I really dislike that expression, but it’s commonly recognized to mean that a company is using its own products to run its own business. I believe that a lot of BPM vendors do use their own products in some way, but how much? Are they just playing around with expense approvals, or have they drunk the process Kool-Aid and embedded BPM within their critical business processes?
One company that does appear to be taking their own sales pitch to heart is Appian, who just published a case study about themselves (you can find it linked at the bottom of their About Us page, but it requires registration – tsk, tsk). They use it for departmental and enterprise-wide applications, and have 40-50,000 process instances running at any given time across Finance, HR, Sales, Support, Marketing, Product Management, IT and Employee Development. Furthermore, all of the business applications are developed by business people, not IT, and can be changed in flight by business people using the rules capability within Appian Enterprise.
By implementing BPM internally, which included moving some functionality out of Peoplesoft and into Appian, they’re saving about $500k in hard costs each year, primarily through reduced licensing and support costs for packaged applications. I’m sure that there’s also soft cost savings in terms of improved efficiency and productivity, although they haven’t stated those.
I’m curious to hear from other BPM vendors about their own internal case studies — add your comments with your experiences.