RPA, BPM and ECM: Making Sense of Information Management Acronyms


RPA, BPM and ECM: Making Sense of Information Management AcronymsInformation management acronyms can be helpful shorthand that makes it easier and more efficient to talk about concepts. However, if you’re new to a particular subject area, these abbreviations can be perplexing, especially as far as how they relate to one another. In the field of information management, terms like robotic process automation (RPA), business process management (BPM), and enterprise content management (ECM) are used extensively and easy to confuse. Below I provide a little clarity.

Software Robots, Automation Systems, and Digital Transformation

In looking at the information management acronyms RPA, BPM and ECM, the last two, while not synonymous, are pretty close for our purposes. BPM and ECM tend to refer to large-scale and often enterprise-wide initiatives to automate entire processes. They might encompass many technologies and dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of procedures.

Compare this to RPA. RPA uses small software programs in the form of software “robots,” or in our case, Buddha Botz. These programs perform fairly simple, compartmentalized, routine tasks. While they may be used to facilitate more comprehensive automation, they are just one piece of the bigger puzzle that is BPM.

Comparing RPA and BPM

To go into a little more detail, below is how the two disciplines compare in some key areas. Keep in mind that both RPA and BPM deliver tremendous benefits to organizations. What’s important is understanding when you might use one or the other.

  • CostBuddha Botz can be developed for a fairly low cost. While BPM initiatives are very cost-effective consider the kinds of change they produce within an organization, they do have a larger price tag.
  • ImplementationBuddha Botz can be coded (by our team or yours), tested, and put into action in a matter of days or weeks. A BPM deployment is a process that typically takes months to years to complete.
  • TechnologyBuddha Botz for handling any type of process that would benefit from automation are all produced from the same platform, Kofax Kapow. BPM projects often rely on many different technologies.
  • ScopeAs mentioned above, Buddha Botz address specific tasks. RPA systems address end-to-end automation.
  • Impact on the BusinessBuddha Botz deliver very important process improvements, and the more software robots that are deployed, the greater the impact. RPA initiatives take longer to implement, but the end result can be huge improvements in process efficiency, compliance, agility and cost effectiveness.

More Information Management Acronyms: ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is one acronym that everyone understands. It’s also an area where there is little, if any, difference between RPA and BPM. Both provide an exceptional return relative to the investment required.

Interested in learning more about how robotic process automation and business process management can help your business? We’re always happy to talk RPA and BPM specifics with you. Contact us today.  

About the Author

Executive Vice President at Buddha Logic, Larry Matthews has more than 20 years of executive management experience and is responsible for the company’s operations and customer facing functions, including business development, sales enablement, professional services, finance and corporate administration. His work with other successful technology companies has honed his skill for improving operational performance while maintaining a positive bottom-line result at Buddha Logic. Find and connect with Larry on LinkedIn.