SharePoint is not BPM software

Written by Alan Ingram on Thursday, 16 February 2017. Posted in Business process management, Process Director, SharePoint

Is your organisation currently using SharePoint for BPM? Are you searching for a better option? Find out why Process Director by BP Logix is the perfect SharePoint alternative.

Although Microsoft SharePoint includes some basic workflow functionality out-of-the-box, as well as development tools for developing more advanced workflows, it is often not the best business process management (BPM) solution to manage, monitor and optimise workflows and business processes.

In fact, organisations that selected SharePoint for its collaboration, file sharing and publishing capabilities are now looking for an BPM alternative for automating and monitoring anything beyond the most basic workflow scenarios.

The SharePoint eForm and workflow tools available to non-developers can work for very basic requirements for inward-facing processes or where customisation is not required but once you need to handle the many complications that exist in day-to-day business activities, SharePoint requires development skills.

These skills are beyond most business users and it soon becomes apparent that if an investment in developers, project managers and infrastructure to support SharePoint development is going to be made, SharePoint alone is rarely sufficient to justify this cost. This is why there are many products available that describe themselves as SharePoint add-ons.

However, many of the add-ons are stand-alone products that have some level of integration with SharePoint. This may make you question why you started with SharePoint in the first place.

Most businesses turn to SharePoint BPM for what is initially perceived to be a simple requirement but they underestimate the complexity of their existing processes.

Translating a business process - such as onboarding a new employee - from a paper-based, manual process to a forms-driven, software-based process can be challenging. It requires organisations to document and diagram the process; clarify roles, responsibilities, logic and decision points. Organisations need to map these steps and processes to the capabilities provided by the software tools available.

Translating the manual, human-based process of “bugging Mary in HR to approve a change” into a technology-based process that involves eMails, reminders and escalations is challenging. Indeed, most organisations interested in leveraging SharePoint workflows for more complex real-world processes immediately find themselves hindered by the limitations of out-of-the-box SharePoint workflows.

At this point, organisations need to look at developing more complex workflows. Microsoft offers its Designer product line which provides a range of tools that claim to provide “no code” solutions. More often than not, however, these solutions do require developers (and code) and are therefore considerably more complex to create and maintain than one might hope.

Process Director by BP Logix is a SharePoint alternative that offers a powerful set of tools that organisations should consider when faced with the challenge of rapidly deploying flexible, robust workflow apps.

Like SharePoint, Process Director can be used to automate basic workflow tasks. Unlike SharePoint, however, Process Director has been designed to automate, manage, and optimise a variety of complex business processes across organisations. With built-in SharePoint integration points, Process Director can also be used to provide workflow and process automation on top of existing SharePoint deployments.

Because it is a BPM platform, Process Director provides enterprise-strength BPM capabilities. The business rules engine enables users to define and govern their processes with logic that is independent from the workflow which provides greater flexibility and faster change when needed.

In addition, the integration and customisation capabilities provide the ability to extend inward-facing business processes out to partners, suppliers and customers - something that is impossible with SharePoint.

To arrange a demo, please call 03300 100 000 or contact us.

About the Author

Alan Ingram

Alan Ingram

Alan is responsible for the strategic direction of ePC’s technical services and managing relationships with key client accounts.