Diferencias entre DPA, RPA, BPM, BPA y DCM

Differences between DPA, RPA, BPM, BPA and DCM

Today we are going to try to clarify several acronyms that are very recurrent in the world of business automation; we will attempt to define and demystify these acronyms since, sometimes, they are used interchangeably which can often lead to confusion. Let’s explore the differences between DPA, RPA, BPM, BPA and DCM.


DPA (Digital Process Automation) is a concept that describes the automation of an organization’s procedures and processes using software. DPA is a generic concept and does not define specific technologies, although it does give special relevance to certain aspects within automation and the technology that can be used.

DPA key points

The objective of DPA is undoubtedly to optimize time and resources within business workflows, for which it proposes certain valuable features.

Automatic workflows

A core software is a must to manage the processes defined in a company, i.e., you must have some type of software engine that can send the relevant information or task to the appropriate user when necessary and carry out the logic defined for such processes.

Mobile interfaces

Users should be able to complete their tasks from practically any device, anywhere and at any time. Adapting interfaces to mobiles and tablets (whether native apps or responsive web applications) is an important factor for automation.


Collaboration between users must be fluid and constant.

Adaptation to change

Processes must be capable of easily adapting to market changes, company policies, new needs, etc.

Inclusion of customers, suppliers, etc.

It is essential to trace and analyze automated processes, leaving a record of each interaction made by users and systems.

Traceability and transparency

It is essential to trace and analyze automated processes, leaving a record of each interaction made by users and systems.

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DPA categories

Some time ago a categorization was born within the DPA, which basically differentiates two groups: DPA deep and DPA wide

DPA Deep

DPA for deep deployment, is used to transform and improve complex business processes, with fewer high-profile programmers, but with a certain technical level. The focus is to automate deep, concrete and especially complex processes within the organization.

DPA Wide

DPA for wide deployment describes the cases of DPA that require less technical staff. DPA wide projects should be delivered using Low-Code platforms (mainly BPM platforms), the use of which is specially designed for process automation by business users, without the need for programming knowledge.

How to implement DPA

When planning a thorough DPA strategy, it is important to evaluate and leverage the appropriate technologies.

In practice, a good approach to a DPA implementation is achieved by using BPM technology combined with RPA technology, since they complement each other; While one serves on a corporate procedural basis, the other helps solve bottlenecks in specific tasks within the processes.

Starting from the process automation obtained with BPM and RPA, we can begin to unify the entire business ecosystem by connecting and centralizing information from external applications through integrations (we can use BPM to integrate systems at the API or web services level, and RPA for the remaining cases). Finally, once the processes are completed and cover end-to-end scenarios, enough information is generated to begin taking the first steps to apply certain measures of artificial intelligence. This point is known as Intelligent Automation, which is currently a top objective for companies.


RPA (Robotic Process Management) is a software automation technology that emulates user interaction with computer applications, acting primarily at the graphical interface level. This technology is an evolution of the classic desktop apps that completed forms and built macros.

RPA requires that the data be well structured, both at its entrance and throughout its execution, and is totally deterministic, since the decisions are preprogrammed in the robot’s own process.


BPM (Business Process Management) is a corporate methodology that defines the orchestration of data, users and systems through end-to-end business processes. This methodology arose as a standardization of workflows and decisions that were previously drawn on paper, which gave way to the development of software capable of putting such methodology into practice: BPMS.

BPMN 2.0

BPMN 2.0 (Business Process Management Notation) is the current standard for defining corporate workflows. Objects that can be defined include: events, tasks, decision gates, etc.

BPMS (BPM Software)

BPMS (Business Process Management Software or Business Process Management Suite) is the software, platform or computer program capable of automating the workflows diagrammed in the BPMN 2.0 notation (or other BPM standards). This software’s main task is to manage a process or workflow from beginning to end, sending tasks to the relevant users, making the necessary calculations, determining the process path based on the decision gates, etc. This automation is possible thanks to the BPM engine incorporated in the program.


When, in addition to process automation, the BPMS incorporates other features such as business rules, document management or connection to external systems (among other features), it can be regarded as an iBPMS: Intelligent Business Process Management Suite.


BPA (Business Process Automation) is the automation of corporate procedures. As with DPA, it is a generic term and does not define a specific technology or methodology to be implemented. It is based on the automation of tasks, the use of business rules (mainly for decision making), and end-to-end process traceability.

Although not explicitly specified, BPM software is the most appropriate technology to tackle a BPA project, since it fulfills the main requirements.


DCM (Dynamic Case Management) differs from the above terms almost entirely, since it is case management methodology. Cases are processes that do not follow a specific flow and are often complex and chaotic, with an end that is often undetermined. These are situations that require extraordinary actions and that tend to be poorly structured. Examples of cases include: incidents, complaints, claims, long-term projects that involve several departments, investigation, etc.

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DCM is also used to refer to the computer programs that help manage these dynamic cases. It is difficult to find horizontal software solutions for case management. Depending on the business sector, it is more common to find vertical tools.

Although the main characteristics of cases is their randomness and complex follow-up and predictions, many parts of a case can be broken down into smaller processes, since there are always sequences of actions that are susceptible to repetition. BPM software, with incorporated case management tools (such as AuraPortal with ad hoc tasks, document management, traceability and other vital features), is an appropriate solution thanks to its flexible, customizable and adaptive nature, even when the cases do not follow a pre-established flow.


Digital Process Automation (DPA), being a somewhat generic concept, can be achieved using BPM and RPA technologies and integrating the company’s external systems through APIs and web services. With the centralized, structured, and preferably non-duplicated data, artificial intelligence techniques can be applied in the processes with the objective of increasing efficiency and improving decision making. This scenario leads us directly to Intelligent Automation.

DPA is suitable for the automation of structured processes with logic that can be previously defined, while Case Management (DCM) covers unstructured processes with indeterminate endings such as claims, requests, complaints, investigations, etc. Neither DPA nor DCM cover all possible scenarios, so a combination of both is often necessary.

Business Process Management (BPM) is a methodology that works as a structural basis for business processes, and today BPM platforms (such as AuraPortal) incorporate all kinds of automation, task completion and case management mechanisms, making them valid options to solve most scenarios. BPM also has the advantage of being a good orchestrator for RPA, since it can indicate when to launch the bots, the data to include, and take care of RPA’s possible failures or exceptions by launching alternative workflows.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a versatile tool to solve very specific scenarios that use of very well-structured rules and data; which generally results in tasks (related to office applications) being carried out in record time, and superficial system integrations at the graphical interface level.