Business process management software, which evolved from workflow and document imaging systems, is still used to automate manual processes such as opening a bank account. Several vendors have taken BPM to a more sophisticated level, building software packages that not only replace paper forms, but check forms for accuracy, alert users to missing information, route them to the right departments and employees in many different areas for approval, and re-direct them as necessary to keep the process moving.
Gartner Dataquest puts the market for business process management software at $1.69bn in 2006, up 18.5 percent from 2005. It is expected to keep up that double-digit pace through 2010. The software helps financial services firms manage regulatory compliance, and it's also being used in health care, manufacturing, retail and government to gather information and act on it in a consistent, predictable way.
Gartner counts 170 vendors now in the market, ranging from point-solution providers to companies that have crafted a full-fledged business process management suite, or BPMS. Gartner defines a BPM suite as a product that allows you to define an abstract model, rather than writing integration code that exactly specifies how, say, a new hire should be properly registered into the human-resources system as well as the payroll system. Gartner expects businesses to increasingly favor this model, and expects that no more than 25 vendors it now tracks will make the transition to offering suites.
Source: CIO Insight, http://www.cioinsight.com
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