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Before a customer is ready to hear about software features and functions, and before they want to understand the details of how to implement a new application, they need to recognize the benefits of the product.  A product is not a “solution” unless the customer first sees how the product fixes something or provides a more effective or more efficient way of doing things.

Preview of the Five Strategic Process Management Objectives

  • Build a Company Culture of Continuous Improvement

  • Data-Driven Business Process Management

  • Business Process Structure and Consistency

  • Enterprise Resiliency

  • Getting More Value from Your SAP Investments

The following provides further explanation of each of these objectives and strategic benefits.


Practically all companies have some sort of “continuous improvement” concept.  Many have formal continuous improvement programs with some offering rewards for employees who bring new ideas to the company.  The best run and generally most successful companies have formal programs along with a company-wide culture of continuous improvement.
BPM teams/individuals have been forced to make process decisions based upon political or emotional input for lack of quantifiable, data-generated process performance insight.

Many companies practice the time-tested and proven concepts of Business Process Management (BPM).  BPM is about the ongoing improvement to enterprise business processes to address performance issues (process effectivity) or to make the business processes run better (process efficiency).

Business Process Intelligence takes BPM to an entirely new level by combining the time-tested concepts of BPM with the digital technologies available today.  BPM tasks that have traditionally been performed manually can be done more quickly and more effectively with new applications for managing business processes.  And, to make things even better, these new software tools enable capabilities that were previously near impossible or at least impractical with older non-digital methods.
Business Process Intelligence represents a new generation of Business Process Management tools for collaborative, data-driven enterprise-wide performance improvement.

We could certainly spend time covering the features and functions of the Business Process Intelligence; capabilities such as process analysis, process design, and process mining.  We could discuss its use for ERP replacement projects for defining future business processes.  However, we first need to understand at a more strategic level how the Business Process Intelligence solution suite can impact an organization to proactively manage enterprise performance and manage change.

So why would a C-level executive care about Business Process Intelligence?

Build a Company Culture of Continuous Improvement

Business Process Intelligence solutions enable a collaborative, continuous improvement environment where all employees are able and encouraged to participate in the future of the enterprise.

As said previously, practically all companies have an approach to continuous improvement for ongoing improvement of products and services, as well as for improvement of methods and processes.  However, without modern tools for company-wide collaboration and easy sharing of ideas, business process management usually ends up in the hands of only a relatively small number of people.

Many companies are quick to say their people are their greatest asset.  The collaborative capabilities of Business Process Intelligence will help the company tap into the thoughts and innovative ideas of their people at all levels and across all functional areas.

Data-Driven Business Process Management

The concepts and objectives of BPM have been around for decades.  Unfortunately, the tools and techniques for BPM have mostly lacked any sort of digital or automated capabilities.  Of course, this has made BPM less effective in solving company problems as well as less efficient.  BPM teams/individuals have been forced to make process decisions based upon political or emotional input for lack of quantifiable, data-generated process performance insight.

Business Process Intelligence combines time-tested practices in business process management with digital technologies to provide business leaders with objective insights and quantifiable results.  Process analytics are quickly deployed to reveal the most quantifiably significant process improvement opportunities.  New processes can be collaboratively designed using SAP Process Manager, deployed with a direct connection to enterprise applications, and monitored and analyzed using process mining and process performance analytics.

Business Process Intelligence provides the tools to help business process managers be more effective and more efficient in fixing process issues, improving processes, and more quickly responding to external pressure to change (i.e., resiliency).

Business Process Structure and Consistency

Process standardization has long been recognized as an important and highly valuable characteristic of the modern "process-oriented" enterprise.  Largely enabled by computerized or automated systems, establishing standard processes for many routine activities across the enterprise brings structure and consistency to processes like sales order processing, purchase requisition processing, and so on.

Process standardization not only brings structure and consistency to processes, but it also reveals opportunities for automation, makes process improvement much easier to implement, and greatly improves the new employee onboarding process through better training programs.

Business Process Intelligence provides the tools for aligning the organization to a common set of objectives, establishing objective-oriented processes, measuring performance, and monitoring compliance to help ensure achievement of goals and objectives.

As more and more companies establish full-time roles for process improvement activities, Business Process Intelligence is the process management toolset designed specifically for this crucial activity.

Enterprise Resiliency

Our current pandemic has tested the resiliency of many companies.  Food providers had to design and establish new processes for selling products while enabling social distancing.  Retailers had to design and establish more robust methods and processes for processing online orders and returns.  Some companies showed great resiliency and responded very quickly.  Others, not so much.

All of us have recognized for many years that “change” can be difficult to manage.  People (i.e., employees) are sometimes resistant to change.  Executing a change can be a challenge.  But it is also very important to quickly detect when a change is required.  Likewise, it is important to identify process options quickly and determine the best path forward.

Business Process Intelligence proactively and continuously monitors process activity and performance against company objectives and helps detect internal and external factors that signal a need for change.  Any and all employees are able and encouraged to participate in process redefinition.  Process improvement recommendations are generated, and pre-built, ready-to-use process improvement components (e.g. automated workflows, RPA bots, configurable ERP capabilities, etc.) are offered for fast process improvement or remediation.

Getting More Value from Your SAP Investments

The customer’s investment in SAP not only includes the software licensed, but also includes the ongoing development of new capabilities to address new requirements.  As companies seek to improve their performance, the natural place to look is at their processes; their people, the tools their people have access to, and the data that provides the information for decision-making.

SAP is always creating new capabilities and software for SAP customers.  Business Process Intelligence reveals process improvement opportunities and makes intelligent suggestions or recommendations for how to improve.  This could be simply making the customer aware of functionality they already have but have yet to deploy.  The improvement may be automation or streamlining of existing processes, or it could be a suggestion to replace aging software with a new application.

Business Process Intelligence is the best way to stay informed about new and existing capabilities that specifically address a customer’s process improvement opportunities.

Wrap Up

SAP's Business Process Intelligence suite provides the tools required for enterprise transformation and for ongoing continuous improvement.  It provides process managers with the visibility and insight to understand where the biggest and best opportunities are for attracting and retaining customers, for cost reduction, for hiring and retaining employees, and many other mission critical end-to-end processes across the entire organization (and across SAP and non-SAP applications).

The importance and strategic value of this solution suite is why Business Process Intelligence will be elevated to a more prominent position in SAP's product strategy in 2022.

For SAP's C-level customer executives, Business Process Intelligence represents a new generation of Business Process Management tools for fostering an enterprise-wide, collaborative environment for data-driven performance improvement and a company culture focused on continuous improvement.


Chet Harter ( is a member of SAP's Center of Excellence for Business Process Intelligence.