Enabling Customer Experience and Front-Office Transformation through Business Process Engineering

In the past, the scope of business processes has been circumscribed to the industrialization of enterprise operations. Indeed, Business Process Management (BPM) has focused on relatively mature operations, with the goal of improving performance through automation. However, in today’s world of customer-centricity and individualized services, the richest source of economic value-creation comes from enterprise-customer contacts beyond transactions. Consequently, process has recently moved out of its traditional court and is becoming prevalent in less traditional competences such as marketing operations, customer-relationship management, campaign creation and monitoring, brand management, sales and advisory services, multi-channel management, service innovation and management life-cycle, among others. These competences host customer-enterprise co-creation activities characterized by innovation, human creativity, and new technologies. Above all, these work-practices call for continuous differentiation, instead of “pouring concrete” on emerging business processes.

While BPM will continue to make important contributions to the factory of enterprises, Business Process Engineering (BPE) is chartered to provide a holistic approach to new opportunities related to the life-cycle of enterprise customers and the transformation of so-called Front-Office Operations. More broadly, Business Process Engineering fosters a new space for the multidisciplinary study of process, integrating individuals, information and technology, and it does so with the goal of engineering (i.e., designing and running) innovative enterprise operations to serve customers and improve their experiences. Furthermore, given past challenges in the Back-Office, it is imperative that managers focus on processes in the Front-Office where the software industry has jumped into with solutions that bury key processes within applications, thus making differentiation and agility very difficult.

BPE stresses the critical importance of the integration of Information and Behavior and it is this goal that links it with Business Informatics: the information process in organizations and society. Since behavior and information are complementary and inseparable domains of concern, current approaches to decision making based on data-only evidence should be reexamined holistically: it may be catastrophic to explicate or predict the behavior of organizations or individuals meaningfully by insisting on the ongoing divorce across the two domains. In particular, Business Informatics and Business Process Engineering offer an opportunity to address potential benefits of “big data” and “business analytics” beyond the IT domain. Having IEEE lead these directions means an opportunity for stimulating new research and practice on the most fundamental problems that enterprises and customers face today in dealing with each other.

By: Jorge L. Sanz

Published in: RJ10506 in 2013


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