Mobile Devices – the Future of BPM?

Michal Rykiert







Autor: Michal Rykiert – Mobile Devices – the Future of BPM?

Company: WEBCON –


Business trips such as delegations or conferences prove the usefulness of mobile devices that allow to remotely get some of daily duties done. However, those are more or less incidental cases. After all, an employee spends most of his time in office. But what if he or she does not? There are specific professions that require to be in a field most of the time. In this case mobile access to company’s BPM system is invaluable.


Mobile BPM in the Construction Industry

At this point you may want to get a closer look into the construction industry. For instance, people directly responsible for overseeing projects (e.g. construction engineers), often have to work in a field, and their task is to personally monitor as work progresses.
At the same time they need access to certain documents – plans, specifications etc.  What’s more, the characteristic of their profession requires to be on the move around the construction site. How in this case can they execute effective work management?


A laptop only seems like a good idea. It offers great performance but in the long run would not work. Firstly, batteries in today’s notebooks and netbooks can last for 2 to 6 hours. No doubt it’s too short for a standard 8-hour work day, not to mention longer shifts. Also, while working on a construction site, looking for an electric socket is a rather pointless idea and carrying back-up batteries doesn’t make sense. Moreover, in environments full of dust and other small contaminants, conventional portable computers have problems with heat dissipation– cooling systems tend to clog and cause severe damage.What else can be used? The answer is simple: tablets! Currently most of them have a display size of about 10 inches, weigh approximately 600 grams and offer good performance parameters that allow to present even more complex schemes. In comparison, average laptop weighs from 1,5 to 4 kilos (3,3 to 9 lbs) which makes carrying them around for 8 hours rather unhandy. It’s hard to imagine using them in a field with no external power supply, plus tablets beat them also in terms of time of performance: 10 hours is an average batteries’ lifespan. Additionally, when turned on, standby time is much shorter. Finally, it should be noted that tablets don’t have cooling systems. Therefore, their hardware can’t be damaged by dust and other contaminants.I know from experience thatemployees associated with the construction industry really appreciate tablets in their daily duties. They are simply more handy, universal and less burdensome. Whenever there’s a need to scan an invoice or check specification, it can be done by a tablet – quickly and swiftly. It’s worth mentioning that cameras and microphones in tablets are usually way better than those used in notebooks. 


With all that being said – aforementioned construction engineer (or any other person that has to be in a field and take care of paperwork) could use a laptop, PC or even take care of all necessary paperwork at the office. But why waste time and effort, when much simpler solutions are right there? A  tablet with access to an efficient BPM system (e.g. one that supports iOS, Android and Windows Phone) allows to do 80% of work that would have to be done in office. Checking specifications, creating and attaching reports, making and sending scans and much more is possible. You just need to find the right software and right hardware to make your (or your employees’) life easier.


BPM Program Implementation – An Important Checklist for Success

Ian Lowv






Autor: Ian Lowv – BPM Program Implementation – An Important Checklist for Success


Since the emergence of Business Process Management (BPM), organisations adopting it have had a wide variety of experiences – some successful and others less so. Some would argue that because BPM is so amorphous that any project is considered to be analogous to ‘boiling the ocean’ and therefore the outcomes may vary from exceptionally successful to, in some cases, disastrous.

Typical challenges that often cause concerns during a BPM initiative include:

  • Focus on automation supersedes process excellence and continuous improvement
  • Complex transformation programs end up in failures, as the business scope is not prioritised and the program roadmap not defined in advance
  • Traditional Waterfall business requirements & process analysis phase takes  an average of 6 – 9 months  with no results to show in production for at least a year and as a result, business sponsors often get disillusioned with BPM
  • Lack of alignment between the investments across business strategy, process improvement and automation activities
  • Business outcomes and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are rarely validated in terms of actual metrics
  • BPM solutions are usually designed without considering the holistic Enterprise Architecture
  • Confusion between value of BPM platforms  and CRMEAI, ECM  platforms
  • Average time to assess BPM needs, define technology specifications, evaluate alternatives  and arrive at a technology decision takes more than 6 months
  • Role of BPM in enterprise technology stack is not standardized or defined.


As a management consultant and a BPM practitioner, I have been through many situations in which I have helped organisations implement new BPM initiatives and turn around less successful projects. My experience in handling such challenges has allowed me to identify the specific characteristics of a successful BPM project.

