SharePoint and BPM White Paper

On the BPM Focus web site, you can find our research paper exploring the implications, holes and joys of attempting broad-based BPM deployments using SharePoint. It is on Page 5 of the White Papers area (you will need to be registered to access the paper … free of course)

A short summary/excerpt:

Some already see the potential for SharePoint as a strategic weapon. They recognize the capability of the platform to enable collaboration amongst employees as they respond to the varying demands of customers and the market. They clearly see the need to ensure documents and data are managed effectively. But they also see the slippery slope of “SharePoint Sprawl” and the brick walls created by the product’s rudimentary process support facilities. Under the covers, SharePoint’s reliance on Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) as its process support mechanism severely constrains the platforms capabilities, inhibiting process architecture and leading to manually coded workarounds, which in turn, drive complexity and increased Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Adding a comprehensive SharePoint-oriented Business Process Management (BPM) Suite to the mix solves many of the critical issues associated with widespread deployment of the platform.  Having embraced the SharePoint platform, organizations are discovering that, especially from a process point of view, SharePoint leaves a lot to be desired – particularly when compared with specialist BPM tool sets.  The key point is it that it is entirely possible to leverage the best parts of SharePoint – its Content Management and User Interface/ Collaboration features – and still benefit from best in class BPM capabilities.
This paper sets out to highlight potential issues for the strategist on the path ahead, highlighting the options, techniques and practices needed to overcome them. We first characterize the strategic goals of organizations and the technology strategies within them and then move on to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the SharePoint platform. We then get into the meat of the discussion, exploring how the firm can most effectively achieve its business objectives and support its business processes by further leveraging its SharePoint investment through the addition of a Business Process Management (BPM) suite.
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