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Is BPM Under Threat From RPA Bots?

Is BPM Under Threat From RPA Bots?

TAKE NOTE (Insights into Emerging Technology)

The business process management (BPM) world appears to be under threat from a number of sources with many questioning whether there is still a place for BPM in today’s rapidly changing business environment.

Megan Potrzeba, marketing and content strategist at BPM software solutions provider Appian, points out that traditional BPM is going through a period of transition as process management tools are increasingly built into large-scale platforms that complete a wide range of functions.

In addition, low-code development platforms and similar solutions that fuel digital transformation are also placing pressure on traditional BPM.

Another source of pressure is the rise of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots, says Jim Sinur, Vice President Research at Aragon Research, a technology-focused research and advisory firm.

According to Sinur, while BPM is widely regarded as intimidating because of the high levels of investment and commitment it requires, RPA bots hold the exciting promise of replacing low level tasks initially and assisting human activity in the future.

“Bots are gaining momentum because they demonstrate great promise in proof of concepts projects. As organizations ramp up larger bot projects, the benefits will multiply,” he explains, but notes that workflow and BPM had exhibited the same effects in their early roll out within organizations.

The difference, however, was that bots could be leveraged quickly, realizing benefits through the rapid displacement of low level and redundant work.

“Making these bots smart empowers them even more and feeds off the artificial intelligence frenzy going on simultaneously – starting with applying machine intelligence to point problems,” he adds.

However, Sinur warns that issues around bot management and updates are unlikely to emerge until well after the bots have become entrenched in the organization. “It’s hard to turn down tactical benefits and keep the big picture in mind, so the impact of bots will last,” he says.

So where does that leave BPM?

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Dig Deeper (Take a look at this 30-minute video for further understanding)

Under Development (Insights into Emerging Technology)


BPM (Business Process Management) looks at your business as a set of processes within a larger system. The organizational system can be optimized by improving the processes through information sharing, error reduction, and bottleneck removal. Out of the hundreds, or even thousands, of processes used daily only a few efficiently meet the business goals they were originally designed to accomplish. Identifying and organizing an organization’s processes can be overwhelming, but the right BPM software package can make it easier….

BPM Software (BPM) allows you to model, modify, and monitor the various processes in your business system. At one time, BPM tools simply helped users identify the workflow of a process and map out its steps for automation. The goal was to reduce human error and improve overall efficiency. Bottlenecks could be identified and removed. Workflow could be continuously improved. However, most process maps were static and quickly became outdated. Today’s BPM software does far more than visualizing workflow to include features such as end-user portals, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), integration, analytics, and mobility. Intelligent BPMS (iBPMS) combines the talents of business, and IT teams to create applications that can improve business efficiency and agility.

Let’s take a brief look at two popular BPM software packages on the market today. Appian vs Pega….

First, we’ll look at Appian. You can download a free trial of Appian HERE.



Appian focuses on removing information silos within an organization. These silos create “Blind Spots”. A lack of visibility to current complete information. And, perhaps worst of all, false confidence in your decisions. Appian uses RECORDS to categorize important information by business topic, not by where it resides. This allows sharing of the information with the right people as it is needed, which in turn allows for better decision making throughout your organization. Using Appian Records and their BPM software promises to assist process automation, guide data integration, and improve access to information by integrating multiple data platforms.

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Q&A (Post your questions and get the answers you need)

Q. Appian developers code in something called SAIl. What is SAIL?

A.Take a look at the video below. I also have included a FAQ at the end.

What is Appian SAIL?
SAIL stands for Self-Assembling Interface Layer. Commonly referred to as SAIL interfaces, they make up the look and feel for Tempo reports, record views, and SAIL process forms. Each interface only needs to be configured once to make it fully functional in all web browsers supported by Appian and Appian for Mobile Devices.

Where can SAIL interfaces be used?
SAIL interfaces can be used to build record views, Tempo reports, and process forms.

Do SAIL interfaces support reuse and modularity?
Yes, a core design principle of Appian SAIL is that all interfaces are modular and easily reused. Designers can quickly create common template libraries and reuse them across different SAIL interfaces.

How do I design Appian SAIL interfaces?
Appian SAIL interfaces are designed using Appian’s expression language. Due to the dynamic nature of the expression language, it is easy to design interfaces and immediately preview and test them before deployment. See also: Interface Designer and Style Guide (PDF)

Can I extend and customize SAIL components?
SAIL components are built on top of Appian’s data type system (CDTs) and expressions. Using Appian’s Data Designer and Function Plug-ins, the SAIL interfaces you build can use your data schemas and your business logic.

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