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 analyze, 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 business process management suites that we explore in this overview have the flexibility and capability to integrate with your existing IT architecture and help you 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 BPM suites and what they can do for growing your processes 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.
Business Process Management System (BPMS) Comparison Criteria
What am I looking for when I select BPM solutions 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:
- 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?
- 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?
- Automation: Is automation software built-in? Are you able to automate common or familiar manual processes with the software? Are critical pathways, permissions, functions/formulas, notifications, etc., sufficient enough to enable automation with minimal administrative oversight?
- 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 with software you have in use, such as business activity monitoring (BAM) software or business rules engine software? 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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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 of progress. And while monday.com doesn’t offer a complete set of tools for project accounting and invoicing as other tools do, you can use monday.com to track hours, timelines, and invoices.
Overall, this is one of the most customizable 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.
monday.com costs from $6/user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 users.
Process Bliss is an easy-to-use but powerful business process management system for teams and small to medium businesses. It isn’t for enterprise process modelling or simulation, but if that isn’t what you need then the platform represents fantastic value.
Alongside centralising process, it provides a full task management system that is integrated into the processes and procedures you design. So you could just use it as a process library, but its strength is in how it also provides every user with their own personal to-do manager for all the things they need to do (whether business or personal).
The drag & drop process builder uses familiar flowcharts, with decision branching, loops and step dependencies (and dependent dates). You can embed videos, links & docs to make them useful for training, and when you run them as tasks you can also capture data and file uploads. It’s easy for even non-technical users to create business processes.
My Tasks is really strong – whether a task comes from a process or if it is a simple reminder like ‘check finance report’ (which you can mark private). You can snooze, prioritize, reassign so powerful to use and even has a mobile app. If a Task is from a template, it becomes a dynamic checklist which is very easy to follow and see progress.
Uniquely and helpful from a compliance perspective, it records when things can’t be done and why, or why someone is completing a step not assigned to them. You can export all of this as a CSV to analyse further (or to provide as evidence). It also collects process feedback for review and makes this highly visible to everyone, very useful for continuous improvement.
Reporting is about quality not quantity – so not hugely configurable but those included are incredibly useful. It also supports Groups, unlimited Guest Access (free), logo branding, @-mention comments and very highly rated customer support.
Integration with other business systems such as G Suite, Salesforce or databases is handled using the ever-popular Zapier.
Pricing starts at $10/month.
Kintone is a customizable business process management system used by teams at Volvo Trucks North America, Japan Airlines, Shiseido, and over 23,000 organizations worldwide. Their unique approach to business process management lets you build a variety of business apps with a flexible drag-and-drop interface and then manage actions around your data with workflows you can adjust as you go.
Kintone lets you build your custom BPMS solution by building apps to manage your data and then linking them together in sophisticated workflows you can track from start to finish. Apps are built by dragging-and-dropping what you want to see on a page: rich text fields, date fields, drop-down menus, number fields with built-in calculations, spaces for attachments, user or group selection menus, related data from other apps, tables, and more.
Apps can be built either from scratch, using templates, or from existing spreadsheets for data management, business processes, and workflow purposes. Kintone apps can be customized for project management, sales CRM, customer databases, expense reports, shared to-do lists, equipment management, product feedback, and much more.
Workflows can be built with similar ease using Kintone’s no-code interface. Create the task or project flows you want with drag-and-drop, and then launch them for instant use. Kintone offers complete visibility over every part of your process–and the ability to change it as needed–without ever writing a line of code. Now you can easily spot bottlenecks in your software or team collaboration at a glance—and fix concerns before they become problems. You can also view, edit, and update workflows from the platform’s mobile app, so oversight doesn’t stop when you leave your desk.
Supporting features for process management include the ability to filter tasks by data field or team member to generate custom reports or dashboard views, and automate reminders and handoffs between team members for multi-step workflows.
There are so many ways to customize Kintone it can be hard to know where to start. Read the starter blog “What Can You Build with Kintone?” or watch Creating an App from Scratch for a quick look at how the drag-and-drop builder works.
Kintone lets you expand its capabilities with both free native plugins built by the Kintone team as well as integrations with other tools like Slack, Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook, Tableau, Dropbox, Salesforce, HubSpot, Eventbrite, WordPress, QuickBooks, MailChimp, and many more through a paid plan
with Zapier or via API integrations.
