What Is Business Process Management Software? Analysis of Features, Types, Benefits and Pricing

What is business process management software? And how does business process management software work?

Business process management (or BPM) is the systematic process of making an organization’s workflow more efficient, effective, and adaptable to changes in the business environment. Business processes are actions that achieve specific organizational goals and objectives. BPM helps to reduce mistakes and miscommunication, a very common occurrence in many organizations.

To achieve this objective, organizations and companies use business process management software. This is an advanced system of creating workflows within an organization, and monitoring them to see how they can be improved. Of course, the goal is to reduce if not eliminate human errors, inefficiencies, and miscommunication among people.

The very best BPM software help a business design, manage, and execute complex and potentially time-consuming processes and workflows to improve the overall performance of the business.

In this article, we will answer the question: “What is business process management software?” But we won’t simply give you the definition of business process management software. We will also help you understand its main purpose in relation to, and in connection with, the management of your business. Finally, we will shortlist your best options once you start looking for your ideal system. Here are the eight topics we are going to discuss:

  1. Examples of business process management software
  2. Benefits of business process management software
  3. Types of business process management software
  4. Features of business process management software
  5. Buying factors to consider
  6. Pricing of business process management software
  7. Potential issues
  8. Latest trends

1. What Are Examples of Business Process Management Software?

  1. Bpm’online They sell cloud-based and process-driven software for sales, marketing and service automation. The unique advantage of this product is the easy out-of-the-box processes that help the users get up to speed very quickly so that they can see immediate results. They have an engaging interface, and its look and feel makes the user focused on what’s relevant, not on information that’s redundant. They have been recognized with several industry awards for their superior product. Their customers number over 6,500 worldwide. You can sign up for the bpm’online free trial here.
  2. Promapp Over 60,000 users worldwide use this particular brand. Some of their clients are Toyota, Coca-Cola Amatil, Amcor, McDonald’s and Audi. This bpm’online alternative specializes in critical process techniques for SMEs to enterprise clients. They do this using a cloud-based library which could potentially replace procedure manuals and ignored processes. It forms the hub whereby teams collaborate on ways to improve processes and deliver helpful feedback and ideas to drive the next innovative breakthroughs. Their client retention rate is 98% and they also have a year-over-year revenue growth of 30-40% for the last five years.
  3. KiSSFLOW Reducing chaos while automating work is the mantra of KiSSFLOW, another reliable Promapp alternative. Over 10,000 companies use this leading workflow management software. You can actually create an unlimited number of automated business apps with their business process management software. You start with 45 pre-installed apps but you can create your own. Some of these include travel reimbursement, purchase request, vacation request, employee onboarding, and more. You can create apps quickly and make your workflow as simple or as complex as you want, with over 14 customizable field types. The software shows you the progress of any particular item. Reporting is tailor-made to meet your specific workflow automation requirements. You can also identify bottlenecks quickly. What’s more, KiSSFLOW can be connected to your other automation tools like Office 365, G Suite, and more through their respective APIs.
  4. Nintex Using just a few clicks instead of code, Nintex tackles a whole lot of things from the basic functions to complex company-wide processes. This workflow automation software is as easy as point-and-click. For the last ten years, they have focused on creating software and cloud-based services that automate a wide variety of processes. Now, people can define the way they want to work, not on how technology forces them to work. With the Nintex Workflow Platform, powerful software has been made easy.
  5. TIBCO BPMThe mission of TIBCO is to build a digital business on the foundation of analytics, integration, and innovation. Their goal is to build the heart and brain of digital business in consultation with, and with input from, their very best customers.They want to give their customers as much competitive advantage as possible by integrating and interconnecting everything using their broad analytics platform. This integration includes people, systems, and data. With this goal in mind, their customers can better understand and manage their business better and make key decisions on the spot.
  6. The Business360 – The Business360 is a feature-rich business management app offered as a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. This interesting Tibco alternative offers a robust set of tools and capabilities, giving you a complete business management solution that addresses your various needs and requirements, including customer relationships, invoice management, password management, calendar management, and more.

