2010-01-25

Linkedin: Is it required for a BPMS to have IT systems like CRM, ERP etc. in an organisation or is BPMS alone capable of handling such complexity???

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I would say that existing specialized systems can be eclipsed by a BPM suite (similar to a astronomical event).

From the architecture of the business as a system, a process is an executable and explicit relationship between many artefacts: processes, services, events, rules, roles, business objects (data structures and documents) , audit trail, KPIs, etc. Any modern BPM suite greatly facilitates assembling those artefacts into processes. But, very often those artifacts are actually locked and “diluted” into existing applications, e.g. CRM and ERP. So, if you can externalize atrefacts from existing applications then you can move any coordination of work (i.e. workflows) from existing applications to your BPM suite.

Such approach – coordination of several specialized systems by a specialized system (i.e. BPM suite) can help you to use better some commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or “canned apps”. Because they are eclipsed by a BPM suite, their missing functionality can be added with some generic tools (such as business rules engines, BAM, BI, etc.) connected directly to the BPM suite. So, there is no need to customize COTS. This is like the renovation of an old farm when good old walls are amalgamated with the new structure.

My opinion is that BPM suites should concentrate first on the full life cycle of business processes (model, automate, execute, control, measure, optimize) and leave other artefacts to other specialized systems. For example, ECM for documents. CRM and ERP may become repositories for business objects such as materials, customers, etc. as well as some business rules. Such repositories may produce some business events which initiate some processes.

Thanks,
AS
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