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What is Enterprise Business Process Analysis?

For us at QPR, just as for all international software companies, it's important to be recognized by Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The recognition comes by being included in their different research reports. That's why we were very happy to announce our presence in Gartner’s Enterprise Business Process Analysis Market Guide published in May, 2016, just as we were part of the previous 2014 and 2015 editions. In addition to congratulations, we received several questions such as "What on earth is Enterprise Business Process Analysis?" and "How does it differ from Business Process Analysis (BPA)?" Having struggled with the various concept definitions, I went out to search for the best explanation. Typing “EBPA” into Google's search box produced plenty of results about Employee Benefit Plan Administration. The first mention about business processes was on page seven.

When discussing with our customers the terms BPM, BPA, EBPA and even EA are sometimes used to mean the same thing: process improvement based on modeling and analysis. When we at QPR get a request for proposal for a BPM tool, it can be either about process modeling (which we are great at!) or workflow automation (which we don't do), or a bit of both. Most discussions with potential customers begin by clarifying the concepts.

I took a quick look at our archives to see how the terms have evolved. The first Gartner BPA/M Magic Quadrant I found was from year 2001. It highlighted the importance of rich process design to enable workflow automation through BPM. By year 2011, the report had grown from 5 to 20 pages, but it was still focusing on business processes modeling and analysis. Then, there was a one-year break until BPA re-appeared in the Gartner Market Scope for Enterprise Business Process Analysis (EBPA) in 2013. Thereafter, the term has existed also in the Gartner Market Guide for Enterprise Business Process Analysis in 2015 and 2016.

So what does the "Enterprise" stand for in this case? In terms of use cases, Gartner has now more emphasis on linking strategy to execution and connecting process models with EA (Enterprise Architecture). These are in addition to the usual suspects, meaning process modeling, analysis and preparing for workflow automation. We have seen the same: practically all process mapping tool purchases include also a requirement to support modeling of EA dimensions and offering different views for the process practitioners and for the rest of the organization.

What's coming up next in the Enterprise Business Process Analysis field? Here at QPR, we believe that the future of Enterprise Business Process Analysis is data-driven, because for us it already is in most customer cases. Manual design of as-is processes is time-consuming and prone to human errors. Process mining utilizes event data from ERPs, CRMs, and many other IT systems to automatically create the as-is flowchart and all key process performance indicators. This provides instant business results and provides a fact-based starting point for further process improvement initiatives.

Written by

Maija Erkheikki

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