Democratising business process management

Democratising business process management

CompanyNet's Andy Hamilton explains how Office 365 allows CompanyNet to deliver to companies 

Caspar Herzberg |

This article first appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of The Record.

Working with organisations like national utility provider Scottish Water, global marine services firm V.Group and the UK’s leading water bottler Highland Spring, CompanyNet is building a reputation for helping enterprises drive real business value from their Office 365 licenses.

Now our team has successfully combined some of the Office 365 platform’s most advanced features to create a powerful, highly-flexible and – most significantly – affordable business process management (BPM) system.

BPM systems typically take existing business processes and model, optimise and automate them. They involve multiple users at the appropriate stage of the process and give managers an overview of progress. This allows any snags to be spotted early on.

CompanyNet deployed this new Office 365-based solution at Highland Spring in the form of a product development (PD) system. Moving the process away from e-mails and multiple spreadsheets to one unified system created a raft of benefits for the company. Decisions taken around product development now follow consistent templates and are better-informed, ­better-documented and backed up by an evidence trail.

The system gives the business a complete picture of the PD process as it happens, helping them identify trouble spots early on, and processes which could be made more efficient. This means the way products are developed has become far more transparent and time-to-market can be reduced.

Product development is only one example. Virtually any business process can be modelled by this new Office 365-based BPM system. Potential applications include organisations with a regulatory approval process, matter management for in-house legal teams, asset management in the financial sector, and streamlining and automating human resources and training processes.

The advantages for process-driven businesses are obvious. Many of those who could benefit from a BPM system were unable to justify the investment in the past, on grounds of cost and complexity. CompanyNet’s approach eliminates the need for additional software licensing beyond Office 365 itself. Using standard Office 365 licenses and inexpensive Microsoft Azure cloud storage also means the cost of entry to a BPM solution is reduced.

The affordable initial price, low ongoing costs and high configurability of the system means tailored, relevant and proportionate BPM systems are now available to companies that may previously have walked away when faced with the required spend. By taking advantage of the power of Office 365, our BPM solution democratises this valuable technology, opening the benefits of true business process management to businesses of every size.

Andy Hamilton is chief executive at CompanyNet

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