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BPM vs RPACompanies can be overwhelmed by the volume of process management options available to them. In the contact centre environment alone, the differences between Business Process Management and Robotic Process Automation may not be immediately apparent. Wynand Smit, CEO of INOVO, suggests that taking a closer look at these reveals their benefits and is the first step to getting results.

Business process management and process automation

Business Process Management (BPM) involves analysing and enhancing processes (i.e. any sequence of events or tasks that enables a business to operate) to optimise efficiency. It refers to repetitive, predictable and ongoing processes rather than the management of specific tasks.

Robotic process automation (RPA), on the other hand, refers to solutions that can be programmed to automate high-volume, manual tasks across desktop-based applications. RPA is designed to reduce the burden of repetitive, mundane tasks on employees to enhance business efficiency and productivity.

“Choosing the right solution depends on your objectives. RPA typically achieves an ROI of 30-200% in the first year. The initial benefits are primarily related to cost-savings through increased efficiency, but as demand is consolidated across business units, greater savings and strategy alignment across the business is also achieved. In the customer service environment, this also translates to an enhanced Customer Experience – a key competitive factor in today’s business environment.” – Wynand Smit


Business Process Management (BPM) can be costlier than desktop automation or RPA. Although they both offer the same inherent benefit of streamlining processes for maximum efficiency and value, RPA automates and optimises processes within existing systems and technology, as opposed to redesigning and rebuilding processes from the ground up (a common occurrence for BPM). There is a place for both RPA and BPM – they have the same goal; the implementation strategies are just different and the selection of the final solution will ultimately depend on the resources available and the specific business requirements.

Work with what you have

RPA has the benefit of working with existing platforms without requiring additional integration. An RPA solution is more rapidly deployed than a BPM solution, making it faster to market, less disruptive, and capable of creating immediate business impact. Costs involved are lower than for BPM, which often entails a greater overall expenditure relating to system upgrades or the introduction of new systems (as well as training) rather than working with existing systems and processes.

Remaining relevant

“Modern businesses seek flexibility – not just in the way they operate, but how they adapt to shifting customer needs and requirements. Without that agility, analysis and self-reflection, businesses are unable to react to and rectify impediments in the customer journey, leading to poor sales conversion rates, inept service and high churn rates. By removing pain points across all touchpoints (contact centre, sales, finance etc.) you’re enhancing the customer experience and standardising processes to ensure consistency in meeting the brand and service delivery promise. RPA should be a consideration for businesses that are serious about the customer experience and achieving rapid results,” Smit adds.

Ultimately, BPM can be used to re-design what goes into making processes work, but RPA can be introduced without having to re-engineer processes, so it’s rapidly becoming the solution of choice for companies seeking rapid results in contact centre and other areas of business process management,” Smit concludes.

For more information on how Robotic Process Automation can benefit your business, visit

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