BPM or rather RPA? It is a question frequently asked by managers already convinced to optimise processes in their enterprise. The question is inappropriate, as the two technologies do not compete, but rather cooperate.

RPA – Robotic Process Automation introduces virtual labour force(robots) to operate existing repeatable information processes in a company, allowing saving in many areas. BPM -Business Process Management in turn analyses rationality, efficiency and economy of processes aiming to change, improve or sometimes eliminate them. From this point of view, it seems logical within ERP to first introduce BPM, and then place the robots on the optimised processes within RPA.

It is worth noting, that while BPM requires time-consuming testing, RPA replaces employees within an already existing system, which in practice limits testing to a minimum.

RPA – Robotic Process Automation

BPM – Business Process Management

RPA is a programming technology

BPM is an approach to management

RPA uses virtual robots to optimise repeatable processes and replace human employees

BPM focuses on increasing performance, removing bottlenecks and increasing profitability through optimisation.

RPA in itself does not change the process but strives to fasten and optimise it through the elimination of “manual” operation

BPM is a deeper level of insight in management, helping optimise it.BPM may recommend RPA as one of the ways of improving efficiency.

The main goal of RPA is replacing manual labour with virtual robots operation

The main goal of BPM is improving processes and eliminating bottlenecks

RPA can be easily changed and adjusted to any BPM system

BPM may use RPA to eliminate bottlenecks and optimise processes

RPA implementation is quick, cheaper than BPM. It does not require complex integrations, changes to an existing system nor intensive employee training

Introducing BPM allows benefitting from technologies such as RPA(and others) indicating where and to what degree they should be implemented

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