Kintone costs $24/user/month with a minimum requirement of 5 users. They offer a 30-day free trial (no credit card required) and discounted prices for nonprofits and educators. Kintone’s team also offers a free custom app build as part of the free trial process.
Used by Dominos, The Telegraph, Pepsi, Sears, Comcast, and Hubspot, Kissflow is a digital workplace app with no-code process management functions that easily adapt to any business process system across different environments. It is among the most popular and common BPMS. Features include an easy-to-use interface, user and data scalability, real-time analytics, and more than 50 ready-to-use apps like Travel Reimbursements and Employee Onboarding.
Kissflow scored highly in Features and Functions because they are a viable no-code option for all of your business process management needs, including automated processes, project board building, case flow handling, and collaboration tools.
Integrations include G suite, DropBox, Docusign, Webmerge, Salesforce, Oracle, and more.
One con of Kissflow is that the application is internet-access dependant, meaning there is no way to use the software offline, which may be inconvenient for some (like users with inconsistent internet service).
Kissflow starts at $149/month for up to 30 users and offers a 7 day free trial.
Orchestly is a business process management software that helps automate, manage, and optimize routine business workflows and standard operating procedures on a drag and drop platform. Built for medium and enterprise businesses in any industry, it helps automate workflows across departments like HR, Marketing, Finance, IT, and Legal.
Customizable forms make it easy to capture business information. Both simple and complex workflows can be mapped as flowcharts in a few minutes on a drag and drop workflow builder that doesn’t require in-depth technical knowledge. Manual labor can be eliminated by automating stages based on condition or time.
Contextual data like comments and attachments can be requested from users during the process. Decision making can be automated by setting if-then conditions to route the flow. Process exceptions can be handled through business rules. Requestors can track everything in real-time, and stay updated on requests. Employees know exactly what should be done, and when. Ready-made reports give you powerful insights on your process bottlenecks and redundancies, and you can create your own process-specific reports to analyze and improve your operational KPIs.
Orchestly syncs one-way with Active Directory and has role-based access control. You can also connect to other tools via Zapier and Zoho Flow. There is a marketplace with several pre-built extensions like Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Zoho Sign as well.
Orchestly offers a 15 day free trial and has flexible user-based pricing that starts at $8/user per month. There is also an implementation team that can help you automate your organization’s workflows.
Process Street is a process-driven tool that adapts well to BPMS workflow strategies. While Process Street doesn’t offer as much as other BPMS tools in terms of analytics and reporting, it’s a good fit for teams with document-driven workflows. The free plan welcomes an unlimited number of users, which is a nice trade-off for being feature-lite in some areas.
Process Street’s approach to BPMS breaks up workflow management into three chunks: handling documentation (creating, exporting, and embedding procedure documents and templates), running trigger-based workflows (for random events initiated by a trigger, such as client onboarding), and programming scheduled tasks that run on an automated schedule. Its drag-and-drop task manager makes it easy for anyone to use.
With many tools for process documentation and workflow automation, it’s a good choice for teams who want a streamlined process framework without a maze of features to get lost in.
Process Street integrations include 1000+ apps through Zapier. It also integrates with Formstack, opening up a world of additional templates.
Process Street costs from $12.50/user/month for the Business Plan, but also offers a freemium account.
Created in 2002, ProWorkflow was designed as a BPMS tool to support internal workflow and communication needs. When you log in to this tool, you immediately see a user-friendly dashboard showing a graphical summary of your current stats for active, completed, and upcoming work. Here, you get a birds-eye-view of active projects and tasks, time tracked, quotes and invoices, recent actions, and recent logins—invaluable data for BPMS organization.
In addition to seeing upcoming projects and tasks, there is also a ‘Recent Work’ tab and the ability to see who is currently working on what. This tool also supplies comprehensive messaging features that are integrated with your existing email. Recipients can reply to the message from their email client and replies are added to the project discussion.
The ProWorkflow mobile app works with a touchscreen smartphone or tablet and makes BPMS necessities portable, like time tracking and task management. Additionally, you can use the app for document management and internal messaging.
ProWorkflow integrates with tools like Xero, Quickbooks, KashFlow, FreshBooks, MYOB AccountRight, Box Storage, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and hundreds more through Zapier.
