What Is BPM Software? An Inside Look at How It Works


Sutherland Editorial

By its nature, software is a fairly intangible concept. We know it’s there but we can’t exactly hold it in our hands. And yet, software is a crucial tool for businesses looking to grow and improve business processes. This is especially true for the methodology known as business process management (BPM). BPM makes business processes and workflows more effective and efficient. A great way for businesses to achieve these goals is to utilize business process management software.

What Is BPM Software?

Business process management software is a process automation tool that helps businesses map out their day-to-day business activity and processes. A BPM platform is an advanced system of creating workflow automation within a business so you can better execute business activity monitoring. By monitoring business process mapping and workflow automation,  a business can take note of which process they need to improve. Using BPM software helps with identifying and eliminating those bottlenecks.

BPM software worth writing home about will guide a business to better design and execute on a given process or workflow while also governing the management of it as well. This way, a business can constantly improve and optimize a workflow for greater process execution. This makes BPM software one of the key tools for business process transformation.

An effective BPM suite can help your business achieve the following five capabilities of business process management: 

  1. Model - This involves mapping out processes to measure the time it takes to complete each one and the cost resulting from each workflow. Through BPM business process modeling, you can design better business processes. What results is both greater efficiency and cost reduction for your business.
  2. Execute - Once you have an idea of how to improve a given process, you can then implement it to see if it yields your expected results. The effective execution of a business process will conjure the outcome or business goal you want it to achieve.
  3. Manage - Management is a critical step in BPM, and this is where workflow software solutions can truly help. Mindful management through BPM software allows you to analyze the business data of each process and workflow before and after a business process is executed. This grants you insights into their effectiveness and paints a picture for how to continuously improve them.
  4. Optimize - Taking the insights from the management stage gives you insights for continuous improvement, leading to efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and utility. The integration of different BPM tools and technology can ensure you’re always staying up to speed with optimizing your process modeling and workflow management. 
  5. Automate - This is where you can evolve your business processes from manual to automated. BPM software facilitates the electronic process of data collection that’s easily transferable into existing applications and platforms. The automation of time-consuming business tasks through the integration of BPM technology and robotic process automation affords greater business agility and workflow management. Find out more about exactly what BPM technology is and how it can benefit your business.  

What is BPM Software

The Benefits of BPM Software

To truly impact change at your business with BPM tools and software solutions, you need to align the process or workflow you’re trying to improve with a measurable business outcome that offers value. Only then does the effective integration of people, process, and technology result. Taking the time to code and design an actual business rules engine and routing architecture of your own to manage and optimize processes is time-consuming and unnecessary. BPM software provides this for you in one neat package so your employees aren’t stripped away from their core tasks to fulfill this need.

 If you’re looking for a business case for these solutions, look no further than the following benefits of BPM software:

  • Maximize cost reduction
  • Incur business growth with an integrated business management strategy
  • Enable cross-enterprise integration for scalability
  • Extend management controls across all your technology and systems
  • Adapt quickly to changes in business regulation, law, and requirements without slowing down processes
  • Create a structured workflow environment that’s customizable for process improvement and automation
  • Minimize the costs associated with the onboarding process and getting new employees up to speed on workflow systems, dashboards, and tasksExpand department-specific processes throughout your organization to effect stronger business process management practices
  • Boost engagement with your customers by reducing inefficiencies and improving accountability

Different Types of BPM Software

Before you choose the BPM software solution that’s right for your business, it’s important to know there are different types. For starters, BPM software comes in three basic frameworks: 

  1. Horizontal - This software deals with the designing and development of business processes. It generally focuses on the technology that drives a process.
  2. Vertical - This BPM software solution focuses on specific business tasks, with pre-built templates that are customizable for any process. The goal is to make a process or workflow both easy to deploy and configure.
  3. Full-service suite - This is an entire BPM platform solution that incorporates
    1. Process discovery
    2. Process design and modeling
    3. Project scoping
    4. Workflow engines
    5. Business rules engine
    6. Simulation and testing platform

There are also two different types of BPM software when considering it from a deployment angle:

  1. On-premise BPM software - The typical method of software deployment for most businesses.
  2. Software as a Service (SaaS) - This software is powered by cloud computing and offers advanced software “on-demand” capabilities.

Choosing the Right BPM Software

There are many factors to consider when shopping around for BPM software. For starters, take stock of the processes you want your software solution to design, execute, manage, and optimize. Examples include:

Next, determine the goals for your BPM solution. Clearly define the outcome of each business process and choose software that possesses the capabilities to achieve it, or that can adapt to do so. This ties into your desired ROI. BPM software can be expensive, so make sure that the budget you lay out will allow you to receive an even greater return than what you invested.

Finally, weigh your options when it comes to BPM software vendors. Pay close attention to the features each software provides and be sure not to spend more money for something that you don’t need. Vendors may tout a one-size-fits-all solution, but don’t be fooled. User-friendliness and customization are two features worth every penny. Bottom line: you want to make sure the software you choose is the right fit for your company and will help you meet your goals.

The right BPM software that can transform your business from the ground up is closer than you think!