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Document Management or Process Management

Document Management or Process Management

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vs Business Process Management (BPM)

When talking about content management solutions (often referred to as digitization or document management, which we will focus on in this blog) or process management solutions, we must understand that they are part of a whole, i.e., by themselves, neither of them fully addresses the requirements of an organization and both are far from a workflow engine component that resides in both and simply moves an activity from one stage to another, without evaluation of deep criteria as required in business as usual.


It is not a matter of choosing ECM or BPM; the reality is that both are required if we want to address the business need properly and timely in its entirety, and yet, there is still the part of exploitation of data or information collected throughout the business activities for decision making (data mining) that we will address at another time.


ECM and BPM are complementary solutions; companies need to manage the right content (documents, audio, video, emails, etc…) in the right hands, at the right time and according to the right business condition. This is where the custody and management of content (generally documents) of an ECM converge with its effective and efficient use in one or more business processes assisted by a BPM.


When it comes to capture, security, access, auditing, archiving and indexing, these are features that you should certainly look for in your ECM solution, but when it comes to handling complex, non-binary rules, i.e. beyond yes or no, 0 or 1, right or left, is when a BPM comes into play because they can address multiple processes or decision trees in your business, based on criteria such as data, scenarios, formulas, trends or customized references in a given area, including variants or conditional.


For example; what will you do if your requirement is highly human, what we know as Human Centric, where does the ECM come in, it will not address these needs or, if the case is that your requirement is Document Centric but it is linked or related to a highly complex process in your decision tree, it leaves it out of your attention or priorities. The answer is simple; you must make both solutions coexist because you need both to be truly efficient. If you have regulatory issues or retention policies or limited access to content; you don’t address it because you have a BPM, again, the answer remains, both solutions must coexist in order for your business environment to be satisfied. What if your ecosystem goes beyond the boundaries of your enterprise; will you tolerate the risk of errors by including foreign entities in your process or will you control them with the concept of source control from your BPM or will you simply sacrifice efficiency and effectiveness by not extending your management capabilities further.


BPMs minimize human error by addressing a repetitive and routine action, subject to human error, in an automated way, but also manage to increase the visibility of the procedural health of an organization, giving us clarity and access to answer the usual questions around tasks or activities such as: who, how, when, how much, where, what for, what and others, depending, of course, on the control points that we have defined in our diagram and process. But we also want to know the same for the content (mostly documents still) if we do not have both solutions working in coordination, we will never be able to answer questions from one side or the other correctly, and much less, make appropriate decisions based on real and measurable information.


With a BPM we achieve a correct process management that eliminates potential bottlenecks, manages timely and appropriate allocation of resources by a number of methods, measurement of activities and elimination of downtime, identification of areas for continuous improvement, traceability or tracking of activities of the processes performed or to be performed to act and meet objectives according to policies and regulations of industry or business. But; given a good teamwork with an ECM solution, it is possible to properly record and manage all documentation that is required or generated during a process.


Having these two solutions working in an orchestrated way; we have the great advantage of aggregated data for better decision making from two perspectives of requirements in the same business environment, but looking for the same goal. At Bprosys; we can add value to your decision process, call us and let us show you how.