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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!

May 2007 Archives

There is no let up in acquisition activity in the performance management space. On the heels of Oracle's acquisition of Hyperion, Business Objects' purchase of Cartesis, we now have SAP announcing a deal to acquire OutlookSoft. How can end users looking to purchase a business performance solution (BPM) keep track of the players when it is difficult even for industry insiders to keep up? Is this a good deal? I believe so. SAP had to do something to answer Oracle's Hyperion deal. Neither SAP nor Oracle were as strong in the BPM space as the companies they acquired. However, while SAP users will now be far more likely to consider OutlookSoft for BPM, the big question that remains is this: will non-SAP users look to SAP/OutlookSoft for BPM? This is the same question that exists for Oracle/Hyperion and Infor/Extensity(Geac, Comshare).

While the remaining stand-alone BPM and BPM/BI vendors will benefit somewhat from their independence, they also stand to lose potential customers that have standardized on one of the transactional vendors that now have more robust BPM offerings in their portfolio. I also believe the decision process for potential purchasers has grown more complex. While there are fewer vendors to choose from, there are actually more viable options than in the past. For many, getting BPM from their ERP provider was often ruled out as being too complex, too expensive, too IT intensive. That should be less true going forward. In addition, there are still several strong (and growing stronger) BI/BPM vendors to consider. Lastly, there are the best-of-breed application vendors that have historically had the most robust BPM solutions (which is why many of them were purchased by BI or ERP providers). There are actually several relatively new application focused BPM vendors vying to replace those that have been acquired which I will discuss in a future blog entry. These are certainly very interesting times in the BPM world.

On a personal note: I do take some pride in seeing Hyperion and OutlookSoft being bought by Oracle and SAP respectively. I was part of the founding team at Hyperion where I spent 16 years in executive management and I was the co-founder and first CEO of OutlookSoft. It's been years since I've been personally associated with those companies, but it's still nice to see them reach a successful conclusion as independent companies.

Technorati tags: OutlookSoft, SAP, Hyperion, Oracle, Business Objects, Infor

Posted May 8, 2007 4:02 PM
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