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Virtual Workforce Management

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Lessons Learned

How RPA complements BPM

I have recently come across a brilliant set of points raised by Steve Wood. CEO of a cloud workflow company has shared his observations from a Gartner Business Process Management conference. Here are the key takeaways that have resonated with me the most:

  • Vendors are focusing all of their attention on the “big” projects - the big organizational change management initiatives, the application rationalization and integration projects, the big standardization projects. The big, complicated stuff that everyone dreads and costs gazillions of dollars before anyone “gets out of bed”. Oh, and routinely fails to deliver.
  • Vendors focusing on the stuff that’s known, systematizing the highly structured, extremely rigid stuff that doesn’t differentiate your business in any way. The stuff that you just “need to do”, but not the stuff anyone gets particularly excited about. So after you’ve been through all of the pain, chances are your employees are feeling under the control of these new system overlords. You can image how wonderful that is for everyone.

Or put another way, you might say vendors in the BPM market have been entirely focused on the back-office, boring, rigid, “me too” stuff that’s all about carving out another few percentage points of efficiency in your business.

So why change?

Well, it turns out customers don’t want that any more. For example, many of those processes are built right into packaged applications such as Salesforce.com. You don’t need to hand craft them anymore. You can simply change the application to meet your needs across a broad range of standard processes. But perhaps more importantly, customers increasingly want to innovate their way to success.

So where does BPM go from here?

The entire industry wants to pivot! But to where? (I hear you ask). Well, you might have guessed… They want to pivot to be at the forefront of business innovation.

To be the technology that business people and organizational leaders “go to” when looking for new innovative solutions for their business. To be established as the innovation platform that will be used to create new products and services. This is precisely why Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is able to invigorate the stale infrastructures of Fortune 500 players. It brings back excitement in customers, partners and employees!

Tristan Gitman