ACM is something you do. It is not something you buy, it is not a product category, it is not a market.
There is another thing I will call XXX which is also is something you do. It is not something you buy, it is not a product category, it is not a market. It is the art and practice of modelling business as a process and the continual improvement of that. I can't use the term BPM for this because so many people here refuse to define their terms and we argue only about the definition of a term. I avoid this by talking about XXX.
Which roles in an organization do ACM, and which roles do XXX? There is an interesting, very important difference between these categories of roles.
When a detective solves a crime, they are doing ACM. When a lawyer pursues a legal case, they are doing ACM. When a doctor helps a patient, they are doing ACM. These people are actively involved in managing the cases. They are the end-users of the system, and they do ACM directly.
XXX is different. When a doctor uses a process application, such as expense report, he is not doing XXX. When a salesman triggers a product fulfillment process, he is not doing XXX of product fulfillment. When an executive approves something in an an approval process, that executive is not doing XXX. When you use an XXX application, you don't do XXX. You benefit from XXX, and the organization benefits from XXX, but the users are not doing XXX in any real sense of the term. The people actively involved in managing the business processes are not the end-users, but the business analysts and programmers who make applications for the users.
There is VALUE in distinguishing these two because the needs and requirements of these two categories of roles are different.
Some believe that XXX is the original meaning of the term BPM, and we probably all agree that 10 years ago a BPMS was created purely to support behavior of XXX. There is a lot of literature that supports this.
Some here say that everything you do in a business is a business process, and thus there is only one category of system, and it is all called BPM. What the lawyer wants to do with a process is exactly the same thing as what the business analyst wants to do with a process. If you actually look at these two professions, they actually care about very different things. There is value in thinking about and understanding how these different users work. Motorcycles and automobiles are both vehicles, thus everything is a vehicle. True enough, but banning the term "motorcycle" prevents you from talking about how motorcycles are different from automobiles, and how the needs of the drivers are different.
Some here believe that BPM is a marketplace or product category, and that the definition of a BPMS is whatever vendors that call themselves "BPM Vendors" deliver. BMW makes both motorcycles and automobiles. Just because a single vendor delivers both, does not imply that motorcycles are the same thing as automobiles. Nor does it mean that there is a "war" between motorcycles and automobiles, and that one of them, either motorcycles or automobiles is going to 'win' and become dominant. The drivers of each have very different needs and desires.
Can a single system be delivered that supports both XXX activity and ACM activity? Certainly. Paper and pencil will support both XXX and ACM. And there are better systems that support both as well. The goal is not to find a single way to do everything, but to understand the individual differences between what different roles want and need to do. Ultimately I am sure we will have smart-phones that enable both XXX and ACM, but before we get there, we need to understand the differences between the needs and desires of both categories of work, and not simply refuse to believe that there is any difference.
If you want to say that both XXX and ACM are both called BPM, then that is just fine, and I don't care about that debate. What I do care about is the wants and needs of the ACM worker, as contrasted with the wants and needs of the XXX worker.
The readers of this discussion have to decide if they want clarity about how people work and what they do, or if they just want a label that includes all possible actions. The "BPM-Unionists" claim that a BPMS can support all types of behavior. How does claiming that all people are the same, help you to understand their differences? The industry has moved beyond the "one size fits all" state, and we are now identifying distinct categories of worker behavior. These categories are useful in helping to understand how to structure our world.
If you, the reader, believe that all people and all roles are the same, then feel free to believe that there is only one category of process support, that there is no need to talk about the difference between XXX and ACM. However, if you see and understand that knowledge workers are a distinct category of workers, and you want to understand the differences between the needs and desired of knowledge workers and others, you will find that discussion in groups talking about ACM.
Who sells it, and what name they put on the package, does not matter.