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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!

August 2007 Archives

I recently met with the executives responsible for defining the product roadmaps at SAP/OutlookSoft and Business Objects/Cartesis. I am very impressed with what I heard. While many of the details discussed are still confidential, there are certain observations I can share. For starters, the executives in charge of these decisions are precisely the right people for the job. In both instances they have a depth and breadth of performance management expertise that is hard to match. These are not political appointments or rushed into mistakes made after a major merger. These guys (and women) know their stuff. Most surprising to me is the recognition by management of the true strengths and weaknesses of each component of their combined product set.

While the roadmaps are still a work in progress, especially the details of the later stages, they already demonstrate a willingness to make the tough decisions. There is little favoritism shown to the existing pre-acquisition modules versus the newly acquired ones. In contrast to the initial 'all products will live forever' pronouncements the roadmaps spell out how and when certain modules will fade out. Both vendors have plans to cease marketing what they (and I) view as the weaker of the overlapping modules, enhance the stronger, and in some cases merge the two to create a superset of their combined functionality. As far as integration goes, its a multi-stage process. The first phase is an integrated data model while later phases focus on the UI and a unified user experience. Full integration is probably a 12-18 month process from the merger date. Both Business Objects and SAP have focused the majority of their sales and marketing efforts on IT in the past. As evidence that they truly understand what they have acquired they both say they will be focusing their performance management efforts on the office of the CFO. As far as future plans go they both laid out visions that are fairly consistent with BPM Partners 2.0 and beyond framework including an operational focus and the inclusion of true enterprise risk management. I believe both of these vendors are on the right path to deliver exceptional all-encompassing BPM suites. Now it all comes down to execution.

Technorati tags: Business Objects, Cartesis, OutlookSoft, SAP

Posted August 23, 2007 11:43 AM
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