Integrating BPM and Social Media

I find it interesting to note that there are a lot of Social Media Tools out there.
If you google on "social media tool" you get 2.650.000 hits. 

When you do the same for "bpm tool" you get 14.600 hits.

You can say that there are of course a lot of small social media tools and that a BPM tool is a lot complexer.
Would it be wrong to ask myself if we could help business with (mostly free) social media tools instead of a (mostly more expensive) BPM tools?
Some arguments in favor of social media tools, i can think of:
  • Mostly for free
  • There are a lot
  • Mostly simple
  • Fun to work with
There are also some disadvantages i can think of:
  • How long will the tool exist?
  • How secure is it?
  • Can it handle a lot of users?
  • Can it handle the performance that is sometimes required?
  • What is the support?
  • Integration with other tools?
So probably the disadvantages will block CIOs from using them in business critical business processes, but maybe they can be very valuable in using for other business processes.

Some arguments in favor of BPM tools:
  • More secure because used on-premise
  • More support and documentation
  • More auditing information out-of-the-box
  • BAM
  • Better integration support with other systems
Some disadvantages:
  • Expensive
  • Complex

But how about a more Hybrid solution in which BPM and Social Media tools are used together or even integrated.
You already see this within the Cordys stack (integration with Google) and Oracle (uses collaboration tools).

I think we will see a lot more from this in 2011.

What are your thoughts on this?


  1. This is a second (briefer) attempt to add a reaction:

    BPM tools and social media in general both have certain unique capablities that are not mutually exchangeble.

    What I am missing in the article is a specification of the type of business problems you want to solve using either one of these concepts/tools.

    Maybe a simple workflow could be implemented by both types, a complex BP with sophisticated BAM is something else.

  2. @Harald: Thanks for the feedback!

    Maybe the article is somewhat misleading but what I am trying to say is that probably the conjunction of the two, will be strong. So use BPM and Social Media together and integrate them.
    Maybe a lot of processes are not catchable within a tide BPM process or even a in case management solution.
    A good question is what will be the type of business problems the integration will solve.

  3. I agree that the social WEB2.0 aspects should be taken into account. Several BPMS offer already User collaboration environments themselves, which already implementing social WEB2.0 functionality.

    Cloud integration is also becoming a standard BPMS feature, that together with Social Media vendors API-s I allow for integration of BPM en SM in a fair extend, which most likely will solve the business needs.

    But maybe you can think of an process example that is not covered by these functionalities?

    Regards, Harald