Corporations are always looking for a way to improve their workflow and day-to-day activities. Document storage, filing, transfer, and management are essential to what makes businesses run smoothly and carry out good work. Sharp businesses turn to software designed specifically for this, discovering an easier way to keep ahead of the game. Some businesses, however, have been misled or have taken a shortcut by purchasing programs for business process management, which doesn’t handle documents at all.
Let’s take a second to define a few terms. Enterprise content management software allows users to set up a filing structure for content, including Microsoft Office files, PDFs, photos, written records, spreadsheets, videos—pretty much anything. Any file format can be scanned, transferred, or saved directly into the system and organized according to how the administrator sets up the customized digital filing system. Information inserted into the software can be plugged into the workflow (also set up by the administrator). Documents pass from one employee to the next in workflow, according to deadlines, managerial sign-off, completion, or any of a number of other parameters. Content management software handles security, collaboration, versioning, audit trails, and more while also taking care of the most critical part of business process management software.
On the other hand, business process management involves improving how an organization carries out a series of tasks. The progression to the goal is what’s important here. Software for this particular focus identifies the game plan, runs a model in the system with variables to determine possible outcomes, and monitors the actual process itself. Afterward, BPM provides statistics on efficiency and ascertains what elements can be ameliorated to maximize performance and attain greater business value.
The Business Cases
Although BPM has its place in the world of enterprise software, its chief capacity is advisory. Certain programs in this field will provide you with workflow features, but these function more as a method of addressing other productivity software more suited to the task. Additionally, a number of systems will even forego that option, providing users little more than a stat sheet and a word-to-the-wise. Document management is not designed for this. Although some business process applications include a facsimile of workflow, systems like Contentverse give users a customizable feature designed just for that element of office work. Rather than passing the buck to another program, the workflow software is completely inclusive. An administrator may choose to externalize steps in a process, or they may keep a file within Contentverse for transfer and alteration. Should users choose, the entirety of business processing is automated by document management.
Make the Right Choice
So why are professionals purchasing the wrong product? Without a full understanding of the distinct differences, some struggling companies may choose one without realizing the other exists. It would seem that software companies in the field have become aware of this and are subsequently capitalizing on it. Business process management is being marketed as document management by certain providers. Although the two systems can work together, they are not one and the same. Be mindful when searching for the software that’s right for you and your organization. Contentverse is a program proven to improve efficiency, speed up the business process, and reduce losses due to errors in document management. At the end of the day, you could invest in BPM products for your corporation and get your hands on that stat sheet. But it might serve your interests and alleviate budgetary pressure to make the move to Contentverse. Perhaps all your workflow really needs is a little document management.
This article was originally published as BPM and Document Management Are Not So Alike by Daniel Cochran on July 1st, 2014.