A leading analyst firm recently released a report analyzing BPM suites which offer Case Management functionality (CMF). The report mentioned that it considered CRM products (such as Dynamics CRM) which provide Case Management, but did not include them in the report, since they are mostly able to handle Service Cases alone, and do not cover a broader range of Case Management scenarios.

The question is, if Dynamics CRM could be bolstered by a BPM suite, would the resulting system have broader and more effective Case Management capabilities?

Let's look at the five main aspects of Case Management in order to reach a conclusion:

  1. Managing the Data/Metadata of Case
  2. Collaboration between Case Stakeholders
  3. Case Analytics
  4. Case Document Management
  5. Sub-processes which can be executed on the Case by a Knowledge Worker

Clearly, Dynamics CRM alone includes aspects 1. with some functionality around 2., 3. and 4. as well.

What about BPM? BPM most definitely brings 5. to the table, with added functionality around 2. and 3.

As such, if Dynamics CRM could be integrated with a BPM suite, then perhaps together, the resultant system would be a superior Case Management solution. In addition, a BPM suite can bring Case Management to further areas of CRM (not just Service). In fact, all areas of Dynamics CRM can be treated as Cases - Marketing, Sales, Service and Customer on-Boarding.

For example, let's say you have an Opportunity which is critical for your company to win. This Opportunity could be treated as a Case, and assigned a Case Manager (e.g. a top sales rep or even VP Sales). With Dynamics CRM's native features, you can manage this Case's data and metadata quite easily, and using the Business Process Flow feature (Dynamics CRM 2013) you can even define the stages of this Case as it moves toward completion. What happens when we add a BPM suite to the fray? Now our capabilities have been doubled. The Case Manager can kick off human-centric processes within the organization as the Opportunity reaches each stage, notifying stakeholders around the company and assigning them action items to help you win the sale. The BPM suite can even provide the Case Manager with a choice of several processes to execute according to his judgement (like a true Case Management knowledge worker), because different sub-process may be more appropriate at each point in time and for each case. Finally, BPM suites include advanced analytics on process performance, complementing Dynamics CRM's existing reporting features. The result: state-of-the-art Case Management!

This doesn't mean that CRM + BPM can cover all Case Management scenarios. Scenarios which are not customer related are perhaps off the radar for now (unless Dynamics CRM is customized for non-Customer scenarios). But it does mean that when it comes to the customer, Dynamics CRM + BPM can be a highly effective Case Management system.

If you're searching for a BPM + CRM solution, note that PNMsoft SCE is a BPM suite which integrates with Dynamics CRM, and can handle scenarios such as the one above.

Thanks, and good luck with your Case Management-CRM challenges.

Eli Stutz

Head of Knowledge and Collaboration, PNMsoft