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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!

October 2006 Archives

Since the Microsoft announcement several months back many in the industry remain skeptical about their ability to deliver anything of substance any time soon. The only real fear seems to be the potential impact on pricing. Unfortunately for the rest of the BPM vendors, I believe that the Microsoft impact will be larger and be felt sooner than expected. I know many of the people that have been recruited into sales and pre-sales positions at MS and most of them are top-notch, experienced BPM corporate salesmen. Being able to sell to the corporate business buyer has been perceived as one of the weakest links in the MS PerformancePoint chain. Speaking with those sales people has also revealed that they already have substantial pipelines of major corporations very interested in learning more about PerformancePoint. On the product side, one of the pre-sales guys who has been in this space for many years is very impressed with what he has seen so far. While the larger BPM vendors tend to minimize what MS is capable of, some of the smaller vendors see the writing on the wall. Many of them are planning to leverage what is being delivered by Microsoft and add their own unique domain expertise on top. How this will all turn out is anybody's guess, but it is certainly going to be an exciting time in the BPM world.

Posted October 25, 2006 7:37 AM
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We received some interesting information at a recent meeting we had with Hyperion. The most surprising thing for me was that they are still selling the Hyperion Enterprise product. Now this was a great product in its day (full disclosure: I was one of the four original product designers), but hasn't it been surpassed by HFM and other newer products? Well, they have repackaged it for the mid-market which is a fast growing segment for them. They are also continuing to enhance it, not just fix bugs. Apparently there's still life in the old dog. On the System 9 front they are downright bullish. Although we have heard from some users that the initial release was somewhat buggy, all new clients are coming on with System 9. They are adding on average 50 new consolidation and 100 new planning clients per quarter. If you add in migrations from older versions you can see that they have a fairly robust adoption rate. They have also come up with a sales/marketing answer for the most significant knock against them - not providing a truly unified solution: 'if you want to do it all in one system use HFM, otherwise we also offer a multi-product best of breed approach'. From an actual unified product perspective, to Hyperion's credit users seem to like the high-level look and feel unification provided by System 9.

Posted October 19, 2006 12:29 PM
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In the past few weeks I have received new information on several topics I've blogged about recently. Regarding the Hyperion vs. OutlookSoft lawsuit: not only was it decided in OutlookSoft's favor, but Hyperion's patents were declared invalid. Big win for OutlookSoft. On the topic of Analyst Brain Drain: I am happy to report that John Van Decker, formerly of META Group and The Robert Frances Group, has been named VP of Corporate Performance Management (CPM) at Gartner. For the continued success of Performance Management I think it is important that the lead BPM/CPM analyst at the leading analyst firm 'gets it', and he certainly does. On the topic of Business Objects Acquisition of ALG: after meeting with them I have a better sense of where they are going. They clearly see Enterprise Performance Management (as they insist on calling it) as a key engine for growth and are investing in it. The ALG piece of the puzzle is focused on helping clients with profitability analysis, something we see as one of the focus areas of the next wave of BPM. In addition, they have an incentive compensation module which we see growing in importance, and also as a differentiator from some of the other big players in the space. Lastly, they have restructured their sales force moving away from the less than effective matrix model they had followed since their acquisition of SRC Software. They will now have two parallel sales forces: one focused on BI and IT, the other on EPM and business users. This is better than what they had, but I would hope it is just a transitional step to a fully educated, fully unified salesforce.

Posted October 10, 2006 12:35 PM
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