Business Process Management (BPM) is an operations management practice that uses modeling, automation, analysis, measurement and workflow optimization in support of enterprise goals. BPM may include a company’s systems, employees, customers and partners. While BPM is not a product, in the context of IT systems it often refers to a category of software designed to improve, integrate and support key business processes. The term BPM is commonly confused with a BPM suite (BPMS). Although software suites and solutions offer ways of automating business processes, automation is only one aspect of BPM.
As a methodology, BPM views business processes as assets to be managed and developed to deliver value-added products and services to customers. BPM software can improve workflows within a specific department, across the enterprise or between organizations, leading to better business outcomes. Enterprises use software such as SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management to facilitate the alignment of business processes to business strategy. SAP NetWeaver helps IT teams develop, provision and manage mission-critical applications across heterogeneous software environments.
BPM platforms such as SAP Process Orchestration can integrate business processes across applications and organizational boundaries, allowing the exchange of data among SAP and non-SAP applications. Ideal for constantly changing organizations, process orchestration combines BPM with process integration, process modeling and business rules management to enable more rapid automation and optimization of business processes. IT organizations may transition SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and SAP BPM applications to Linux to improve performance and reduce downtime. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is a reference platform for SAP application development and is updated as SAP applications are updated.