Business Benefits of Having Document Management Functionality inside the BPM Solution

Posted by Haluk Cavusoglu on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 10:51

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We believe a BPM solution should have extensive Document Management Functionalities ( Document archiving, routing, scanning, versioning,etc. ) in order to maximise the benefits provided to clients in business process automation.

Any whitepapers, reports or comments are welcome.


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Jon Adler
, Business Process Analyst, City of Calgary (CAN)
posted 3 years 16 weeks ago
As someone trying to implement a ECM solution, I'm finding that BPM discipline and ECM go hand in hand. So many times we create content or claim that we need to access content, without a defined business purpose. These needs should be defined by business rules related to today's technology and capabilities, but are so often tied to historical roles and paper based procedures.
Chris Taylor
, VP Major Accounts, Nimbus Partners
posted 3 years 17 weeks ago
Au contraire...Nimbus Control has a built-in DM that allows documents to be versioned in their own, separate lifecycle alongside any processes where they need to be owned, versioned, and referenced. If you have your own DMS, you can assign ownership to links into that DMS from content and manage it as though it were in a native repository.
Harald van der Weel
, BSC, Ciber NL
posted 3 years 19 weeks ago
Allen, that is exactly my point. If your BPMS integrates well with a DMS there is no need to ship them together. Just compare it with the fact that any BPMS requires a DBMS, but no one ships one.
Allen Carney
, VP Product Marketing, Kofax
posted 3 years 19 weeks ago
DMS (and other) functionality doesn’t have to be in the BPMS, it has to be accessible by it. Why should a BPMS developer have the added burden of building out a set of capabilities that are offered by many others, are very mature, and multiples are deployed in each enterprise. And, depending on the business process being automated, the repository or downstream system of record is a DMS only part of the time. It could be an ERP, CRM, or legacy application. The functionality the BPMS can’t do without is the ability to capture inbound information, preserve it in its original format, and transform it into information (metadata) that will kick off workflow.
Haluk Cavusoglu
, VP Sales & Marketing, Innovatech
posted 3 years 21 weeks ago
Dear Mario Thanks for the great example and for the information. This is a good example of creating/maximimizing value when BPM is implemented in a tightly integrated manner with DMS. Even though a firm might have an ECM solution prior to evaluating/buying a BPM solution; it will be tough for the firm to tap/use the already existing ECM's capabilities, to automate the processes using BPM+ECM together with the new/planned BPM solution if they are from different vendors. Therefore I believe a BPM solution must have at least some document management functionality ( storing, archiving, versioning, routing, etc. ).
Mario Moreia
, CEO, Wiston Wolf
posted 3 years 21 weeks ago
We implemented some projects with an All-in-One Open BPMS & DMS & ECM suite/solution, and the results regarding the process time reduction, error reduction, repetitive non-value human tasks reduction achieved were quite interesting. Let me give you an example for Accounts Payable Documents and Process. In this process, the client entity issue the order to the vendor. Then the client receive the goods and attached come the invoice (this is simple description of a more complex process). In terms of BPM & DMS, we got the following (also a simplified resume): 1. Scan the vendors invoice; 1.1 OCR/ICR find the order number, index the document and send it to an DMS Document Library, accordingly rules based on the indexed data 1.2. The paper document is phucally and manually archived accordingly to the system instructions, regarding the physical location (e.g. depot -> shelf -> box -> folder) 1.3 One Workflow is triggered by the entry of the document on the document library. 1.4 Based on the document metadata, Workflow search by unique key, find and pick the Order document and data and cross/check it regarding Invoice data. 1.5 If Invoice data matches the order data (items, price, total price, etc) then it sends the invoice for human payment aproval. 1.6 if not, different rules applies. (I will not detail those here) With this scenario in mind, the point is: with a BPM and DMS system, we could eliminate the tedious task of searching the order, check each document line by line for errors (such item quantity, reference number, price discrepancies) and empower the user to make final “human” decision: pay or not pay. This eliminated human tasks like document routing, document storage in the appropriate document library. In the end, the user doesn’t see the DMS interface, just the BPM task to decide to pay or not pay the vendor invoice, already with outcome of the process automation. This of course can also be done by integrating a given DMS with a BPM tool, but one will struggle first with technical and data integration, before reaching the benefits of the automation, i.e, lower ROI. The regular horizontal DMS functionalities like versioninh, out and inbox, document viewer and annotation, etc., for a non-processed-oriented usage. Software Products: Sacnning, Indexing and OCR/ICR: Iris BPM & DMS & ECM: Invensys Skelta BPM & DMS for SharePoint Process Instance Volume: 9000 concurrent active processes in avarage. Users: 700 Scanning Workstations: 4 Investment: less then 55.000€ (sw licenses issued permits unlimited users for BPM and DMS) Project Implementation Time: 5 weeks, 1 consulant. This including physical archiving organization, documents time retantion tables and other paper documents based procedures. Any one who may be interested in other details like end client company name or server topology I can share in private. ( [Updated on 3/31/2011 6:37 PM]
Haluk Cavusoglu
, VP Sales & Marketing, Innovatech
posted 3 years 24 weeks ago
Dear Harald, Thanks for the comments.
Harald van der Weel
, BSC, Ciber NL
posted 3 years 24 weeks ago
DMS functionality is essential functionality for BPM indeed, especially for ACM. However, DBMS are essential as well and positioned at the same architectural level as DMS(especially the storage part). DBMS-es are hardly ever packed with the BPMS, so why make a difference there with DMS? The only reason I can make up is that BPMS-es are more considered commodity products and way more standarized (hence: easier to use a generic interface like ODBC/JDBC). DBMS-es that I have used which are offering DMS are BEA AquaLogic (now Oracle BPM) and Cordys BOP4 (for ACM standard, for BPM via JCR 170)
Haluk Cavusoglu
, VP Sales & Marketing, Innovatech
posted 3 years 25 weeks ago
Thanks for your comments Bridget. I totally agree you on your comments. For companies that has not yet implemented document management; the document management functionalities in the BPMS suite will be very important. Hence the new question; which BPMS vendors have the best capability in terms of DMS functionality? Feedback will be appreciated.
Bridget Derc
, Ms, None
posted 3 years 25 weeks ago
Document management is needed but many organisations already have document management facilities. Building document management in BPM could mean that these organisations pay for functionality twice and end up with their intellectual property divided into two repositories. A BPM solution should be flexible enough to offer document management where there is none and integrate with existing systems where they are already deployed.

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