Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) has become an integral tool for companies of all types and is essential in numerous Business Process Management (BPM) and Business Intelligence (BI) systems.
Gartner Inc. defines BAM solutions as providing “real-time access to critical business performance indicators to improve the speed and effectiveness of business operations. Unlike traditional real-time monitoring, BAM draws its information from multiple application systems and other internal and external (inter-enterprise) sources, enabling a broader and richer view of business activities.”
Business Process Management(BPM) vs. Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)
Business Process Management (BPM) and Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) are two closely related concepts that are often used in conjunction to enhance organizational efficiency and decision-making. Let’s delve into these terms and their significance in more detail:
What is Business Process Management (BPM)?
BPM refers to a systematic approach to improving an organization’s processes in order to achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability. BPM involves the design, modeling, execution, monitoring, and optimization of business processes. BPM software solutions provide tools to design, automate, and manage workflows, helping organizations streamline their operations and achieve better control over their processes.
What is Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)?
BAM involves the real-time monitoring and tracking of business activities and processes as they occur. It provides insights into the current state of business operations and helps organizations identify and respond to critical events or deviations from expected outcomes. BAM solutions typically involve the use of dashboards, alerts, and real-time analytics to provide a comprehensive view of ongoing activities.
The combination of BPM and BAM offers several benefits to organizations:
Real-time Visibility: BAM solutions provide real-time insights into ongoing business activities, allowing organizations to monitor processes as they happen. This real-time visibility enables quicker decision-making and the ability to address issues promptly.
Proactive Decision-Making: With real-time data at their disposal, organizations can make informed decisions quickly. BAM helps identify potential bottlenecks, exceptions, or inefficiencies in processes, allowing for proactive intervention to prevent negative outcomes.
Continuous Process Improvement: The data collected through BAM can be analyzed to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. This facilitates ongoing process optimization and enhances overall operational efficiency.
Compliance and Risk Management: Monitoring business activities in real-time helps organizations identify compliance deviations and potential risks early on. This enables them to take corrective actions promptly and ensure adherence to regulatory requirements.
Enhanced Customer Experience: Real-time insights enable organizations to respond promptly to customer needs and inquiries, leading to improved customer satisfaction.
However, there are challenges associated with implementing BPM and BAM solutions
What are the challenges of implementing BPM and BAM solutions?
Data Accessibility: As you mentioned, one of the significant challenges is gaining access to the relevant data required for monitoring and measuring real-time activities. This might involve integrating data from various sources, systems, and departments.
Complex Implementation: Implementing BPM and BAM solutions can be complex, requiring careful planning, integration with existing systems, and change management efforts to ensure successful adoption.
Data Accuracy: The accuracy and quality of the data being monitored are crucial for effective decision-making. Inaccurate or incomplete data can lead to incorrect insights and actions.
Resource Allocation: Setting up and maintaining BPM and BAM systems require resources in terms of time, finances, and skilled personnel.
Modern BPM systems often incorporate BAM solutions. A combination of BPM and BAM solutions allows companies to track their infrastructure, business processes, and employees to identify challenges and success. These systems can lead to process, compliance, and risk management improvements.
Kalles Group clients have affirmed the most significant benefit is the ability to react in real-time with BAM. Still, at the same time, the biggest challenge is being able to get access to the data in order to set up the ability to measure real-time.
Since its definition in 2002, BAM tools have seen rapid adoption by the BI community. In 2006 and 2007, several large software providers began a push to acquire and consolidate vendors. This created an environment where BAM, BPM, and BI were integrated into single platforms capable of monitoring process flow and key performance indicators, defining and highlighting best practices, and providing detailed data analysis and reporting across an entire enterprise.
Here are a few notable BAM solutions:
IBM Business Monitor: “IBM® Business Monitor provides detailed business activity monitoring to help improve business agility. It offers customizable dashboards, notifications, and alerts to provide near real-time visibility into business operations, transactions, and processes for better business insights.”
WSO2 BAM: “High-performance API for receiving large volumes of business events over various transports” “designed to monitor SOA metrics, but can also be configured to monitor key business indicators.” Check this guide on how to monitor your business processes with WSO2
BizTalk: Microsoft’s BizTalk Server packages a BAM component that “allows monitoring of events and data produced by a BizTalk application.” For more information on BizTalk and its BAM component visit: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa561137.aspx
Oracle Business Activity Monitoring: “real-time visibility into critical business processes through push-based dashboards and alerts powered by event-driven architecture, SLA, and KPI performance” Read more on Oracle business activity monitoring.
Spotlight on K2
Notable South African start-up K2 (https://www.nintex.com/process-automation/app-development/) launched its first line of BPM and BAM products just as BAM was being defined. Since then, their products have won numerous awards and are serving over 1 million users around the world.
Their platform Blackpearl Solution provides users with:
- Automated workflows and real-time workflow monitoring
- Dynamic case management that helps users coordinate, control resources, make and track decisions in real-time
- Out-of-box data integration to access line-of-business data and employee, customer, and product data across an enterprise
K2 blackperl allows users to build codeless solutions that bring together mission-critical information from disparate systems and a holistic view of this information in one location. In addition, K2 has partnerships with several software vendors, including Microsoft and Dell for thorough SharePoint integration, allowing them to keep their promise of delivering “the most comprehensive, integrated and process-driven solutions to customers.”