Ultimus Business Process Management Q&A
What is Business Process Management (BPM) Software?
BPM Software (BPMS) is a process automation tool. It helps you map out your everyday processes to identify and eliminate bottlenecks, control your company’s costs, make your day-to-day processes as efficient as possible, and ensure the effectiveness of the people involved in your processes.
Ultimus Adaptive BPM Software Suite is based on four basic methodologies:
- Modeling – Map out your process and measure the time and cost needed to execute your process
- Automating - Evolve your process from a manual process to an electronic process where data is collected in web forms and easily transferred to/from your existing third-party applications
- Managing – Gain insight into your processes, the business data in those processes, and the effectiveness of the process participants
- Optimization – Learn how to make your day-to-day business process more efficient, more cost-wise, and control data entry and application errors
What are Benefits of Business Process Management Solutions?A Business Process Management (BPM) solution to a company’s needs begins with the alignment of business goals with an eye toward creating value through process change initiatives. This alignment leads to a thorough understanding and design of representative processes typically following an industry standard framework (eg. COSO, COBIT, ITIL, etc).
A BPM based foundation provides for complete lifecycle management of business processes, integration across technologies, and imbeds efficiency among people, processes, and technologies.
Many of the point solutions on the market today simply cannot future proof your solution. Unlike specific point solutions, ERP, document management, or framework-only based solutions, business process management solutions are designed and built to handle your future requirements with a flexible and efficient solution that:
- Maximizes cost reductions, provides for growth, manages change, and executes an integrated business strategy;
- Enables cross-enterprise integration to scale and extend management controls across the technology;
- Manages change effectively as requirements, laws, processes, and regulations change;
- Provides a structured but customizable environment to extend to other industry and process automation requirements to minimize training costs;
- Allows for expansion from department-only processes to even broader BPM for greater business value.
What is the difference between BPM Software and Workflow Software?
Workflow software simply routes tasks from person to person. An example of this would be a Document Review process, where a single document is routed from one person to the next. Once all interested people have reviewed the document, the process is complete. A Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) takes workflow software to a whole new level in several ways:
- From a technical perspective a business process include seamless code-free integrations with existing systems, business rules, recipients, business data, forms and templates.
- Ultimus Adaptive BPMS not only provides routing engine capabilities, but also provides vital full process life-cycle functions including:
- Process Modeling - simulates a process PRIOR to automation
- Integrated Business Rules Engine – business process rules can be created and updated separate from the underlying business processes
- Out-of-the Box Forms Designer - allows for easy to build forms to emulate your current offline documents
- Process Simulation – allows you to test your business processes in the same way your end users will use the processes
- Patented Process Optimization Methodologies (Adaptive Discovery) - supports Lean Six Sigma
- Business Activity Monitoring and Reporting - visibility is a must for any process
Why do you need a BPMS if you have other workflow tools like BizTalk, MOSS, WF?
The above tools are NOT BPM, they are workflow tools. We have specifically designed Ultimus to work WITH them not against it. Developing, building, automating, and integrating business processes with a BPMS allows a company to save time and reduce costs (optimizing day-to-day manual processes into easy to use, efficient, and traceable electronic processes). Conversely, taking the time to code and build the actual business rules engine and routing architecture takes your company's employees away from their core competency. Tools like WF and MOSS not only require you to build workflow technology ground-up, but most likely you will require hiring consulting resources to accomplish this goal. Ultimus has nearly two decades of history and over 2,000 customers. Today we are on our 8th generation. Ultimus has thousands of processes under our belt to help you accelerate performance.
How is BPM Software different from ERP?
While ERP systems offer great benefits in being able to integrate disparate systems and applications, insight and visibility into the ERP processes is limited. Moreover, in today’s market and economy, it is vital to be able to move quickly when deciding to automate new systems for various reasons (cost, resources, competitive advantage, etc.). A Business Process Management Software Suite provides strengths in four main areas regarding business processes:
- Process Modeling
- Process Optimization
One could argue that an advantage that ERP systems offer is that they effectively handle Process Automation and Management, but do not require the intense coding resources and long project plans that many BPM software systems do. A BPMS like the Ultimus Suite not only provides workflow automation capabilities, but offers the ability to automate and manage business processes with little to no coding needed. Moreover, BPM software has the ability to provide process analytics BEFORE AND AFTER the business process goes live, a true differentiator from ERP. Having the ability to “take a step back” from the day to day of your business and analyze your business processes for bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and cost control will enable you to ensure your process automation efforts provide you the return on investment (ROI) your company executives are demanding.