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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!

A consultant I have worked with off and on over the years recently formed a software company called Xlerant. His mission is to deliver what he and his backers are calling 'guided business intelligence'. The intent is to make BI more accessible to more users by putting a wizard-like front-end on it. His first area of focus is Business Performance Management (itself a front-end of sorts to BI).

More specifically, he is focused on the exploding are of budgeting and planning. Many vendors offer excellent planning solutions today, but their focus is on enterprise-wide collection, consolidation, and reporting. BudgetPak from Xlerant is targeted at the individual cost center manager charged with creating their annual budget. Unlike the Finance managers, budgeting is not something they deal with on a regular basis. The product is designed to walk them through the process with intelligent prompting, displays of data and rules from HR, and an overall workflow. The end result should be a timely, less painful creation of a more complete and accurate budget. Will this company succeed? Will this expand to other aspects of BI? I do think 'guided business intelligence' is useful and there is a market for it. However, the end user expects this to come from the primary BI/BPM vendor himself as part of the core product. There is a gulf today between client expectations and vendor realities which Xlerant can address. Over time however, it must be the vendors themselves that make their products easier and more accessible through their own development efforts or by acquiring/partnering with third-party developers like Xlerant.

Posted October 22, 2005 8:09 PM
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