The first is process analytics for finding the best opportunities for improvement; the second is a collection of tools for repairing, enhancing, automating, and generally improving processes.  Thirdly, the solution provides BPM administrative capabilities to help orchestrate and govern business process management in both small and large companies of varying complexity.

SAP has long had process management components such as workflow management, industry benchmarking data, and enterprise-grade applications.  Last week’s acquisition of Signavio provides the other pieces – the process modeling and mining that is needed for comprehensive analysis of what is actually happening across the enterprise, and across all SAP and non-SAP applications.  Signavio also provides the BPM environment for maintaining an inventory of past, current “as-is”, and future “to-be” business processes, enveloped by a secure environment for BPM professionals to analyze, collaborate, brainstorm, and govern the continuous improvement of the company’s business processes that directly impact performance goals like customer satisfaction, profitability, and employee turnover.

So, did SAP invent Continuous Improvement?  No, but we made it easier.

And did SAP invent Business Process Management?  No, but we are making it better –  for effectively and efficiently improving enterprise business performance across the entire enterprise through more effective business process management and continuous improvement.

For more information, visit SAP Business Process Intelligence where SAP customers can get started by requesting their company’s Process Discovery report.

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