Business Process Automation Software
Business Process Automation Software TrustMap
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What is Business Process Automation?
Business Process Automation Software streamlines business applications by integrating loosely coupled, long-running, heterogeneous business processes and systems into a seamless and largely automated transaction. This occurs within or between businesses with minimal use of coding, through a unified management console overseeing the entire workflow.
Business process automation software offers several benefits to organizations that can leverage it. The primary advantage is unlocking employees from low-level, mundane, or manual tasks, allowing them to focus on higher-level functions. This leads to higher productivity and can drastically improve users’ quality of life as well. BPA software also improves process recording and documentation, which can assist with compliance requirements the business may face.
BPA software emphasized automating activities which are high-volume, consistently performed, time-sensitive, can bottleneck other functions, and/or have compliance considerations. There are many industry-specific or industry-agnostic applications of business process automation. For instance, many HR functions like onboarding provisioning, offboarding cycles, or payroll can be mostly or fully automated. This is particularly useful for activities like onboarding provisioning, where activities can span both HR and IT departments.
There are also more specialized, yet still common, activities like purchase order or manufacturing provisions which can be largely automated. However, while there are many applications of specialized process automation, BPA tends to be more general-use and focused on workflow automation, vs. specialized forms of automation around security, etc. To be robust in this general-use context, business process automation tools must also be able to integrate nativately or be easily customizable to integrate with a range of business systems and software.
Business Process Automation (BPA) vs. Business Process Management (BPM)
Business process automation is often considered a subsegment of the broader business process management function. BPM focuses on developing, deploying, and maintaining business structures and processes. It establishes what the processes actually are, and how they should operate. In contrast, BPA takes those existing processes and removes or reduces the manual labor associated with a given process. Business process automation doesn’t handle the process creation or editing stage, instead focusing on optimizing what processes currently exist. Since BPA is often framed as a function of BPM, many BPM platforms will also include some BPA capabilities.
Business Process Automation vs. Robotic Process Automation
There is also often confusion between Business Process Automation and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software. Each type of software automates business functions, but they use different methods to do so. BPA allows administrators to manually set up and deploy process automates via workflow builders, while RPA programs interact with other programs’ GUIs like a human would using machine vision. BPA and RPA platforms are not mutually exclusive, and can integrate together within an organization to cover gaps in integrations/accessibility across different 3rd party software.
Business Process Automation Software Comparison
When comparing different business process automation software, consider these factors:
User Base: Who will be working directly with the platform? Most importantly, will non-specialist or non-IT personnel be using the product? If so, pay close attention to the ease of use and graphical interface that each product offers. Reviews from business users should also be able to shed light how easy it is for non-IT users to work with each product.
Integrations: Does each product have demonstrated integrations with the kinds of business software that the organization already uses? Prebuilt integrations will save lots of time and effort deploying the software, and vendors should be able to demo integration environments as necessary.
Compliance Considerations: Are there particular regulations and standards that the system must either provide documentation for or comply with directly. Automated processes that entail data transfers may require extra levels of security or encryption, especially in industries that deal with high volumes of sensitive data, such as healthcare.
Pricing for business process automation products is usually structured on a per user, per month basis, but are bundled up by minimum user counts based on the pricing tier. For instance, starter tiers can range from $15-20/user/month for 20-100 users, while enterprise tier pricing can range from $5-15/user/month for thousands of users.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Processes that are high-volume, routine, and manual are ideal for autoamtion. Frequently automated processes include employee onboarding, purchase orders, and service requests.