Business process integration (BPI) is a strategy that involves integrating business processes, communication, process analysis, optimization, workflow, and other process-related approaches using software, service-oriented architecture (SOA), or middleware. The end result is improving business flow, enhancing communication both internally and with clients, and improving corporate profitability. There are many ways for a company to build a BPI solution, and this article outlines several tips that organizations may want to consider, while value-added resellers (VARs) can help clients along the way:
1. Build a team
Determine which managers and IT personnel have a great working relationship by understanding which projects were successful in the past. Once this is decided, the team should be established and should meet in order to set goals for building the BPI solution. This will help ensure the success of the project.
The team should conduct a brainstorming session on each cross-functional process that requires improvement. Each action should be purpose-driven in order to provide a competitive advantage, a constant process improvement, or a business metamorphosis. After identifying these, the team should determine what the priority level of each is.
3. Determine ROI
Once the priority of the processes that need improvement are identified, the next step is to determine what the return on investment will be. Organizations should take into account time savings, improvements in customer service, increases in accuracy and efficiency, reductions in redundancy, and anything else that is important to the business. This will help the team build a business case in order to acquire a BPI solution. A VAR can help an organization with this step by making it easier to build the business case.
4. Map out processes
The team will need to understand what steps it goes through in order to accomplish the priority processes within the business so that it can be improved or modified through unification or automation. There are tools available in order to help with business process discovery if required. Next, it is important to understand whether the process needs to be modified, consolidated with other processes, or automated. This will help clear the way to determine the next steps.
5. Determine next steps
For processes that need to be modified or consolidated, the team should decide how to move forward with the changes. Subteams may need to be formed in order to address these modifications and should include cross-functional members. Integrating business processes may or may not require automation.
6. Choose a solution
For processes that need to be automated, it is time for the team to decide what type of solution will best meet its needs. The team needs to determine whether the solution will be premises-based, cloud-based, or some combination of both. It may want to take advantage of “try it/buy it” offers or system trials. The team needs to determine the integration schedule and roll-out plan. VARs will be instrumental during this step.
7. Roll out the solution
Based on the integration schedule and roll-out plan, organizations can start taking the steps toward transformation. It is also important to connect back-end systems that are involved in each automated process. In the end, this will result in increased efficiency and improved productivity. It is important to follow up with evaluation of the entire process in order to ensure success.
BPI allows for streamlining of business processes through system integration using computer middleware, an SOA, or specific software that provides process mapping. The result is improved profitability, a higher level of efficiency, improved customer service, a competitive advantage, and more. VARs that have an understanding of how to help customers with their business transformation can increase their own profitability at the same time.
Does your company understand BPI? Please comment below.