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A Guide to Understanding BPO vs. BPM vs. BPMaaS

Three workers using tablets in front of large computers and gears, depicting business process management

When exploring the world of business process technology and outsourcing solutions, you will likely come across three terms: business process outsourcing (BPO), business process management (BPM), and business process management as a service (BPMaaS).

Let’s take a closer look at what each means, how they differ, and how your organization can leverage them to increase efficiency, boost productivity, and reduce costs.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO): Leveraging Third-Party Expertise

What Is BPO?

When an organization contracts a third-party service provider to handle specific business tasks on their behalf, they’re leveraging BPO. While it began as a strategy for optimizing call centers with assistance from vendors overseas, business process outsourcing services are now often U.S.-based and range from managing incoming mail to processing invoices.

Today’s top BPO providers even incorporate technologies into their services to further streamline business processes. These technologies range from workflow automation to robotic process automation (RPA) to artificial intelligence (AI).

What Are the Benefits of BPO?

Business process outsourcing gives knowledge workers back the time they need to focus on higher level, more value-adding tasks. This typically leads to increased employee recognition and, in turn, increased employee satisfaction. With 56% of executives feeling as though their companies aren’t equipped to retain employees, this is a game changer.

The financial benefits of business process outsourcing also change the game for many organizations. After all, when you switch from an in-house, fixed cost model to a variable cost model, you can avoid overspending when business is slow.

Business Process Management (BPM): Taking a Systematic Approach

What Is BPM?

Business process management is defined by Gartner as “a discipline that uses various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve and optimize business processes.” It revolves around identifying process bottlenecks, automating tedious, manual tasks, and streamlining workflows.

Many professionals consider business process management the future of BPO because unlike standard BPO providers, BPM companies focus on entire business processes. They review all of the steps involved in the processes at hand and identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Then, they provide the right combination of technology and BPO services required to streamline the processes.

What Are the Benefits of BPM?

Organizations turn to business process management for a wide variety of reasons. One of the most prominent benefits of implementing BPM solutions is increased productivity. In fact, experts found that BPM initiatives can result in up to 50% productivity gains for administrative tasks and up to 30% productivity gains for knowledge worker tasks.

Because such initiatives streamline workflows and minimize the need for human involvement, they also reduce operational expenses and costly errors.

Business Process Management as a Service (BPMaaS): Riding the Cloud Wave

What Is BPM as a Service?

Building upon the BPM model, BPM as a service – sometimes referred to as business process as a service (BPaaS) – provides a cloud-based solution that enables enterprises to implement BPM. This cloud service is particularly attractive to modern businesses due to the high level of automation and flexibility it offers as well as the consumption- and subscription-based pricing models.

The best BPM as a service providers offer cloud-based solutions that combine document management and workflow automation software. These solutions are easy to use, provide access to unlimited users without capital expenditures or licensing fees, and enable fast, mobile access to business documents.

What Are the Benefits of BPM as a Service?

Did you know that employees only spend 40% of their time on skilled and strategic work, leaving more than half of the work day dedicated to mundane, time-consuming tasks like searching for information?

With BPM as a service, you can take those less valuable tasks off your employees’ plates. Consider cloud-based enterprise content management systems that include workflow automation, for instance. These solutions streamline entire business processes and ensure employees always have critical business documents right at their fingertips, so they don’t need to waste time searching for them.

Instead, employees can focus on what’s really important and your organization can benefit from increased productivity, improved employee satisfaction and retention, as well as decreased labor and turnover costs.

Choosing the Right Option for Your Business

Now that you have a clear understanding of the differences between BPO, BPM, and BPM as a service, the ultimate question arises: which is best for your organization?

It’s an important question, but it’s not easy to answer…

Taking the leap to outsource your business processes and optimize them through technology requires careful consideration and strategic planning.

As highlighted in Deloitte’s 2022 Global Outsourcing Survey, choosing between internal delivery, third-party involvement, global in-house centers, and a combination thereof requires more than traditional vendor management—it necessitates an ecosystem management view. This paradigm shift requires organizations to take a holistic view of how various process management solutions – like BPM or BPMaaS – fit into their broader ecosystems.

Deloitte’s findings emphasize the changing landscape of outsourcing methods. The increase in reliance on third parties over the past two years, with reported increases in revenue and budgets across various industries, signals a change in priorities. It’s not just about cutting costs anymore but about enhancing operational capacities.

Businesses are aiming for strategic value. They’re exploring ways to leverage BPMaaS for its cloud capabilities or tap into business process outsourcing for task-specific efficiencies, painting a future where “doing the right things” is just as vital as “doing things right.”

The question, therefore, is no longer just “Which option is right for my organization?” but also, “What and how should I outsource and/or digitize for maximum business value?”.

Selecting the Right Partner

Selecting the right partner for BPO, BPM, and BPM as a service is paramount. Look for experience, various services and solutions, and a proven track record of success.

MetaSource is a leading provider in business process outsourcing, business process management, and BPM as a service, offering solutions like digital mailroom services, AP automation, document scanning services, and cloud-based document management software – all of which are key elements to an effective business operations strategy that drives productivity and profitability.

We collaborate with you to understand your needs and develop the right blend of solutions that elevates your productivity and profitability. If you’re ready to redefine your business processes and explore what these solutions can do for you, contact us today.

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