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Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) Example — Let’s Get Concrete In The Lead-to-Cash Process 🎯

Business Process as a Service is hard to imagine if you’ve not seen an implemented solution.

As BPaaS is not so widely spread and still a field that has to develop and find mainstream adoption, it makes sense to run through a concrete example. Thinking now more than 1 year about this concept, I feel confident to share a tangible example in the lead-to-cash process which includes several examples of what BPaaS is.

The Lead-to-Cash Process is a very good example, just through the astonishing choice of vendors, and the main process every company has, find and invoice customers. Let’s jump right into it.

To showcase the power of BPaaS, I’d like to introduce a very quick example case of Peter 👨🏽‍💻. Peter is running a dropshipping business and selling LED ring lights (You’re right the stuff needed for TikToks, I bet the people selling those lights are billionaires) through his own Shopify Store. His Job-to-be-done is to ship the best quality LED ring lights to his target customers likely between 14–17 years old. But for this, he needs the right infrastructure and lead-to-cash process in place. For sure he also needs some procurement processes and workforce management processes but for simplicity, we’ll only focus on lead-to-cash. Therefor Peter needs a solution to:

  • Identify promising leads
  • Guide those leads to his webshop
  • Recommend the most likable product they will purchase
  • Invoice the products his customers bought
  • Fulfill the order
  • Collect the cash

In a Software as a Service World Peter could dig deeper to find the right solutions for him to enable the process. He likely has found separate solutions that now needed to be integrated to work smoothly. So his IT-Landscape could look like something like this:

  • For Leads is Peter using TikTok itself (making TikToks videos and paying for advertisement) through his channel.
  • For guiding those leads on his TikToks to his webshop he’s using ClickMeter to monitor the clicks and related metrics on the links under his videos.
  • As Webshop is he’s using Shopify
  • For the right invoicing is he connecting Shopify to his Stripe account.
  • For the order fulfillment, he’s trusting Fulfillment by Amazon as he’s having the best experience with this.
  • And for the cash collection is Stripe taking again care of.

The end result is the following:

  • Peter has a working lead-to-cash process to sell his LED ring lights, which is supported by the latest vendor and technology for this solution BUT:
  • Peter will pay a monthly fee for each of those different solutions (ClickMeter, Shopify, Stripe, Amazon) to enable his process. Whether the solutions generate the outcome he likes to achieve or not.
  • Peter has a lot of different solutions where he needs to jump between to monitor or control his process.
  • A lot of integration work needs to be done by some consultants in case those solutions don’t provide the right out-of-the-box APIs to connect the solutions.
  • On the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) often used to describe processes maturity level he and his business would be on Level 3 “Defined” out of 5. If he wants to move up the ladder he needs to invest in process improvement solutions e.g. Process Mining and Proces Management solutions and actively test better tools and process configurations.

In a Business Process as a Service World Peter would search not for independent solutions but for an end-to-end process offering tailored for his business model.

So let’s introduce the quickly invented “TikToks to Cash Company” as I did not found a company specialized in my example use case. The “TikTok to Cash Company” is specialized in providing end-to-end lead-to-cash processes for TikTok advertisers who want to drop ship products. It’s the leading company running those processes for the Top100 revenue-generating TikTok accounts and has the right expertise to optimize the sh*t out of this process.

“TikTok to Cash Company” is offering Peter the process. The only thing Peter cares about is generating cash and selling his LED Lights. So the input required for “TikTok to Cash Company” is Peter's input factor for the lead-to-cash process mainly consisting of the LED lights, the profit he wants to achieve, and Videos Peter is creating on TikTok to advertise them.

All the remaining stuff is “TikTok to Cash Company” taking care of:

  • Which is the best and cheapest fulfillment solution to integrate with Shopify? Don’t care Peter. “TikTok to Cash Company” is testing it and building on its expertise with the other TikTok accounts and process knowledge created.
  • Is Shopify even the best web shop for Peter or is a customized solution better for him and offering more opportunities to also expand into, a brick-and-mortar store? “TikTok to Cash Company” is taking care of it.
  • What if he wants to promote on other Channels like Instagram as well and guide them to his webshop? “TikTok to Cash Company” is taking care of it.

In conclusion: Peter does not care about the underlying software only about his input and output factors. Peter only pays for the outcome which is a sold and delivered LED Light. “TikTok to Cash Company” is taking its fair share on this for providing and optimizing the process for him. The billing model could look like share on leads generated or lights sold. In any case, the more lights are sold, the better for Peter but also for “TikTok to Cash Company”. A win-win situation for both as they can specialize in providing the best service and products.

Peter is skipping through the BPaaS model all 4 steps of the CMMI model and right jumps into Level 5 “Optimizing” because he can build his foundation on the know-how of “TikTok to Cash Company” which by the way automatically optimizes the process and invested in the right tooling like Celonis to mine the processes for optimization.

Thanks for reading this short and hopefully concrete enough example. I couldn't find a concrete example therefore create this blog to help others with this mental model of BPaaS. This example is on purpose very easy. I know there are a lot more details to consider but this is likely part of another blog.

You see through reading this, also building a BPaaS company is not easy. You need the right know-how in this specific area to coble the right solutions in an optimized way together with a holistic view. This also means you likely need to have expertise in relevant solutions who can go into a discourse with each other on optimizing the process as a whole (global optimum) and not only small siloed solutions (local optimum e.g. generating leads)

In our example, you need to be an absolute TikTok marketing expert to offer this BPaaS service and still generate profit. Important: You don’t need to be the procurement process expert for LED ring lights. This is Peter or maybe another BPaaS vendor he’s building on. Meaning, a BPaaS Business has a very concrete scope and not-in-scope of the process part.

As always I hope you enjoyed this blog. Don’t hesitate to comment or reach out directly to me on Twitter or LinkedIn in case of questions!

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TheNewTechStack is a publication centered around innovation in the tech industry and enterprise IT. More or less regular posts whenever I’m in the mood to write or excited about a new topic.

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