Evolving from Multi-Channel to Omni-Channel

Over the past few years all industries were focusing their efforts to support new channels created by the internet wave and recently the mobile wave was added to the long list of traditional channels where a customer can engage.  This approach was known as Multi-Channel where companies were supporting customers across multiple channels (web, mobile, offices, call-centers, kiosks, etc…).

Several industries were more and more developing new systems to support a multi-channel strategy which in some huge industries such as Telcos, Banking and Retail means at least 4 different external channels to support and interact with customers (Branch Offices, Call-Center, Internet Portal, Mobile App) plus 2 additional internal channels required for employees to support operations (Internal Portal, Back-end Systems).  Maybe even more on some industries such as banking were we can include ATM machines, in retail you can include kiosks and other channels as an example.

So at least 6 different channels to support daily operations.  And this is exactly where the problem starts because most of companies are still developing different applications to support each channel. This kind of application development approach is really an effort to support a multi-channel business with a fake proposal of unified IT support when really the application development strategy to support each channel shows exactly the opposite of a multi-channel strategy. Indeed you can think this kind of approach as a single channel strategy multiplied as much as needed to support each channel.

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Where to use and how to make a safe investment in BPM

I have been a speaker to large audiences for quiet sometime now and by the end of presentations about process management I always get the same kind of questions which usually are “Where can I apply BPM technology in my company ?” or “How can I evaluate if a project would be a nice fit for BPM ?”.  Clients usually come up with these kind of questions when they’re starting the first process management automation initiatives because they don’t know which processes should be implemented in BPM or which processes could bring more results with BPM.

I always start to answer this question considering 2 areas that they should focus on:

1 – Increase understanding and awareness of how BPM is already being used in your industry (Which are the usual processes implemented with BPM in your industry)

2 – Create a Decision Framework for BPM – Decide which kind of benefits you’re looking for, what are their priorities if you have to choose between them and how do you evaluate your BPM project considering this metric or defined criterias

So in order to help I’ll start by giving some examples on several different industries that are usually implemented successfully with BPM bringing clear benefits…

  • Account Opening (Banking)
  • Loan / Credit Process (Banking)
  • Sales Commission (Retail)
  • Delivery Tracking (Retail / Logistics)
  • Underwriting (Insurance)
  • Claims (Insurance)
  • Order Management (Telcos)
  • Production lines (Manufacturing)
  • Patient Care (Healthcare)
  • Payment Processing (All industries)
  • Fraud and Risk Management (All industries)
  • On-board HR process (HR – All industries)
  • Call-Center claim resolution (Call-Center – All Industries)

These are just examples and soon I’ll post more deep insights about these processes and others as well.

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Digital Experience: A new way to engage customers

If you check google you will see that “Digital Experience” is a hot trend nowadays but does anyone know exactly what it is?    which are the technologies involved?

Depending on who you talk to, you will probably get a different definition.  You will find people saying this is just another name for mobile channel or that is just an old concept just to revamp old software. But is it true?  Well… a few days ago before last christmas I found myself in a complex mission of trying to take advantage of a black friday sales to buy Christmas’ gifts in advance to my family so I could try to save some money.

I had to buy gifts not only for my wife but also for 2 teenagers and this was really amazing because the millennials I have at home helped me to understand how young consumers buy nowadays. I have to say it was not an easy task but it help me to better understand what a Digital Experience really means.

Their requests are never easy, specially the ones from my kids which sometimes ask for things that I didn’t even know exist.    So as modern consumer I started to look for different options, brands, models, etc… where did I start?   What was the sequence of steps I did? What was really the process followed to buy everything ?

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BPM Evolution – Chapter 1 – Process Optimization

Business Process Management (BPM) has grown and became stable a few years ago when started to support core business processes on key industries such as Banking, Insurance, Healthcare, Retail, etc…

BPM vendors have invested a lot during the last 14 years to evolve from rudimentary workflow engines to the process management engines we have available today.

In order to understand the potential of BPM we need to go back in time to the first wave of evolution which was not really a single moment in time but took several years of constant updates on technologies and standards adoption in order to achieve process automation.  This wave was helpful to take us from the old workflows to a consistent and stable engine that has matured over the years through wide adoption of technologies and standards such as BPMN, BPEL, etc…  We finally got a efficient process automation engine and we were able to effectively run and manage processes.

And then we started to figure out that we also had to monitor KPIs after all we’re automating processes in order not only to do it faster and standardised as proposed by the first wave but also to understand where there was a gap to improve process performance and the first step to do it is understanding process actual KPIs.  So the second wave was born trying to bring more resources and tools to improve process performance monitoring (process KPI monitoring).  Most of the investment on the second wave was on developing better monitoring capabilities.

And that’s it, right ?   After 14 years of work in middleware, 2 waves and a large number of BPM vendors just to enable automation and monitoring capabilities in a effectively and standardised way.  Don’t get me wrong… I’m glad to have it but I don’t think it is really enough and that’s why I believe we’re about to really get into the third wave of evolution which is all about process optimization and automated process governance.

(This post is just about process optimization but to read more about automated process governance please check the post “BPM Evolution – Chapter 2 – Automated Process Governance” coming soon).

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