What is a Business Process?
While technically a business process is defined as set of linked activities that creates value by transforming an input into a more valuable output, SAP differentiates a business process further into two basic subprocess types:
– Application Core Processes
Represent the core business functionality that runs the business operations. These are delivered via SAP‘s business application as part of the SAP Business Suite. These processes are predefined, packaged and can be customized in applications such as SAP ERP, PLM, SCM, CRM or SRM.
– Composite Business Processes
Are driven by functional business requirements and specifications and their primary goal is to provide added business value on top or at the edge of a stable core. They are either human-centric (collaborative) or system-centric (integration process).
Where application core processes represent business process best practices, composite business processes are next practices that can evolve into application core over time. Composite business processes need to enable business process composition, providing ad-hoc capabilities for quick and flexible reaction towards changes in business or critical business events in out-of-bound situations.
– Integration processes
Are executable, cross-system processes for processing messages and automating the message flow within the context of a service orchestration. In an integration process the process steps and step types are either message flow oriented (e.g., send, receive) or control flow oriented (e.g., fork, switch, wait)
BPM needs to take into account the above mentioned sub-process types. Composition and integration provide competitive differentiation by composing new processes and applications and integrating them with business partners and legacy systems. Applied business process flexibility with support of process debugging, simulation, embedded change management and the principle of “process design as a process” are the higher art of process management that BPM capability needs to provide.
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