We are being invited to an increasing number of BPM selection processes and it’s quite common to see an RFI with hundreds of questions regarding product features and capabilities.

While we believe this list is necessary in an advanced phase of the selection process, during the first phase we believe organizations should focus on higher level criteria that can be understood by the business people within their company.

In particular, we believe that the vendor should be able to provide you with active references that help your organization validate the following aspects of the vendor and the solution:

Requirement

Reference

  1. Productivity, ROI, methodology
Visit named references where the vendor has delivered projects of similar complexity to yours in months and verify the total cost (if monetary value cannot be disclosed by the reference then ask for the total number of resources and time involved and the total number of servers required)
  1. Business tool
BPM is about aligning business and IT around the process paradigm. Ask the vendor to present to you the automated process diagrams: they must be easy to understand by business people (i.e. avoid technical jargon).After all, we are talking about business processes here.
  1. Sophistication
Visit at least one reference where the vendor has automated complex processes such as:

  • Policy underwriting
  • Claims
  • Consumer loans (end to end)
  • Commercial loans (end to end)
  • Health industry processes
  1. Robust (scalable, secure and  mission critical) architecture
Visit at least one reference where the vendor has supported  in a singleimplementation:

  • Hundreds of processes (it’s about speed & flexibility, do you remember?)
  • Thousands of users
  • Thousands of daily cases
  • System availability similar to your requirements (>99.95%)
  • Security requirements similar to yours
  • Support for BPM standards: BPMN, CMIS, XPDL and XPATH.
  1. Global
Visit at least one reference where the vendor has supported  in a single project:

  • A multinational company
  • Multiple languages
  • Multiple time zones
  1. Integration capabilities
Your BPM tool must leverage your existing and future IT investments.Visit named references where the vendor has delivered projects that integrated with at least:

  • SAP or any industry leading ERP
  • Any Enterprise Contents Management solution (ECM) such as AlFresco, Documentum etc.
  • Sharepoint or other portals
  • Blackberries and iPads
  • Service Oriented Architectures
  • Any Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) such as BizTalk, MQ Series or TIBCO
  • SQL Stored procedures in external databases
  • MS Office
  1. No Lock –in
Verify that the client is able to work with incumbent partners and/or with internal resources; some tools are so complex that only the vendor can implement the solution thus locking the client in expensive long term services.

At Bizagi we believe that if a vendor fulfills the above mentioned criteria (and do visit the references, it’s crucial), it deserves to be part to your selection process.