ProWorkflow costs from $10/user/month, which includes a maximum of 10 active projects.
Trisotech’s Digital Enterprise Suite’s modeling capabilities allow the description and communication of 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.
The applications not only support modeling business processes using BPMN, but it also integrates with business rules using DMN and case management using CMMN, which helps to design and automate more complex processes.
The Trisotech automation engine enables a one-click deployment of workflows and decisions as microservices. The API invocation template and endpoints are generated on the fly and available in a Service Library.
Trisotech aces the integration segment of the evaluation criteria in an interesting way: by strictly using formal standards and methodologies, it makes it uber easy to integrate with other platforms. Models carry over directly from one application to another (in many cases).
The Digital Enterprise Suite integrates with Microsoft Office 365 and several other technologies such as RPA and Machine Learning. 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 various success programs and “try before you buy” options. Pricing is based on configuration, and so is only provided upon request.
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.
iGrafx is a business transformation software supporting RPA and workflow automation, customer journey, governance, risk, compliance, and more. It is designed to easily connect and synchronize 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, etc.
iGrafx offers pricing upon request and has a 30 day free trial.
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.
The tool 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.
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.
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, automate 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.
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 gone 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 the 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.
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 large 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.
Need expert help selecting the right Business Process Management (BPM) Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Business Process Management (BPM) Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
14 days free trial
|From $6/user/month||Check out monday.com|
14 days free trial, no credit card needed.
|From $10/user/month. Yearly subscribers receive two months free. Further discounts for Good Causes.||Check out Process Bliss|
30 days free trial
|From $24/user/month, minimum of 5 users||Check out Kintone|
7 days free trial
|From $149/month for up to 30 users||Check out Kissflow|
15 days free trial
|From $8/user/month||Check out Orchestly|
14 days free trial
|From $12.50/user/month||Check out Process Street|
14 days free trial
|From $10/user/month||Check out ProWorkflow|
7 days free trial
|Pricing upon request||Check out Trisotech|
30 days free trial
|From $53/user/month||Check out IBM Blueworks Live|
30 days free trial
|Pricing upon request||Check out iGrafx|
30 days free trial
|From $12/user/month||Check out K2 Platform|
|Pricing upon request||Check out Novacura|
|From $25,000||Check out OnBase by Hyland|
|Pricing upon request||Check out Oracle BPM Suite|
|Pricing upon request||Check out Signavio|
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 software has a focus on collecting and automating processes and tasks.
- Part of BPM revolves around the desire to analyze 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 automate your processes.
FAQ About BPMS
Here are the answers to a few common questions related to our best BPMS list and why you’d use a BPM online.
What does BPMS mean?
BPMS stands for Business Process Management Systems. Typically, it is a suite of software made to collect, organize, analyze, automate, and improve upon existing business processes, including processes that involve human interaction and software or applications. BPMS may be used by IT or non-IT staff and often requires coordination between the two
Additionally, BPMS is best for ongoing improvements of systems and is designed for continuous process improvement rather than a one-time process update.
What is BPMS software?
BPMS are sets of tools that aid in automating and structuring a network of business processes between IT and non-IT groups. BPMS software will let you map out your existing set of processes, analyze systems for potential improvements, and ensure communication efficiency.
BPMS software is designed for longevity, meaning that you work with it on a consistent basis to continuously improve business process design rather than employing it as a one-and-done solution.
What’s the difference between BPM and BPMS?
A basic BPMS has an elementary set of tools designed primarily to improve or launch a new IT application. It is often used by smaller companies and by non-IT users. BPMS is a more robust suite of business process software designed to coordinate between IT and non-IT groups in order to analyze processes more long-term with the goal of continuous system improvement.
What are the benefits of BPM?
Business Process Management (BPM) may help you by:
- Making your business processes more adaptable with less cost to do so
- Improving productivity by identifying and eliminating bottlenecks
- Automating workflows to become more efficient
- Keeping track of compliance and regulatory standards in your industry
- Improving customer and employee management and satisfaction rates
- Ensuring consistency and reliability of processes between department or for new hire training
Who uses BPMS?
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 the full lifecycle of processes: 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.
What Do You Think About These BPMS?
Have you used any of the tools on 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.
Related List of Tools: monday.com Competitors And Alternatives