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Business process integration (BPI) has become a vehicle for achieving sustainable value for corporations. BPI projects help foster revenue growth, increase customer satisfaction, facilitate e-business deployment and meet cost-reduction targets. Specifically, BPI enables functional integration across segregated business units, extends vertical process management into supply and distribution chains, and provides companies with e-business integration capabilities.

In other words, BPI allows previously segregated business units to work in synthesis, enables business units to integrate processes with external entities and consolidates redundant processes across functional areas. This results in an enterprise that is more efficient and effective, which in turn drives up revenues and drives down costs.

BPI relies on certain critical success factors, the most important of which include:

  • Ensuring that BPI is a business-driven approach to integration
  • Building a BPI coalition that crosses functional and enterprise boundaries
  • Utilizing technology that facilitates BPI collaboration and deployment

BPI: A Business-Driven Approach to Integration

Business requirements, by definition, drive BPI. This may seem apparent, but many organizations focus on technology-driven integration when they could derive exponentially greater value from a business-driven approach. Examples of technology-driven integration are found in situations where IT leads an effort to connect Web-based applications to back-end systems and databases. While a technology-driven effort, such as Web-enabling legacy systems, provides tactical value in the near term, BPI provides long-term, exponential value by addressing integration from a business perspective.

However, even though BPI is, by nature, focused on the business aspects of an integration project, some IT managers make the mistake of framing their BPI projects in purely technical terms. Instead, a BPI undertaking needs to be expressed at the onset in terms of the business goals to be achieved.


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