Guidance on BPM and Camunda

Hi all,

A bit random as the users on this forum are probably all-in already, but I’m wanting my company to start documenting and automating processes. The problem is, I don’t want to hire people and put the cart before the horse because a) I don’t know if I want an internal team or outsource or hybrid, b) I don’t want to rely on whatever some tech dude or dudette tells me (using “the law of the instrument”) without understanding what the options are, and c) I don’t want to invest in something only to ultimately change it later.

The company is big (5000 staff) , and I’m the CEO. I started my career as an IT consultant so understand technology but I didn’t have experience in backend programming so that’s unfamiliar. I understand BPMN 2.0 and I’m competent in it, but obviously I won’t be spending my time personally process mapping.

The first thing I want to do is have our current processes documented, but I don’t want to waste resources having it done in BPMN 2.0 if the automation solution in the end will not even use it. So I’m trying to work out the end before allocating the resources at the start.

I’ve researched a range of process management and automation technologies, and I’m struggling to figure out exactly what the different technologies do in detail because there are so many different directions you could go. There are rabbit holes everywhere.

In the end I want to have documented process that are automated wherever possible, and SOPs (and competencies) where they are not, or not yet, and still need a human.

So end game options I have considered are;

RPA style

  • Microsoft driven including Power Automate. Maybe SPFx solutions to compliment PowerAutomate. Regardless it’s Microsoft.
  • UiPath including robot process automation.
  • Other similar commercial process automation solutions like Automate Anywhere.

BPMN and microservices driven approach

  • Camunda, with in-house developed microservices, but I don’t understand what Camunda can do and can’t do aside from BPMN 2.0 diagrams (e.g. in Cawemo or other).
  • Activiti with Spring Boot microservices. Similar story, aside from documenting the processes not sure what it does.

Possibly TagUI or something similar where the main method of automation is with microservices and not RPA, i.e. an RPA tool would be used to compliment a microservices architecture first approach.


Something like Flowingly which doesn’t use BPMN 2.0 but can document, manage process execution, and attach SOPs to the processes. You can probably throw a blanket over Flowingly, KissFlow, ProcessMaker, and whatever.

I’m leaning towards a BPMN 2.0 and microservices architecture driven approach because I think it deals with automation at the backend rather than the UI, and it would have a better longer-term pay-off, but I’m not sure what parts something like Camunda (or Activiti, Bizagi, or whatever) can do beyond designing the process. I understand what microservices can do. It’s the bit in the middle, I’m not clear on how to bridge the gaps or how Camunda does it.

Any guidance/advice before I build a team on an approach?

Cheers, Jay!

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Personally, I would reach out to Camunda Sales and ask for a demo.

I’ve seen Business Coaching programs that have libraries of business processes in BPMN with no execution. They are purely for documenting systemised processes as part of getting business owners to get into the ‘B’ quadrant thinking: “good systems and great people to operate them”.

Camunda takes those processes and allows you to design them collaboratively, deploy them and run them with a mixture of fully automated and fully manual steps, and measure process performance and bottlenecks providing insights that allow you to optimise their design.

This episode of the Camunda Nation Podcast, with Optimize product manager Eric Lundberg, is a great explanation: Optimize with Eric Lundberg


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