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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!

This should be a top trend, but it's not. At least not yet. Most companies we speak with would love to find a product that comes out of the box customized for their business, or at least their industry. This is particularly true when talking about dashboards. Surely banks, as an example, have a lot of the same requirements and track many of the same key performance indicators as each other. Why then doesn't almost every vendor offer a 'banking dashboard'? The trend seems to be going the other way. There was a BPM vendor called INEA focused on addressing the needs of a single vertical: banking. They got acquired by Cartesis and their products became part of Cartesis' generic offering. Is INEA's failure to succeed on its own an illustration of why more vendors don't pursue a vertical strategy?

I think the reason we have yet to see more industry-specific BPM offerings is that the vendors don't want to limit their potential market. That may be what INEA did by focusing on only one industry, but couldn't the vendors have a generic offering overlaid with features, modules, and templates targeting specific verticals? That way they could have the best of both worlds. Oracle today is an example of this. They have a robust BPM suite that can meet the needs of most industries, but they also have modules and capabilities specifically targeted at financial services firms. Most other vendors are content to offer packaged demos and pre-sales experts that speak the language of various industries, but they don't go much deeper than that. I guess the prospective BPM customers will have to wait a little longer for the lower learning curve, shorter implementation timeframes, and reduced total cost of ownership that true vertical solutions should be able to provide.

Posted November 17, 2005 8:40 AM
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