We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.

Blog: Craig Schiff Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed!

Craig Schiff

I am very excited about this opportunity to share my perspectives and experience in my BeyeNETWORK Blog. For those of you who may not have read my articles and newsletters over the past few years, I hope you will appreciate a vendor-independent perspective on all things related to Business Performance Management (BPM). I focus on key topics organizations should consider throughout their BPM project lifecycle, from early stage requirements definition and justification, key measure development, vendor selection and finally, successful deployment and rollout. Of course, market trends and vendor updates will also be part of the mix. Please stop by on a regular basis to see what's new, and to make this interactive, please share your opinions. If you have a specific question, contact me directly at cschiff@bpmpartners.com.

About the author >

Craig, President and CEO of BPM Partners, is a pioneer in business performance management (BPM). Craig helped create and define the field as it evolved from business intelligence and analytic applications into BPM. He has worked with BPM and related technologies for more than 20 years, first as a founding member at IMRS/Hyperion Software (now Hyperion Solutions) and later cofounded OutlookSoft where he was President and CEO.

Craig is a frequent author on BPM topics and monthly columnist for the BeyeNETWORK. He has led several jointly produced webcasts with Business Finance Magazine including "Beyond the Hype: The Truth about BPM Vendors," the three-part vendor review entitled "BPM Xpo" and "BPM 101: Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Business Performance Management." He is a recipient of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. BPM Partners is a vendor-independent professional services firm focused exclusively on BPM, providing expertise that helps companies successfully evaluate and deploy BPM systems. Craig can be reached at cschiff@bpmpartners.com.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Craig's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

September 2005 Archives

It used to be that if a vendor was providing the software for a particular solution area in a company, when that solution was expanded that vendor would be the first to be called. In the world of BPM today that is not always the case. More often than not the existing vendor does not get the new business by default. A selection process will take place where that vendor becomes one of 4 or 5 solutions being evaluated. In some instances, and this is a growing trend, the entrenched vendor is specifically excluded from the options being looked at for expanding the solution. This seems to go against common logic: people are already trained up on the solution, there is probably a good pricing deal in place for purchasing incremental seats/functionality, etc. And yet the entrenched vendors are not being invited to play. Why is this the case?

In the world of BPM the typical situation is a departmental system going corporate-wide or adding additional components (i.e. you have budgeting, now you want to add a dashboard, or consolidation, etc.). What we are finding is that the people who are using the existing systems are not standing up and advocating on their behalf when expansion is being considered. In some cases they are even recommending against considering that vendor. The primary reason comes down to the fact that they have had some sort of negative experience with the vendor and/or product - oversold on functionality, took longer/cost more to implement, harder to use than expected. While this can happen with any application, the highly aggressive sales and marketing that has been taking place in the BPM space is beginning to come back and bite those that engaged in it. This, coupled with the fact that the vendors that are being considered now as alternatives are themselves pouring on the marketing hype helps set up this situation. In other words, you know you have had issues with the existing system, the new ones you are looking at (or more specifically, that are being marketed to you) seem great by comparison. Of course this also makes it highly likely that this cycle will repeat the next time the system is expanded.

What does this mean to the vendors, customers, and the BPM industry? Where will this all end? For most of the vendors it means opportunity. Just because someone (usually one of the big guys) has a foothold at a company, it doesn't mean they will win the business when the system is expanded. There is also the opportunity to be the vendor that tells it like it really is and win repeat business. To the customers it means they must do more due diligence. Just because the vendor, or his implementation partner, or his best references, say the system is great it doesn't necessarily mean it will be great for you. For the industry it should be a wake-up call. If the vendors don't get back to more realistic solution selling and/or the customers don't do a better job of evaluating products, then there is the risk of BPM joining the ranks of great 3 letter acronym solutions that failed to live up to expectations.

Posted September 19, 2005 8:50 AM
Permalink | No Comments |

There are not that many industry analysts that appear to fully comprehend BPM today and the possibilities for tomorrow. The few that do get it (read: align with my thinking) include Lee Geischecker and her associates at Gartner (although they insist on calling it CPM), Henry Morris and Kathy Wilhide at IDC, and John Haggerty at AMR. A name that has been missing from that list of late is John Van Decker, formerly of Meta Group. Well, after a brief stint in a strategy role at a vendor, John has returned to the analyst fold. He can now be found at the Robert Frances Group. Welcome back John.

Posted September 19, 2005 7:39 AM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

The BPM industry can be brutal for the software vendors. As the demand for their software has heated up each vendor is trying desperately to outdo the competition. Since prospects are showing a preference for vendors offering a complete BPM suite those who don't have it (which is most of them)are looking to quickly acquire the missing pieces. Geac, who not too long ago did their own acquisition of Comshare for budgeting and consolidation capabilities, may now be an acquisition candidate itself. Geac has stated publicly that they have been looking to make additional business software acquisitions. Apparently a recent planned deal fell through due to price, and now they are considering putting Geac itself up for sale. How many BPM companies will be left a year from now and who will they be? Comments welcome.

Posted September 9, 2005 8:27 PM
Permalink | No Comments |