BPM fuels business growth

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DST Technologies is investing in new technologies as local companies use business process management (BPM) solutions to drive business expansion strategies.

This is according to Tracy Shelby, DST Technologies administrative officer, based in the US, who was visiting South African customers last week.

He is driving the Automated Work Distributor (AWD) business process and work management solution. AWD combines imaging and document management tools with a work delivery system to ensure every user is performing the right task at the right time.

He says DST Technologies, which mainly targets financial management organisations, has made major architectural changes to its products. The company has designed its BPM solution to operate in a browser environment. Other technological investments have been made in content management, imaging tools, touch-screen interfaces and reporting tools.

Shelby notes: “We are doing a lot of investment to make sure we retain current customers and we are watching the BPM market closely. We are also watching cloud computing; it's not a formal move, but we are moving the solution into an architecture that would be easy to deploy in the cloud.”

Second-phase growth

Shelby says the South African BPM marketplace has changed significantly over the past few years, and is going through a second phase of high BPM adoption.

According to Shelby, the first phase was in the early 2000s, when companies used BPM tools to improve workforce productivity and automate tasks done by people.

He adds that many South African businesses are upgrading their old systems from their current provider to newer technologies that have become Web-based.

Shelby says there has been a shift in BPM: “Companies are turning to BPM solutions to strategically expand their operations and services into other regions, without having to move their entire infrastructure.”

According to Shelby, SA has not been as hard-hit by the recession as the US and UK, and South African companies are still showing signs of growth. Consequently many local businesses are using BPM tools as part of their strategy to leverage business expansion into other countries.

“The economic downturn is a factor for this shift, but business and IT conversations have become more strategic, particularly in SA. BPM solutions are not as much a cost-cutting driver as they are a business growth driver,” explains Shelby.

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