Here’s how bpm’online looks in action

2. Why Use Business Process Management Software?

You’ve learnt what is business process management software, but what is its purpose? What are the main advantages of business process management software? We have already seen that the objective of Business Process Management is to improve the business processes of an organization for better performance. Here are seven key benefits of BPM software:

  1. It reduces costs
  2. It improves accountability
  3. It minimizes inefficiencies
  4. It boosts engagement with customers
  5. It ensures regulatory compliance
  6. It renders competitive benefits
  7. It enhances business agility

3. What Are the Types of Business Process Management Software?

We’ve described what is business process management software in the opening paras, now’s let’s take a look at its main types. First, there are three basic kinds of BPM frameworks:

  1. Horizontal frameworks — They deal with design and development of business processes. They are generally focused on technology and reuse.
  2. Vertical BPM frameworks — This focuses on specific sets of coordinated tasks, using pre-built templates which can be easily deployed and configured.
  3. Full-service BPM suites — They have five basic components: Process discovery and project scoping; Process modeling and design; Business rules engine; Workflow engine; Simulation and testing

Second, there are two types of BPM software as it pertains to deployment:

  1. On-premise business process management (BPM) — This has been the norm for most enterprises.
  2. Software as a Service (SaaS) — Advances in cloud computing have led to an increased interest in various “software-on-demand” offerings.

Overview of Promapp’s UI

4. What Does Business Process Management Software Do?

Business Process Management enables users to design, model, implement, automate and analyze the business processes of a company or an organization. A process is a group or set of tasks or activities to help you accomplish a workflow quickly and easily.

What are examples of processes that can be designed and analyzed using BPM software?

  • Account management
  • Compliance management
  • Customer requests
  • Employee onboarding
  • Expense reporting
  • Invoice management
  • Loan origination
  • Project management

Here are seven advantages associated with Business Process Management software:

  1. Business Process Modeling — Create and test multiple processes and workflows within an organization using a visual process design tool.
  2. Workflow Management — Design, test and implement advanced workflows by integrating robust communication between team members, systems, and data.
  3. Business Rules Engine — Design business rules and conditions for each business process.
  4. Collaboration — Communication-enabled activities including decision management, idea management and discussion threads for effective communication within a company.
  5. Integrations — These include Salesforce, MS Sharepoint, etc.
  6. Form Generator — Create beautiful web forms without generating a single piece of code.
  7. Analytics — Define metrics, get insights in real time, and run any report with ease.

Before investing in any Business Process Management system, make sure of the following:

  • It must include a workflow.
  • It must be accessible.
  • It must include an easy-to-use process mapping tool.
  • It must allow for customization.
  • It must allow you to collect and report on metadata.

5. What Should You Consider When Buying a Business Process Management System?

Here are seven important things to consider when comparing different BPM vendors:

  1. Your Goals: Determine what you want to achieve with your BPM software. Be very clear about your company or business goals. What are your top objectives? Reducing costs? Increasing efficiency? Will you use your system to help you obtain Quality Standards Compliance? BPM systems are quite adaptable and can be customized to your specific goals and objectives.
  2. Potential Vendors: Make sure the BPM software you have in mind will be a good fit for your company. Don’t pay extra for features you don’t need. Many BPM solutions have a “one-size-fits-all” philosophy and thus are not as customizable. Some even tend to have too many features, bells, and whistles. This is where #1 comes into play. You need to be clear on what your goals and objectives are.
  3. Your Budget: Before you invest in any BPM software or system, consider your budget. You need to consider not only the cost of the software itself, but also all the other associated [and often hidden] costs in connection with its implementation. For example, factor in training, design customization and on-boarding. Take note that you will also spend considerable time to support the implementation of the new system. Consider that the ideal BPM system will pay for itself in the long run.
  4. Potential ROI: This follows from point #3. Before spending money on a new BPM system, think about the ROI. To get this information, ask your potential vendors about the current ROI that their current clients are achieving. It would help if they have actual customer case studies to show you. This vital piece of information would come in handy when trying to get “buy-in” from senior management.
  5. Deployment Options: There are various deployment options, but normally it boils down to either a cloud-based solution or software stored on your company’s servers. As there might additional costs for a hosted solution, you may want to consider going in-house, especially if you have the manpower and other technical resources to support such an implementation.
  6. User-Friendliness: Make sure that your BPM system will be easy to use, not only for your end-users, but also for the people who will be running and maintaining the system. Ask your potential vendors about the training required to get the system up and running smoothly. It would also be a good idea to involve your end users in the trial period to get their views and opinions on which software solution they feel most comfortable with.
  7. Future Scalability: To get maximum return on your investment, consider scaling the solution to cover the business process throughout the organization. You may begin with one department and move outward to include other departments as their business processes are mapped and analyzed thoroughly.

