Good BPM = Customer Satisfaction

By Lalit Popli, Head of Information Technology, ICICI Prudential AMC

BPM in the SMAC World for “Customer Delight”
The tried, tested acronym “BPM” (Business Process Management) denotes a rigidity and slowness due to the “Process” and “Management” nomenclature. In today’s age and technology on social, mobile, analytics and cloud or SMAC, BPM looks jaded, out of favour. However, this is the best possible environment for BPM to play an important part in business growth. 

A traditional business-process-management scenario brings together a complete set of resources needed to meet process outcomes. These resources include, but are not limited to, people, data, information, business rules, policies and all systems that play a part in meeting process-outcomes. Due to the way the technology and application stacks were created or implemented, the success of the process depended heavily on integration of various systems. Also, the BPM’s model-driven approach enabled business and IT professionals to work together on common process-delivery outcomes.

With the advent of more adventurous technologies in the SMAC environment, BPM was quietly extended to the next level with a more analytical base and, therefore, more meaningful and multiple-process outcomes possible within a single process. This is called IBO (Intelligent Business Operations) and the entire suite of technologies enabling it is iBPMS (Intelligent business-process-management suites).

In an SMAC environment, customer engagement and customer experience are cornerstones on which business delivery and growth are based. The following aspects are important to achieve this:

. Underlying enterprise data
. Various analytical frameworks of enterprise data
. Real-time availability of data
. To adapt quickly to small changes in the business environment. (Examples: UBER’s dynamic pricing or Snapdeal’s response to Flipkart’s offers, and vice-versa, etc.)
. To create meaningful interpretation of information (example: you’re looking for two tickets for a weekend gateway; hence, hotel offers have to be for a double room)
. To improve overall customer experience via engagement across channels
. Visibility of the process on a real-time basis to take corrective steps, if required
Here are the aspects which make iBPM more relevant in an SMAC environment.

a) Underlying Enterprise Data: In many organizations core data is part of the core-transaction system or in an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. These provide a static representation of a company’s performance, with maybe a layer of MIS and Dashboard on top. However, what is important in an SMAC environment is creating various rules for a customer-facing response to data stored in these systems. If these rules are static, they improve customer service. However, if a good amount of analytical models are incorporated with this data, customer engagement and, through it, customer’s experience is enhanced.

b) Analytical Framework of the Enterprise Data: As explained above, the analytical framework and one-case-start with simple ones, before venturing into Big Data or more-advanced analytical models, are basic requirements to make static data meaningful for customer acquisition, fulfillment or upselling and cross-selling and customer service in an SMAC environment.

c) Real-Time Availability of Data: This is almost taken for granted. But, not long ago, core data and the analytical model were not available real-time, forcing customers to make decisions. Hence, the analytical model must be available real-time for customers to decide here and now (instant fulfillment).

d) Adapt quickly to small changes in the environment: In the days of instant information-dissemination, business opportunities occur in a fraction of a second and can also be thus completed. It is, therefore, important that the iBPM process and the tools have the capability to benefit from this favorable environment. 

e) Meaningful Interpretation of Data: This is closely linked to points “a” and “b”; however, this includes a real-time analysis of customer data while a customer is still on your web-page or your app. It is important to meaningfully interpret data so captured and, accordingly, use the Enterprise Information Details or source data from a third party, if required, to engage with customers and influence decisions.

f) Improve Customer Experience across all Channels: While one can put much effort into improving customer experience in the digital world, it would be a damper if this is not given to a customer in the brick and mortar world as well. Hence the iBPM process should cover physical processes as well, else the company or brand will feel the double-edged sword of the social world.

g) Real-time visibility for the process: In today’s dynamic and fast-changing environment, it is important to have visibility on the process that has been designed and which operates in a live environment. With visibility, any exceptions can be addressed easily and, if needed to be realigned, should be done promptly.

Social, mobile, analytics and cloud capability fuel ways in which business processes can be automated. Organizations can connect workers and make full use of information they need to deliver the best results to customers. 

More importantly, by using iBPM with SMAC, organizations can improve the quality of the customer experience using the speed of the Internet and by bringing together many users, using multiple devices, parts of different networks and different time zones, all to one common area and leading to customer delight. Isn’t that a delightful business objective?

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