Over the last decade, business process management solutions have been gaining considerable momentum as organizations are struggling to maintain consistency and efficiency in executing their core business processes. Workflow for automating formal business processes has been built into enterprise solutions and line-of-business applications, and business process management point solutions have emerged for more comprehensive process management capabilities. Despite these advancements in business process management technologies, workflow and business process management solutions are typically used to address only a small percentage of the work that is done within an enterprise. By focusing exclusively on highly structured business processes designed by a small number of employees, organizations have historically neglected to address and enable the less formal and more iterative work that is completed by the vast majority of employees.
Microsoft has responded to these industry challenges by providing the Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 Workflow solution that delivers highly flexible tools like InfoPath Forms Services for data collection and workflow interaction and SharePoint® Designer for easy workflow design and customization including robust out of the box features to enable the rapid deployment and adoption of business process solutions across the enterprise. By supplementing formalized process execution with collaborative human interaction, employees can work more effectively in the context of the larger goals of the enterprise.