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Dennis Byron, ebizQ: Welcome to today's Business Process Management (BPM) podcast on ebizQ.net. I'm Dennis Byron. I've been doing research in the area of BPM for many years.

I've also been doing research in ERP for almost as long. The two statements go together. Simplistically, all ERP is is preconfigured BPM. I first wrote about this overlap of BPM and ERP on ebizQ in July 2008 and recently, I found someone who wants to discuss that combination further with me.

My guest today is Garth Knudson, Managing Director of International Sales and Alliances at Handysoft. Garth has also been a contributing author here on ebizQ, most recently in April 2009. With 15 years of broad customer experience, Knudson has focused for the past five years on BPM-oriented initiatives in areas such as product management, marketing, business development, and project implementation. He received his BA from Bringham Young, an MBA from Case, and a master's international management from Thunderbird.

The international management study, obviously, is very important to his current role as Director of International Sales and Alliances at Handysoft. Garth feels he has discovered that certain parts of the international area for which he is responsible are from three to seven years behind the market in their access to and evaluation of BPM and ERP. As a result of faster communications today around the world, some larger organizations that can't afford ERP may skip ERP and move immediately to BPM. So we wanted to get some feeling from Garth on that possibility.

Also, he has told me in a previous conversation that he sees ERP as a way to integrate the data layer of different processes, for example, payables, receivables, or order entry within larger processes like financials or HR. The value is an integrated system. In contrast, BPM enables users to streamline processing spanning multiple divisions, systems and data sources. So ERP has a somewhat limited value although it handles very important processes. In contrast, BPM can take you across the firewall.

BPM absolutely complements the ERP in that view because it gives you a single view of the process from you, to your customer, to your supplier. And if you've read any of my blogs, you know that's a real hot button with me. So Garth, pick up on what you told me earlier. How does BPM compare with ERP in your experience, particularly, outside North America?


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