Can I Use SharePoint for Business Process Management?

Can I Use SharePoint for Business Process Management?Companies often rely on Microsoft solutions because it is what they are comfortable with. Most businesses also have a variety of Microsoft systems and programs in place already, and it seems logical to pursue Microsoft's platform for a document management and business process solution.

The old adage should be remembered: "If we weren't already doing it, would we start doing it now?"

Microsoft offers a variety of great products, however the focus of SharePoint is not (and has never been) true BPM.

A major quality of SharePoint needs to be examined - SharePoint is a platform, not a product. Most BPM software products would involve determining usage scenarios and processes, acquiring the applications, installing and using the software. With SharePoint, to achieve any similarity to real-time BPM, an additional step is required between install and use - build. SharePoint is geared towards electronic document and file sharing, which means the task of BPM as a whole requires extreme customization.

From another perspective - when using SharePoint, there are effectively two options: either customize it yourself, or use it as-is. As mentioned in a previous post, using any document management system right out of the box is not recommended, as the solution should be just as unique as your company. Additionally, SharePoint does not include the workflow and process functionality to assist with BPM out of the box, anyways.

So you are left with the option to customize. This often results in a far costlier implementation than originally planned.

Process Improvement Getting Executive Buy-in Hopefully, these details are caught during the planning and analysis phase, and adjustments to the implementation plan can be made.

The organization should revisit what this solution is truly being used for - in another article posted by iDatix Vice President of Sales and Operations Chris Lewis, it is cited that 60% of SharePoint users rate their system as "Poor" or "Fair", and that incorrect implementations are regularly reported.

That may be enough to give you pause about SharePoint as a solution.

A true BPM software will bring all the desired solutions to the table in one package - document management, process automation, capture solutions, analytics, electronic forms, and simple integration with current systems.

With the degree of required work, for a BPM solution, SharePoint is simply not the best candidate on the market. With a wide array of vendors available, iDatix aims to be a true one-stop custom solution for all of your process needs.


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