best business process management software

Best Business Process Management Softwares

Published On: November 6, 2023
By: Warren Jenkins

Business Process Management (BPM) is a holistic management approach focused on aligning all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of clients. It promotes business effectiveness and efficiency while striving for innovation, flexibility, and integration with technology. BPM attempts to improve processes continuously. It can therefore be described as a “process optimization process.” It is argued that BPM enables organizations to be more efficient, more effective and more capable of change than a functionally focused, traditional hierarchical management approach. A business process is a “series or network of value-added activities, performed by their relevant roles or collaborators, to purposefully achieve the common business goal.”

These processes are critical to any organization, as they can generate revenue and often represent a significant proportion of costs. As a managerial approach, BPM sees processes as strategic assets of an organization that must be understood, managed, and developed to announce and deliver value-added products and services to clients. This foundation is very similar to many old management approaches. In BPM, a more holistic emphasis is placed on the comprehensive and synergistic aspects and interdependencies of processes, which requires a much broader perspective and a focus on the organizational and functional boundaries.

What is Business Process Management Software?

Business Process Management Software (BPMS) is a technological solution that facilitates the design, execution, monitoring, and analysis of business processes. It provides a digital platform for organizations to model, automate, and optimize their processes with the aim of enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness. BPMS serves as a bridge between IT and business, enabling a collaborative environment where business operations can be analyzed and improved continuously.

The software encapsulates workflows, business rules, and organizational standards, providing a bird’s eye view of the organization’s processes. It aids in identifying bottlenecks, redundancies, and areas for improvement, thus allowing for a systematic approach to enhancing business performance. By employing a BPMS, organizations are better positioned to ensure compliance with industry regulations, achieve cost savings, and deliver higher value to customers.

Additionally, BPMS often comes with features like real-time analytics, reporting tools, and collaboration platforms which empower organizations to make data-driven decisions and foster a culture of continuous improvement. It’s an indispensable tool for businesses aiming to maintain a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced market landscape, by swiftly adapting to changing market dynamics and customer demands. Through the digital transformation of manual, paper-based processes into automated, streamlined processes, BPMS plays a pivotal role in driving business success and achieving organizational goals.

What are BPM Tools Used For?

Business Process Management (BPM) tools are utilized for mapping, automating, and optimizing business processes. They serve multiple purposes including process design, execution, monitoring, and analysis which in turn helps in enhancing operational efficiency and organizational productivity. For instance, they can automate routine tasks, enabling faster processes and freeing up employees for more strategic work. BPM tools also facilitate compliance management by ensuring processes adhere to regulatory standards.

Examples of BPM tools include ProcessMaker, which provides a platform for designing, automating, and optimizing processes, and Zoho Creator, known for its easy-to-use interface for creating custom applications to streamline business processes. Other tools like Nintex and Bizagi also offer powerful platforms for process automation and optimization, providing organizations with the resources needed to achieve a competitive edge through improved business operations. Through the use of BPM tools, organizations are better positioned to identify bottlenecks, reduce errors, and make data-driven decisions that contribute to achieving their business goals.

Best Business Process Management Softwares

Below is the list of best business process management software available in the market, ranked on their functionality, ease of use and pricing.

ProcessMaker

ProcessMaker is branded as an easy-to-use Business Process Automation (BPA) and workflow software solution, which empowers teams to design, run, report, and improve business processes. Here are some of its features and capabilities:

  1. Ease of Use and No Coding Requirement: ProcessMaker enables teams to design and run their workflows without needing any coding experience. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that may not have extensive technical expertise but still want to streamline their processes.
  2. AI-Enabled: It has a feature known as ProcessMaker IDP that utilizes AI to manage, analyze, and enrich large amounts of data. This AI integration is crucial for businesses looking to leverage data analytics for informed decision-making.
  3. Industry-Specific Solutions: ProcessMaker provides automated solutions tailored for various industries including banking, higher education, insurance, government, manufacturing, healthcare, and others. This industry-specific approach allows for better customization and relevance to the unique needs of different sectors.
  4. Cross-Departmental Workflow Design: The platform empowers business users to design workflows that can be used across different departments, promoting maximum efficiency and inter-departmental collaboration.
  5. Integration Capabilities: ProcessMaker is built to integrate with popular third-party systems, extending their functionality. This is critical for businesses with existing software infrastructure as it ensures seamless interoperability.
  6. Comprehensive Resources: It offers a variety of resources like documentation, community forum, training events, etc., to ensure users get the most out of their workflow applications​1​.

