This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best business process management systems (BPMs) and other online BPM tools that are designed for large organizations and enterprises.
These will be of utmost importance to you if you intend to continuously analyse, advance, and improve your business’s processes and systems or if you need a more coordinated, in-depth integration of IT and non-IT departments during process refinement.
While simple BPM tools geared toward individuals, teams, and medium-sized businesses let you build and run workflows, the fully-featured BPM software suites that we explore in this overview have the flexibility and capability to integrate with your existing IT architecture and design, test, and improve models from a unified vantage point.
In this post, I’ll go over a BPMS definition and answer some FAQs about BPMS and what they can do for growing your systems over the long-term. We’ll look at some of the top BPMS on the market and provide a simple comparison between them. In addition to that, I outline evaluation criteria for what makes the best BPM software in my opinion.
Quickly Compare & Evaluate the 10 Best BPMS Solutions
BPM software is commonly used by mid- to large-sized corporations to assist in automating business processes through various styles of workflow apps. Processes that might be grouped, analyzed or improved using the above include everything from: employee onboarding, expense reporting, vacation or PTO requests, account management, invoicing systems, loan origination, compliance management, CRM, project management, and more.
Additionally, BPMS tools tend to focus on long-term, ongoing analysis and improvement rather than a one-off launch of a particular app or process.
If any of that appeals to you, here is a shortlist of the best BPMS vendors:
Not looking for a BPMS system right now? Check out our other lists of top project management and analytics tools that you can use to streamline your workflows:
- Any company that has considered BPM tools should also look at the different Workflow Management Software that is out there. Like BPM, Workflow has a focus on collecting and automating processes and tasks.
- Part of BPM revolves around the desire to analyse and improve upon current systems. That’s why I recommend checking out the best Business Intelligence Tools to collect and organize the data you need.
- A perfect complement to this article is our deep-dive into the list of the best BPM tools and other business process solutions to streamline your workflow and automate your processes.
Business Process Management System (BPMS) Comparison Criteria
What am I looking for when I select process mapping tools for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Does the UX look and feel contemporary or antiquated?
2. Usability: Is it easy to learn? How comprehensive is the company’s tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
3. Features & Functionality:
a. Robust BPM Database: Do they have a powerful way to sort, store, organize, and search a BPM database of processes, procedures, and systems? Is it easy to add, remove, and edit processes stored in the database? Do they have a method for mapping and monitoring processes long term?
b. Visual Workflow Modeling: Is there a way to easily design and edit a visual map of workflow processes? Can you toggle between model versions? Does it support drag-and-drop, keyboard shortcuts, and other quality-of-life implementations?
c. Automation: Are you able to automate common or familiar processes with the software? Are critical pathways, permissions, functions/formulas, notifications, et cetera, sufficient enough to enable automation with minimal administrative oversight?
d. IT and non-IT integration: Does the system integrate easily with existing IT infrastructure? Is communication and collaboration between IT and non-IT parties facilitated appropriately? Are there enough resources for IT users to get the most out of the software while remaining approachable for non-IT users?
4. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations? Can it import documents from other software? Can it export documents in a variety of formats?
5. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible? Do they offer any try-before-you-buy options?
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Overviews Of The Best BPMS Software
Here’s a brief description of each of the BPM automation tools that are featured on my top 10 list. I go into detail about what each tool offers and why it was selected for this business process modelling tools comparison.
1. monday.com – Award-winning, visually intuitive tool for managing and automating your business process with ease.
monday.com is a great BPM tool because of the way it has done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical management tools and focused on simple, visually intuitive layouts that help clarify the sequence of work.
monday.com’s features for managing projects include resource and project management, time tracking, collaboration, and reporting features. For example, users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more. It also offers a great project reporting dashboard that can collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress. And while monday.com doesn’t offer a complete set of tools for project accounting and invoicing solution as other tools, you can use monday.com to track hours, timelines, and invoices.
