Business process for customer management 

BPM (Business Process Management) and CRM (Customer Relationship management) have today become part…

BPM (Business Process Management) and CRM (Customer Relationship management) have today become part and parcel of the Industry. Both have been termed by business strategists and sales representative as the pillars of strength of the growing consumer based industry, where the customer satisfaction has become the trump for almost all the businesses to sustain the turbulent times. But do we really need both of these as companions or is there a need to find a better solution to cut through the growing competition in the rapidly changing market.

Customer Relationship management (CRM) aims at improving customer relations, providing speed in service and accuracy in problem resolution for the customers. With growing customer base and wide ranges of services provided by companies, keeping track of huge influx of requests, complaints, and orders from the customers along with providing in-time services has been a hassle for the back offices, CRM tools came as answer to these issues. A large number of CRM products floating in the market like, InfusionSoft, SnapForce CRM and many more. All aim at achieving better customer data management, Customer Interaction tracking, automation of workflows, case resolutions and accurate reporting.

Business Process Management (BPM) on the other hand promises to streamline processes, applying workflow structure to organizational hierarchy, bringing in transparency in the system with keen eye on monitoring work queues so as to reduce time to market of the products and gain lead to the customers. Most of the BPM products like PegaSystems, Appian BPM suite, Oracle BPM suite, IBM Lombardi, all promise to bring business agility by applying process management, integrate and automate various workflows, increase customer focus, make the systems compliant to business rules and give clear visibility and staff monitoring capabilities to managerial staff thereby helping in staff satisfaction as well as improve team collaboration.

Case Study:

A telecom Company XX has large number of products and packages to offer to a large volume of customers which range from individual users to households to small businesses and huge corporates as well. The higher management seeks to manage the internal staff located at various geographical locations which includes BackOffice agents’ team, IT departments and managerial staff. Along with increasing customer base, the company also needs to increase business agility and automate internal processes. The business team suggests deployment of a BPM suite for streamlining processes and a CRM suite implementation to increase customer satisfaction to reduce time to market of products and provide better service to customers. Even after zeroing in on a BPM tool and a well to do CRM system, the management now faces more issues:

1. There are integration issues with the chosen BPM and CRM systems, which needs collaboration between the respective vendors

2. The Business users as well as the agents needs to be recruited and trained for using the new systems

3. Even after paying in full the licenses for the two systems, the staff might not be using 100% of the software’s capability as most of it is not needed by the business

4. Different physical servers /load balancers /networks bandwidths needs by the two systems

5. Expert resources for managing these systems need to be placed.

6. For all the customizations on either of the tools, company needs to pay huge amounts.

Even after investing so much time and money into these deployments, customizations and build, the company realizes it might take over a year before the complete customized tools are setup and running in the production environments. Above all any day to day request  for customizations or any  regulatory projects implementations might lead to more money investment , integration issues revisiting between both systems and increase in time to market.

A different view:

Now let’s take a look at the similarities between both the systems in general, both the systems have the following capabilities:


The basic  implementation of both can be combined together to evolve an adaptive process builder tool which capacitates the cores of BPM and CRM tools and dynamically grows to suit the business requirements as well as build strong customer relationship helping the back office as well as front office teams manage the business in fluent ways. This might help the businesses in many of the following ways:

1. Cost of licenses and deployment reduces to half

2. No integration issues to handle

3. Single system maintenance, upscaling and customizations cost is much lower than maintaining two separate systems.

4. Reduced logistics need for system deployment in production

5. Staff and customers interact through same system leads to more utilization of the systems capabilities

6. Capturing leads from customer experiences and utilizing the data for business optimization becomes far easier as we are dealing with same system.

7. Profits can be easily tracked.

8. Reporting on Customer records, complaints, requests can be derived and easily linked to staff performance rating, giving a clearer view to the management.

9. Improvement in Customer Satisfaction via reduced Time to market and transparency in the system.

10. Improved ROI on investment.

It’s the need of hour to conceptualize on an integrated system to bring together the divided streams of products into one strong process builder, which will bring employee satisfaction as well as build strong customer relations!

By Ritesh Jain, IBM & Oracle BPM Group Head, Wipro Ltd and Prigya Shukla, Technical Lead, Wipro Ltd

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