Dashboard of KiSSFLOW

6. What’s the Cost of Business Process Management Software?

  • Bpm’online — There are different pricing packages for the enterprise level. The three modules are sales, marketing, and service. You can integrate all three of these modules into one CRM bundle, and have the price calculated for you on the official website. You may also get in touch with the vendor who can also give you an estimate. The price range is from $25-$50/user/month for the cloud option. For on-site installations, expect to pay anywhere from $600-$850/user. You may avail of the free trial so you can test the key features of the software first. You can sign up for the Bpm’online free trial here.
  • Promapp — Promapp’s pricing information is only available upon request. You may contact the company directly to get more details and to ask for your quote.
  • Nintex — Nintex’s pricing information is only available on a quote basis as well. To get the details, please contact the vendor directly.
  • TIBCO BPM — TIBCO BPM’s pricing information is available also upon request. To get more details, contact the company directly and ask for their quote.
  • KiSSFLOW — KiSSFLOW charges $6 per user per month and requires a minimum of 10 users to start using their application. You may avail of their FREE 7-day trial without giving out your credit card information. Enterprise plans are also available upon request.

7. What Are Potential Issues When Implementing A Business Process Management Software?

  1. Take stock of what you have, and start with that. Write down everything that you do. Nothing critical should be left out or taken for granted. As you write them down, you’ll begin to notice process patterns emerging. Specific bottlenecks will be revealed as well.
  2. Have realistic goals; automation won’t fix all your problems. What kind of processes do you have in place? Are they effective? Remember that a bad process won’t get fixed or improved with automation. It’s a wiser move to improve the underlying process first.
  3. Eliminate waste. Where are the inefficiencies? Where are the bottlenecks? As you begin to analyze your processes, you would later find the root cause of the problem.
  4. Buy only what you need. Some people over-invest in technology. Don’t fall into this trap. To avoid redundancy, waste, and duplication, invest only in what’s missing.
  5. Begin with your critical requirements and build out from there. What are your critical needs and requirements? You need to identify these first and use that information to tailor-make your functional requirements.
  6. Invest in mobile. Mobile technologies are growing at such an incredible pace. Consider using mobile apps and cloud technologies to help your remote staff and your other stakeholders with their information needs and requirements.
  7. Implement real-time optimization. It would be ideal if you could design and implement an ongoing improvement program to continuously monitor and optimize changes in real time.

The following 6 trends have been noted in the ongoing development of BPM software:

  1. Reducing TAT (turnaround time) and raising the bar — Reducing TAT has become critical, as the processes that took days to complete earlier are now being completed within few hours. BPM providers give your company this competitive edge. The BPM providers help increase productivity with reduced TAT.
  2. Rise of the BPAAS (business process as a service) model — What this does is it provides a technology platform sophisticated enough to enhance business processes as they currently stand. This trend will create economies of scale in the next five years and will also accelerate the development and evolution of business processes.
  3. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) — Leveraging bots to eliminate human intervention in the entire process. This takes the rules-based automation to a whole new level. The best bots are able to leverage AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) concepts to self-learn and make intelligent decisions — without human intervention!
  4. Effortless engagement in an interconnected world — These days, there are more people connecting with each other through various devices and channels. More and more customers increasingly want more and better effortless engagement with their brands. This is an opportunity for businesses who know how to take advantage of it.
  5. A true customer engagement focus takes market share — Over the last 5 years technologically adept businesses must use multiple platforms. The danger here is in allowing technology to create fleeting, impersonal, shallow interactions. The companies that strengthen their customer loyalty by building organic relationships will dominate.
  6. Effortless engagement by understanding how customers want to interact — Such a tailored approach was the hallmark of neighbourhood businesses, whose proprietors had a personal knowledge of each customer. The brands and companies that combine this personal approach at scale will convert customers into committed brand advocates.
Category: B2B News, Featured Articles

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