As for the pricing, ProcessMaker operates on a tiered pricing model to accommodate businesses of all sizes and budgets. Here are the pricing tiers:

  1. Platform: This is the basic tier priced at $1475 per month, suitable for automating processes with a powerful, low-code BPA platform.
  2. Pro: The Pro tier offers more robust features to improve modeling and management, though the pricing is not listed and interested parties are encouraged to contact ProcessMaker for a quote.
  3. Enterprise+: This is the most comprehensive tier with features aimed at maximizing insight and ROI, and similarly, the pricing is provided upon contact​2​.

The tiered pricing structure, along with the “Contact Us” for specific pricing on the higher tiers, indicates a level of customizability in pricing based on the specific needs and scale of a business. This allows for a more tailored approach to pricing, which could be beneficial for larger or more complex organizations.

Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is a low-code application development platform that facilitates the design, development, and operation of business applications tailored to an organization’s needs. The platform is aimed at both developers and business users, requiring minimal coding experience to build web and mobile applications. Here are its notable features and capabilities:

  1. Multi-Device App Creator: Allows for the visual creation of applications with a drag-and-drop interface, automatically generating native iOS and Android apps.
  2. Integration Creator: With over 550 prebuilt integrations, it connects the tools you already use, centralizing operations on one platform.
  3. Business Process Creator: Automates processes visually, updating CRM, assigning tasks, sending emails, and more.
  4. BI & Analytics Creator: Offers real-time, conversational analytics, turning massive datasets into charts and providing instant insights through AI.
  5. AI Creator: Enables the addition of AI to business apps without coding, allowing for more intelligent processes and analytics.
  6. Extensive Application Templates: Provides a wide range of ready-to-use business apps that can be installed and customized to meet unique requirements, including templates for sales management, project management, digital transformation, and more​1​.

Zoho Creator’s pricing is structured in a tiered manner to accommodate various needs and budgets, outlined as follows:

  1. Standard: Aimed at individuals creating their first app.
  2. Professional: Designed for teams or departments creating apps.
  3. Enterprise: Intended for organizations creating core software solutions.
  4. Flex: A customizable plan for those with unique requirements, pricing provided upon contact.

The pricing varies based on monthly or yearly billing, with more than 30% savings on yearly billing. It’s important to note that prices mentioned are inclusive of local taxes, and additional features or services may be available as add-ons. The platform also offers a 15-day free trial for users to explore its features before committing to a plan​2​.

Zoho Creator has been recognized as a visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms (2023) and as a leader in the ISG Provider Lens™ Next-Gen ADM Solutions: Low-code/No-code Development Platforms (2022), indicating its strong position in the low-code application development space​1​.

Nintex

Nintex offers a suite of tools designed for process management and workflow automation. Here’s a breakdown of its features and pricing:

Features:

  1. Process Mapping: Simplifies the identification, organization, and mapping of business processes.
  2. Workflow Automation: Enables the management, automation, and optimization of business processes and workflows.
  3. Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Accelerates and automates computer tasks using bots, which is crucial for reducing manual tasks and improving efficiency.
  4. Document Generation: Facilitates the instant generation and sharing of personalized documents, enhancing communication and documentation processes.
  5. Forms Automation: Provides solutions for automated enterprise forms, aiding in data collection and management.
  6. Analytics: Offers actionable business process analytics, helping organizations monitor and analyze their processes for continuous improvement.
  7. Artificial Intelligence (AI): Facilitates faster solution delivery through AI-powered process automation, which is crucial for modern, data-driven organizations​1​.

Pricing:

Nintex’s pricing varies based on the plan and deployment model, with several options available to cater to different organizational needs:

  1. Premium Plan: Aimed at department-wide automation solutions, this plan starts at $50,000 USD per year and includes unlimited users, unlimited workflows, 10,000 document generations, 2 forms, a mobile app, premium connectors, and on-premises data options​2​.
  2. On-Premise Plan: Known as Nintex Automation On-Prem, it’s priced at $2,000 per month and is designed to enable people to build and run business applications including forms, workflow, data, and reports, with both cloud and on-premise deployment options​3​.
  3. Workflow-Based Plans: Starting at $625 per month for a starter pack of 5 workflows and 25 forms, scaling up to enterprise-wide plans at $1665 per month for unlimited workflows and forms​4​.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a platform aimed at enhancing work management and automation across an enterprise. Below are its key features and pricing tiers:

Features:

  1. Project Management: Users can track and visualize work using various views like Grid, Card, Gantt, or Calendar.
  2. Team Collaboration: The platform enables teams to execute tasks with speed and accountability.
  3. Forms and Data Collection: Users can collect and act on data from both internal and external stakeholders through customized forms.
  4. Task Automation: Implementing simple and powerful automated workflows is made easy.
  5. Content Management: Facilitates planning, managing, and reviewing content production to finalize assets faster​1​.