Overall, this is one of the most customizable of the business process management software solutions that I’ve examined. It’s a tool that lets you work in whatever methodology—kanban or otherwise—that fits your project and team. You’ll also find some useful workflow tools for automating parts of your process.
monday.com’s integrations include business apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.
You can try monday.com for free.
2. Signavio – Capture, design, and improve your business processes and share insights with other collaborators.
Signavio’s Process Manager uses intelligent process mining and innovative web technology to assist with ERP transformation initiatives within your business. The software also enables you to quickly share modeling feedback, reviews and comments across the Suite.
Signavio stands out per our evaluation criteria in that it has an above-and-beyond list of features, like model validation, value-chain modeling, a unified dictionary module, process mining, and is fully web-based, to name a few.
The main con is that the UI looks a bit outdated and there is a bit of a high time commitment required to get the full benefit of the many features. Parts can be quite technical, so basic IT knowledge is a must.
Signavio offers pricing upon request and has a free trial available.
3. Novacura – Low-code platform to build, execute and optimize business processes and optimally run your business.
Novacura Flow is a business process management that connects to your ERP. It allows you to create low-code, business-logic-oriented applications and push them to users. It also has barcode scanning, notifications and inboxes, offline work options, and more.
Novacura Flow checked off a lot of boxes for features and functions options. They offer a range of tools that include connectors, workflows, drag and drop capabilities, Gantt charts, easy flow design, and multi-platform and browser compatibility.
Integrations include IFS Applications, Microsoft Office (like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project), and others.
As for the cons, the graphical user interface leaves much to be desired. Between that and some ease-of-use issues for newcomers, they lost a bit of ground in the UX and usability categories within the evaluation criteria.
Novacura Flow offers pricing upon request and does not offer a free trial.
4. IBM Blueworks Live – Cloud-based software with a collaborative environment to improve business processes via process mapping.
IBM Blueworks Live is a business solution for documenting, improving, and automating workflows. With it, you will have drag-and-drop process mapping, starter templates, embedded tutorials, real-time collaboration, a centralized business process repository, and more.
As far as usability goes, Blueworks meets and exceeds our evaluation criteria because of how simple and intuitive they make the deployment. It’s simple to get started with basic tasks, like capturing and building processes with the discovery map.
System-system integrations are possible via an extensive set of APIs through Blueworks. Use various REST APIs to get data from or push data to Blueworks Live for various integration opportunities.
One minor con is that Blueworks isn’t as adept at moving lines and connections for visualizations around as some other similar programs. More customizability (color of lines, placement of boxes) would also be an asset.
Blueworks Live starts at $53/user/month and has a 30-day free trial.
5. K2 Platform – Low-code development platform with BPMS workflow designer to make process applications through a drag-and-drop interface.
K2 helps you build sophisticated automation and workflows and lets you drag-and-drop to create workflows, gain real-time insight, use and reuse feature-rich forms, contains comprehensive security and governance features, and more.
K2 Platform has a pricing model that can’t be beaten on this list. Not only is it an extremely low cost to entry but they have their model listed clearly and concisely right on the website. No sales call needed. They also have scalability for when you outgrow your plan. They scored highly on the value for the dollar segment of the evaluation criteria.
K2 Platform integrates with many different platforms, depending on what you need, for example: TensorFlow, Microsoft Cognitive Services, UIPath, PowerBI, and more.
Installation and deployment caused some delays. A considerable con was the amount of time required to get it up-and-running and workable, much less get those involved trained up on what appears to be a steep learning curve.
K2 Platform starts at $12/user/month and has a 30-day free trial.
6. OnBase by Hyland – Single platform for building content-enabled applications while complementing your other core business systems.
OnBase, Hyland’s flagship product, is an enterprise information platform for all important business content. Features include tools to build content-enabled applications, low-code configuration, automates processes and content, real-time task status visibility, and more.
Onbase received high marks in both UX and usability thanks in part to their colorful, user-friendly web-based design. The layout is easy to navigate and the “Favorites” system means you can pin important items close-by.
Integrations options include PeopleSoft, SAP, Microsoft Office, Outlook, ESRI, Ellucian, Workday, Infor, and more.
