What is BPMS? BPMS stands for “Business Process Management Software” or “Business Process Management Suite.” In either case, BPMS (or, more recently iBMPS with the “i” referring to “intelligent”) is a software tool used to improve an organization’s business processes through the definition, automation and analysis of business processes. We’ll break down each of these concepts below. BPM, by itself, is a discipline used by organizations to identify, document, and improve their business processes. BPM software is used to enable aspects of BPM:
Before any automation can be created, processes need to be documented, which requires planning and collaboration as well as tools to illustrate how processes look. Business process models can be created within BPMS in a variety of ways and then reviewed by stakeholders to ensure an accurate depiction of the process is achieved. Process models can be published in a variety of ways or exported into different formats, commonly BPMN. Some process modelers also include simulation modes to test different process scenarios.
The primary aspect of process automation is offloading much of the rote work involved in employees’ day-to-day functions to a system that has been programmed with business rules and automated triggers with limited human interaction. Building these automation involves assembling tasks or actions and input mechanisms (e.g. forms or system inputs) to mimic behavior of a business process.
BPMS tools provide various levels of reporting or integrate with reporting tools to provide analytics about process performance. Reports are tied to KPIs (key performance indicators) and provide data on the performance of individual actions, processes, process members, etc. Analytics can identify process bottlenecks and provide opportunities for continuous process improvement. In addition, audits can be run on historical actions.
The BPMS Market
The BPMS market is vast and includes vendors that provide complete all-in-one solutions or “Suites” as well as smaller players that provide individual aspects for definition, automation and analytics as well as form building, collaboration, and BPM project management. Large BPM Suites can be used for massive, organization-wide BPM initiatives with large teams and long, complex projects. Workflow automation software can be used to tackle smaller, specific projects that may not require things like process simulation or organization-wide process modeling collaboration.