Pricing:

Smartsheet offers multiple pricing tiers, catering to individuals, teams, and enterprises:

  1. Free Tier:
    • Up to 2 editors and 2 sheets.
    • Gantt, Grid, Card, Calendar views.
    • Dashboards and reports, with 500 MB attachment storage.
    • 100 automations per month.
    • Login with Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, or Apple ID​2​.
  2. Pro Tier ($7 – $9 per user/month):
    • Up to 10 editors with unlimited sheets, viewers, dashboards, reports, and forms.
    • 20 GB attachment storage and 250 automations per month.
    • Integrations with Microsoft 365, Teams, Google Workspace, Slack, Box, and Dropbox.
  3. Business Tier ($25 – $32 per user/month, min 3 users):
    • Unlimited free editors with user, group, license management.
    • 1 TB attachment storage, unlimited automations.
    • Access to integrate with various external platforms like Resource Management by Smartsheet, Brandfolder, Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, and PowerBI.
  4. Enterprise Tier:
    • Single sign-on/SAML, directory integration, enterprise plan manager.
    • Unlimited attachment storage, DocuSign integration, domain validation, custom email domains.
    • Access to Smartsheet Advance which facilitates managing processes at scale and enabling connected systems of record to orchestrate workflows across the enterprise​2​.

Smartsheet’s structured pricing tiers and a variety of features make it a flexible option for different organizational needs. It is designed to evolve with the growing needs of a business, from managing simple projects to orchestrating complex processes at an enterprise level

Appian

Appian is recognized for its strong capabilities in Business Process Management (BPM) and process automation, providing a platform that drives process excellence and continuous improvement. However, detailed feature information wasn’t readily available on the official website. It’s advisable to explore the platform’s official webpage or contact Appian for an in-depth understanding of its features.

Advantages:

  1. Industry Recognition: Appian is ranked #1 among all BPM Software Tools according to the latest available data collected by SelectHub, reflecting its strong standing in the BPM community​4​.
  2. Low-Code Platform: Appian is known for its low-code development platform, which can be a significant advantage for organizations looking to quickly develop and deploy process applications with minimal coding effort.

Drawbacks:

  1. Pricing Transparency: The lack of transparent pricing information on the official website could be a barrier for potential customers looking to quickly understand the cost associated with adopting the Appian platform.
  2. Detailed Feature Information: The absence of detailed feature information on the official website could make it challenging for potential customers to understand the full capabilities of the Appian platform.

Appian’s strong industry recognition and low-code platform make it a promising choice for organizations looking to enhance their BPM capabilities. However, the lack of transparent pricing and detailed feature information on the official website could pose challenges for potential customers in making informed decisions.

Pricing:

The pricing for Appian varies, and it offers a range of editions to cater to different organizational needs:

  1. Pricing Editions: Appian has 8 pricing editions ranging from $0 to $75. A free trial of Appian is also available, allowing prospective users to explore the platform before committing​2​.
  2. Starting Price: The pricing starts at $55.00 per month according to one source, while another mentions a starting price of $75​3​​4​.

Selecting the Ideal Business Process Management Software: A Step-by-Step Guide

Selecting the ideal BPM software is a critical decision that can significantly impact an organization’s operational efficiency. A step-by-step approach beginning with understanding organizational needs, engaging key stakeholders, and listing essential features is crucial. Furthermore, evaluating different BPM tools, considering budget constraints, and seeking professional recommendations can guide businesses towards making an informed decision. It’s also important to consider the software’s ease of use, scalability, and the support and training provided. Organizations should also look into the software’s ability to integrate with existing systems and its compliance with industry standards to ensure a smooth implementation and long-term success in optimizing business processes.

Conclusion

The journey of selecting and implementing a BPM tool is a strategic endeavor that can propel an organization towards enhanced efficiency and competitiveness. By understanding the core principles of Business Process Management, evaluating various BPM tools, and following a structured approach towards selection, organizations can significantly improve their operational workflows. The right BPM software not only streamlines processes but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement, ultimately contributing to achieving the organizational goals and delivering superior value to customers.

Let Jetdocs Streamline Your Processes

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Warren Jenkins

Warren Jenkins

Expert Author

Warren is a process manager here at Jetdocs where he helps businesses to identify business processes that require optimization. With a data-driven approach to analyzing processes and identifying areas for improvement, such as reducing waste, increasing efficiency, and improving quality, warren has the experience required to form efficient business processes. Warren covers the topic relating to creating, optimizing and streamlining business processes in Jetdocs blog. Connect with Warren on Linkedin