smart process applications (smart process apps) definition

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Enterprise architect's guide to optimal BPM workflow
Contributor(s): Karen Goulart

A smart process application is software that is designed to support an organization's business process management (BPM) efforts in a collaborative manner.

The term smart process application was coined by analysts at Forrester Research Inc. As the demand for business agility -- and therefore business process software -- increases, smart process applications are expected to change the way employees create, manage and interact with business rules.

To be considered a smart process application, the software must have five key attributes:

  • Imported or embedded awareness data relevant to the business activity.
  • A collaboration platform on which people can create content needed for the activity.
  • BPM tools for executing the steps involved in a business process.
  • Document capture, document output and document management capabilities.
  • Embedded analytical tools.

Leading vendors involved in the smart process applications space as identified by Forrester include Appian, Cordys, EMC, IBM, JDA Software, Kana Software, Kofax, Lexmark, OpenText, Pegasystems, salesforce.com and SAP.

This was first published in December 2013

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