A minor complaint is that it can take quite some time to load pages and input files. It’s a minor quality-of-life complaint, but the form recognition through the scanning feature doesn’t always work well.
OnBase starts at $25,000 as a one-time payment and has no free trial option.
7. Oracle BPM Suite – Set of tools for creating, executing, and optimizing business processes.
The Oracle BPM Suite facilitates collaboration between business and IT to automate and optimize business processes. It includes real-time metrics and predictive analytics, rapid process modeling and development, process documentation and reports, and more.
Per the evaluation criteria, having a robust list of features and functions is a must. Not only does Oracle BPM Suite have what I’ve called out (BPM database, visual workflow modeling, etc.) but it has above and beyond other software offerings.
Integrations are admittedly one of their weak points. If you want to incorporate legacy tools or project management apps, you may want to look elsewhere.
Oracle has been around for ages, which is great in terms of expertise. However, it means that the primary con to this suite is that it lacks modern UX, usability, and integration options that new or emerging tech tends to have from the get-go.
Oracle BPM Suite offers pricing upon request and does not offer a free trial.
8. Trisotech – Visual and interactive software suite with digital diagrams to capture your organization’s essential processes and decisions.
Trisotech’s Digital Enterprise Suite is designed to describe and communicate the strategy of your organization by visually identifying goals using pre-set templates, assigning responsibility to items, and analyzing the quality and value of the work via LEAN and Six Sigma concepts. This tool not only models business processes using BPMN, but it also integrates with business rules and case management as well, which helps to automate more processes.
Trisotech aces the integration segment of the evaluation criteria in an interesting way: By strictly using formal standards and methodologies, it makes that uber easy to integrate with other platforms. Models carry over directly from one application to another (in many cases).
Trisotech DES integrates with Microsoft Visio but no other integration information for other apps was offered up.
The major con was a lack of access controls and permissions, as well as no alert and notification functions. Buffing up these basic features would be an asset going forward.
Trisotech offers pricing upon request and has a free trial available.
9. SAP Business ByDesign – Intelligent cloud ERP software suite designed to navigate all business processes.
SAP Business ByDesign is an intelligent cloud ERP software designed to connect all functions across your company in a quick-to-implement package. Features include real-time analytics, CRM tools, human resource streamlining, project management, and more.
SAP is an enterprise BPM software with a robust list of features and functions, per the requirements in the evaluation criteria. What’s more, they are intuitive to find and employ. They include robust CRM, sales quotation program, extracting info and running reports, and more.
Integration options include DiCentral EDI Integrated Suite, Onlineshop, Snap International, ERP Logic, Paymate, Incloud Solutions, All4Cloud, BEX, Bradler, Dicentral, iService Globe, Wirecard, Suportis, and more per their Apps & APIs listing.
One con is that the data output, while easy and fast to obtain, is not that user-friendly. Therefore, use of Excel to treat the data for readability is recommended. This adds time to reporting and analysis.
SAP Business ByDesign starts at $17/user/month and does not have a free trial.
10. iGrafx – Capture, communicate, improve and optimize business processes like HR, IT resources, performance tracking, and more.
iGrafx is a business transformation software supporting RPA and workflow automation, customer journey, governance, risk, compliance, and more. It is designed to easily connects and synchronizes information between customer and process while also being scalable.
iGrafx excels in plotting what-if analysis of hypothetical or upcoming process changes. Process documentation is also intuitive and flexible once you have settled on a direction.
Internal apps can be purchased for integration, which includes Flowcharter, Process, and Process for Six Sigma.
iGrafx was dinged a bit for being feature/function-lite according to our evaluation process compared to some of its competitors, missing key items like document archiving, document indexing, electronic signature capabilities, offline access, et cetera.
iGrafx offers pricing upon request and has a 30-day free trial.
What Do You Think About These BPMS?
Have you used any of the tools off of our BPM software list yet? What do you think and how do they stack up against other BPM systems? Are you aware of something on the BPMS market that we forgot to mention here? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.