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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!

April 2007 Archives

The rate of acquisition activity in the performance management world continues to rise. While this deal isn't of the magnitude of Oracle's purchase of Hyperion, it is still significant. On the surface it may appear that Business Objects already had addressed performance management with its acquisitions of SRC and ALG. However, what Cartesis adds to the mix is great depth around financial consolidation and management reporting, particularly when it comes to meeting global statutory requirements. Business Objects's prior additions were light in this area. As a matter of fact, I consider Cartesis' offering second only to Hyperion in the area of financial consolidation, intercompany eliminations and the like. The other area addressed by the acquisition is governance, risk, and compliance. Cartesis had been working on a module related to this to be released shortly. The other thing this deal does is further reduce the number of platform independent performance application vendors.

With SRC, Geac/Comshare, and now Cartesis out of the picture, only OutlookSoft, Longview, and Clarity Systems remain as leading BPM (business performance management) application focused vendors. Every other top BPM vendor combines their applications with either a business intelligence platform, a transactional platform, or both. As a top-tier BI/BPM vendor Business Objects has clearly strengthened its BPM position with this deal.

Technorati Tags: Cartesis, Business Objects, Hyperion, Oracle, Longview, OutlookSoft, Clarity Systems

Posted April 23, 2007 10:01 AM
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More and more business executives, as well as their boards, are recognizing the importance of balancing financial measures of performance with non-financial ones. While financial measures give an organization an understanding of its past performance (past year, quarter, month, week, etc.), non-financial measures (customer satisfaction, innovation, quality, employee turnover, etc.) can provide greater insight into potential future performance. However, companies are still struggling to move forward with these types of measures. The reasons are varied, but include: lack of adequate tools to obtain this data, skepticism related to importance/accuracy of these elements, highly confidential nature of certain measures. For true performance management these obstacles need to be overcome. This recent study by Deloitte outlines some of the key issues.

Posted April 10, 2007 8:22 AM
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Most surveys on budgeting and planning find that respondents using Excel as their primary budgeting tool say it is an extremely painful and unreliable process. However, those same surveys also find that the majority of companies still rely on Excel for budgeting! Why is that? For larger companies it tends to be that the senior decision makers who can do something about it aren't close enough to the line managers and finance analysts to truly understand what a chaotic and labor-intensive process they are going through. The executives in small to mid-size companies are closer to the front lines and tend to understand the issues. Their challenge though is that they don't have the dollars, IT resources, and infrastructure in place to solve the problem. A BPM vendor targeting this market thinks they have the answer.

Adaptive Planning announced this week a hosted, SaaS budgeting solution that is free for up to 50 users. When we were briefed on this development several weeks ago our first reactions were: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, and how are these guys going to make any money from this? I believe we now understand the method to the apparent madness. Adaptive Planning is banking on the fact that they believe once a company starts using their solution they will want to broaden its reach and add more users beyond the initial 50. In addition, while the product is fully functional for core budgeting, if someone wants to move into other aspects of BPM or more complex reporting they will need to upgrade. What about smaller companies that are happy with the functionality and fit comfortably within the 50 user limit? Well, while Adaptive may not be making money from them, neither are their competitors. To try the product yourself go here: Free Express Edition On-Demand.

Posted April 6, 2007 9:29 AM
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