All You Ever Wanted to Know About Enterprise BPM Pricing (but no one would tell you)

Manish Nepal

November 17th, 2016 BPM  

The hunt for every BPM system starts with one simple question:

“How much will it cost?”

Enterprise BPM Cost

However, just like trying to explain politics to children, the answer is not that simple. Purchasing a business process management solution is complex because of the vast difference between each vendor’s cost and services. The price of a BPM solution is based on various factors such as the services it offers, the underlying software it uses, vendor support, maintenance, and the brand name associated with it. Vendors also consider the licensing model, discounts based on their profit goals, customer type and size, workflow process complexity, etc.

There is no standard pricing chart that speaks for the entire realm of BPMs, just a rough framework. So the vague answer to our elusive question is – it depends. Cost will vary based on your enterprise size and type, but the ballpark figure for a traditional business process management tool can fall anywhere between $250,000 to $500,000.

Yes, you read that right. It’s a big range, and shows how diverse the BPM price range is.

Calculate Your Needs

Now that you are over the sticker shock, it helps to narrow down your choices for the BPM that suit your purpose well if you are planning to purchase BPM software. To shortlist the possible solutions for your enterprise, answer the following questions:

  • What is your BPM budget?
  • What are your workflow goals and requirements?
  • How complex are your business processes?
  • Are you a small team or do you need a BPM system for a wider enterprise landscape?
  • Do you need an easy-to-use, made-for-all, cloud-based BPM workflow or do you need a robust bespoke BPM system?
  • What level of customization are you looking for in the BPM suite?

At this point, rather than considering the cost, think about what you are looking for in it.

When you are ready to invest in a business process management system that suits your needs, make an offer to the shortlisted vendors and talk to them about the core features you need and other functionalities that are of no use to you. If the vendor is flexible – and their product is customizable – this negotiation will help determine the buying price of the BPM that could save you money and future hassles. The best part is that you will have a BPM that is tailor-made to suit your enterprise needs.

Another way you can estimate the price range for the BPM solution of your choice is by buying reports from industry analysts who are in the know of the cost of mainstream business process management tools. However, their findings will also likely suggest the average price and not the specific sales amount because there is no pricing transparency among the BPM vendors at large.

What’s Your Type of BPM?

If your enterprise wants to have greater control and replace complex manual processes, you will need to choose a BPM product that offers good flexibility and faster deployment. Then there are heavy-duty BPM tools built to offer application development capabilities, and come with a host of features that customers rarely use.

These days, startups and small teams across enterprises prefer swift, cloud-based workflow solutions that don’t require coding and other backend hassles. These BPM tools are designed for agile processing, transparency, process tracking, and stronger collaboration.

Cloud-based BPMS based on per user/per month usage come with an upfront price tag rather than a cryptic pricing formula. They are packaged to serve the exact number of users operating the tool and are available from as low as $30/user at an enterprise level.

A cloud-based BPM software like KiSSFLOW offers great flexibility in creating workflow applications, powerful visibility on the processes, and insightful data through reports and analytics to improve process efficiency. BPM solutions available on cloud are customizable by design, and they don’t suffer from the ‘feature creep’ that the traditional BPM solutions are packed with.

Process-friendly BPM That Is Also Pocket-friendly

Rather than trying to find out how much a BPM solution costs, start first with your company’s needs. Do you need something on-premise, or is cloud-based a better option? Do you need something customized to your internal applications, or can you work with APIs and other integrations?

Research all the vendors that offer the specific features you require and rank them by cost. Check out the most economical ones and make sure their functionality and data security are up to the mark. What makes the more expensive options more costly? Is it just the brand name or is it something more? How much is your company willing to invest in a business process management system? Once you shortlist one or two vendors, reach out and find out if you can customize the product to suit your needs and budget.

It is seemingly impossible to get a clear understanding of the price tag each BPM comes with. But if you do your homework and have clarity of your requirements, it is easier to sort through the clutter and explore the possibilities that are closest match to your enterprise. So approach the problem not by asking how much will it cost, but by focusing on the specifics that you’re looking for in a BPM solution.

Good luck!

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