On February 18, Head of ELMA Alexey Trefilov spoke at the CNews conference “BPM 2018: how we can help business transform” that took place in Moscow. After the speech, the organizers asked Alexey some more questions.
— Russian customers are showing a growing interest in BPM. In your opinion, why is this happening?
— Business is becoming more mature. Earlier, the companies wanted electronic document management and automation at best. Today they are concerned about business processes and digital transformation. This is a complete rethink of development.
The fact that the business has matured is evident: there are many useful materials on digital transformation in the web as well as conferences and such events. A lot of success stories and real-life cases have been published. Previously, we had to explain to our customers what our work was about. Today, though, everyone has heard of BPM.
To stay competitive, banks today have to improve their customer service constantly. Often old working methods and IT solutions do not allow implementing new technologies. Dmitry Oparin, Director of Operations at ELMA, told us how to optimize operations of a company with no damage to the infrastructure ilustrated by the Kapital Bank project.
Goals and bottlenecks
One of the main goals of the Kapital Bank project was to implement new methods for performance management. The bank’s branch network already had too many IT systems. There was an IT product almost for every task both in sales processes and in communication between branches. Many operations were done manually, and data had to be transferred between several systems. Training of new employees used to take longer than four months.
What services are the customers looking for? What are the most demanded professions? How is import substitution affecting the market? Heads of Russian IT companies gave answers to these and other questions in an interview to IT-Manager magazine. Here is the complete answer given by Alexey Trefilov, COO of ELMA.
— IT companies are focused on digital transformation. What impact does this have on IT services?
— It is important not to confuse digital transformation and automation. A vast number of IT companies is providing automation software – ERP, EDMS – that speeds up the business processes while the processes themselves remain the same.
Digital transformation is different. It offers a new understanding of how to provide services or produce goods. For that, the customers need to understand their working processes; therefore, vendors not only sell automation services but offer consulting.
Despite the need for document management automation, businesses today are less interested in traditional EDM systems. In an interview to ECM-portal, Mikhail Saratov, an ELMA expert, explained why.
— In 2017, what were the most frequent document management problems that you solved for your customers?
— Above all, document routing. Contracts, memos, policies and communications are part of any business and will remain so for a long time. Customers want automation, both those who are already using classical ECM systems and want to expand them, and those who are still lacking IT infrastructure.
Revealing problems in a business process is a frequent subject of discussion when it comes to business management. Although in practice there can be a lot more, here are 5 typical signs of a problematic business process. Use them to check and optimize the operations of your company.
1. Unnatural fragmenting of the process
Some parts of the process are aligned and automated, whereas others are still executed manually. As a result, the work is first done in an IT system, then manually, then in the same or another IT system. We call this automation with gaps.
Everyday company leaders look for ways to do work better and faster, and while there seems to be no magical solution, there is a lot of talk about IoT, ML, RPA and all things related to AI.
AI seems to be the most popular word nowadays, and businesses worldwide want to be part of the trend.
The technology that seems most convenient in applying AI-driven software to a company’s processes is RPA. We are very enthusiastic about it, and as a BPM evangelist, I must say that RPA and BPM actually can work magic together.
There is a lot of confusion about these two approaches, and in order to benefit from them, it is important to understand the difference.
According to the Experian and Forrester report, 49% of decision-makers in Europe, Africa and Middle East think that business development is being held back by disparate legacy technology systems. The BIT online magazine asked Alexey Trefilov, the head of ELMA, for his opinion.
— Do you think that disparate legacy IT systems are the main threat to business development?
— Indeed, when companies start thinking about development, they come to realize that their current IT systems no longer provide growth. However, I think that the lack of knowledge and experience in business digitalization is even a bigger threat.
The market is short of experts, and businesses have poor knowledge of automation and digitalization. This has become a real problem. It is my opinion that software developers and integrators working in business automation should focus on this issue.
We commit to delivering information about business process management, document management, automation in HR and KPI. There should be more webinars, articles, books and courses on this matter. Most importantly, business owners must see and understand what changes must be done.
When going digital, the main obstacle that a mature company comes across is a pile of IT solutions implemented over time.
In an interview with CRM Practice, ELMA expert Mihail Saratov summarized the situation on the CRM market over the last year. Here is the complete interview.
— In your opinion, what was 2017 like for your company and the industry in general?
— It was a good year for developers of automation software. The region has shown certain growth and the businesses turned to IT and software in particular.
For ELMA it was a great year because the companies previously interested in CRM have matured and are now interested not only in registration of customers and data collection but also pay attention to their customer management processes.
Shifting from simply capturing a customer to including the customer into a unified business process has become a driver for BPM solutions.
— Which global trends have had an impact on the CRM market in CIA countries?
— Russian CRM developers are starting to commit to specific areas. This is exactly what happened abroad a couple of years ago. The systems are dividing in two types: CRM systems for small businesses, which aim at increasing employee performance and offer service to customers through different channels; Enterprise systems, which develop towards big data analytics and end-to-end processes.
Many companies regulate their business processes. The purpose of such regulation is to bring everything to order, arrange effective communication between different employees and ensure control. Decision-makers expect all the tasks to be completed well and on time. However, are all such tasks really necessary?
There is a difference between doing things right and doing the right things. You can combine the two by optimizing your company’s business processes.
We propose a simple approach for business process analysis that will help you get rid of excessive activities, and understand what can be improved.
Make an analysis of your process’s map. It doesn’t matter whether it is created in ELMA Designer, in the cloud BPMN.Studio, with other modeling tools or simply drawn on a piece of paper. You can use text instructions, but a map is more convenient and informative.
Without any calculations, you can analyze the process model and find ways for optimization.