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The Power of Mobile BPM Software

Ben Farrell
June 7, 2011

Our friend Austin Rosenfeld at Macedon Consulting, Inc. has just written a great article on "The Power of Mobile-Enabled BPM." You can read it over at BPTrends. Any reader of this blog knows Appian believes mobile BPM is the next frontier for BPM software, so I wanted to give Austin's article a shout-out.

In the article, Austin points out that, "Traditional BPM systems still make many of last decade's technology assumptions. Process participants and observers are always at their desks, in front of a computer. If a participant does not respond fast enough, an escalation occurs, which usually just routes a task to anotherparticipant, hoping that person is at a desk. Rarely does anyone ask whether it is a valid assumption that all workers should be at their desks completing tasks."

This is spot-on. The nature of work and the workplace are changing. Business events don't stop when you're in an airport, stuck in traffic or at a customer site. But under the old model, your ability to see and act on those events does stop. That just won't cut it anymore.

Austin asks why business can't move at the speed required in the second decade of the millennium. He asks, "Why can't a sales manager see a real-time view of a pipeline on a phone? Why can't he or she follow a stream of the leads, proposal deliveries, and wins and losses with the flick of a thumb? Why can't a retail worker who is walking the aisles and notices inventory doesn't match up snap a picture and start a reconciliation process?"

Although most organizations haven't yet evolved to it, Austin knows those things are indeed now possible with mobile BPM. The benefits extend across all levels of the organization. Workers in the field can support business priorities by launching a process when and where it is needed. Executives can make and approve key business decisions "with the swipe of a thumb, in an airport." Customer scan engage with companies more easily and more deeply.

This last point is quite likely the most compelling. Austin closes the article by stating, "After years of technologies like Facebook and Twitter showing consumers what technology can do, it is time BPM systems start taking advantage of the new paradigm and exposing data, events, and tasks to their users with greater flexibility."

Amen, brother.

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications