BPM Is So Old It's New Again
15 years ago document imaging, document management, and workflow started sounding too old as far as technology titles were concerned, so the vendor community rebranded it all as Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM). Yes, some new nuances came about with the new generation. BPM, for example, benefited from SOA (remember that?) and the orchestration of services into "end-to-end business processes."
ECM and BPM kind of fell flat as terms go, so these days many BPM technology providers -- Pegasystems among them -- sell what sound more like applications or rapid application-development capabilities. I'm guessing end users might not know that BPM technology is inside those automated new apps that were just deployed. Maybe some are coming across this term for the first time and think it's something really new?
The bottom line is that BPM -- or automation or whatever you want to call it -- is excellent, proven technology, capable of speeding business processes and taking human intervention out of the picture for all but the rare exception transactions.