The three main steps that can help ensure the success of BPM projects  are:

  • Setting the vision, articulating the business problem and quantifying it

o  Educate IT and business teams about BPM fundamentals

o  Align stakeholders/ departments on initiative scope & priorities

o  Have a clear understanding of the business problem as it relates to business objectives

o  Identify a ‘Candidate’ process for the first project

o  Ensure business case and define KPIs for improvement

  • Mobilizing teams and delivering a solution to the business problem

o  Ensure  there is business participation in all phases of the project

o  Ensure team composition has a well balanced mix of IT, process  and business user representation and expertise

o  Ensure business transformation supersedes technology goals

o  Select suitable technology platforms (Process/Rules/Integration/UI/BAM)

o  Agree upon and adopt suitable BPM methodology & standards. Don’t adopt a Big Bang approach! Iterative approach ensures ‘Quick Wins’

o  Ensure BPM design and architecture are scalable and built for change

  • Measuring the outcomes and seeking the next business problem

o  Have clear metrics to ensure that the outcomes can be appropriately measured

o  Identify the roadmap with prioritised follow on opportunities


Adopting these guidelines will allow businesses to have better control over their ability to drive business change rather than react to changes placed upon them. IT will also have more flexibility to integrate existing systems that deliver solutions which are in line with business needs and end user expectations.

As new iterations of the same process or new processes are brought onboard, a momentum is created and what started out as a tactical solution becomes a strategic and dynamic process platform. In addition, the various systems that are currently used to deliver a silo capability to the various functions inside each of the organisation’s divisions can be exposed to other divisions (if appropriate) and therefore improve IT reuse and drive consistent working practices across the organisation.

I would be keen to hear your experiences and lessons learnt while implementing BPM programs.


The Importance of Integration Capability when Selecting a BPMS

This article highlights the importance that system integration capabilities should play when selecting a BPMS. Integration is often the largest challenges in transforming business processes and can often present one of the most difficult barriers to delivering rapid success.

Few business processes live out their life within a single system. Consider the example of winning a new customer, on-boarding them, delivering a service and gaining payment. It is not uncommon to find the following systems involved in supporting these processes:

  1. Electronic Content Management for storage of  document (ECMS),
  2. Customer relationship management (CRM) for lead and customer data,
  3. Internally hosted specialist business support systems such as accounting systems,
  4. Cloud based services,
  5. Supplier or partner hosted systems.


 “Out of the Box” Capabilities

The first area to consider is the “out of the box” integrations the BPMS comes equipped with. It is almost impossible to find a BPMS that does not offer integration with at least one major system, with connectors to ECMS, CRM and email systems most prevalent.

The key is to understand just what functionality is exposed via the connector. Does it allow updating of data in the remote system, or simply to read data? Can it react to events and launch processes automatically, such as someone checking a document into the ECMS triggering an approval process? It is also important to understand if the remote system can easily initiate workflow within the BPMS.


Ability to Integrate Using API’s and Database Functionality without Writing Code

Despite the growth of the cloud, the significant challenge for many organizations implementing a BPMS is to integrate with internally hosted systems. These are often specialist systems which are industry specific, and are unlikely to come with connectors to any BPMS.

Traditional integration with these systems tends to focus on developing software that will take advantage of exposed API’s or database stored procedures. It is important to know that the proposed BPMS will make this possible. Ideally, it will be feasible to interact with the API’s and database procedures via wizards within the BPMS.


Extensibility using Code

There will of course be occasions where integration is only possible through bespoke code. Once again it is important to understand how your BPMS will support executing your own custom code.

Will it execute within the BPMS, adding to the audit trail, or will it execute as a stand-alone application outside of the main product? Will you have options to execute code in your chosen language or are you restricted to a basic scripting language?


Connecting to Third Party and Cloud Based Services

It is becoming almost impossible to avoid utilizing cloud based services in delivering an IT Strategy. Whether it is sending SMS, creating a customer survey or finding a secure way to transfer data between suppliers or customers, the cloud offers cost effective solutions which cannot be ignored.

This means that the BPMS being selected must also have an awareness of the cloud and an ability to work within that framework. A key consideration is to review how straight forward it is to consume web services without having to write code. If the BPMS offers a code free mechanism to consume these services then the integration possibilities are greatly extended.

It is also worth understanding if the out of the box integrations are cloud enabled. Does a BPMS claiming to be integrated with SharePoint work with Office 365, or does it only work with private implementations? Finding the answer to this post procurement could result in an expensive mistake.


A BPMS rarely lives in isolation from other systems. In order to deliver rapid projects which achieve the benefits of process automation, transparency and cost reduction it is vital to select a BPMS with strong integration capabilities.

Within this article I have outlined four integration areas to consider when selecting the most appropriate BPMS for your organization.