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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!

September 2007 Archives

Exact Software of the Netherlands has announced its intention to acquire Canadian performance management vendor Longview Solutions for a little over US$ 50 million. Not as significant as other recent deals in dollars or the multiple paid, but significant in its ultimate impact on the business performance management market in the U.S. After the acquisitions of SRC, Geac, Cartesis, and OutlookSoft, they were one of the last of the truly independent (not part of an ERP or BI company) BPM application vendors.

At this point in time only Clarity Systems remains as an independent BPM application vendor serving the higher end of the market. In the mid-market independent vendors are thriving with examples such as Adaptive Planning, Alight Planning, Centage, and Prophix just to name a few. Only time will tell if BPM purchasers will continue to seek out best-of breed BPM solutions that are compatible with most ERP and BI solutions, or if BPM will simply become an add-on purchase from their ERP or BI provider.

This merger has a lot going for it. For one thing there is little product overlap. Exact offers ERP, CRM and other solutions to the mid-market with a strong presence in Europe. Longview adds BPM to the mix, a natural and strategically important complement to the other offerings. Longview gains a global reach, a captive audience of over 100,000 existing customers to sell their solutions to, and becomes part of a larger company. The geographic distance may actually work in everyone's favor and allow Longview to maintain some degree of independence. Another unexpected merger, but one with solid upside potential.

Technorati Tags: Longview, Exact Software, Clarity Systems, Adaptive Planning, Alight Planning, Centage, Prophix


Posted September 17, 2007 10:37 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

Cognos announced today a $ 339 million cash agreement to acquire Applix. Based on Applix trailing 12-month revenues of approximately $ 61 million it looks like a good deal for their shareholders. For the two companies, employees, customers, and prospects there is a lot that makes good sense about this deal. First of all, these are two growing, successful companies with highly satisfied customers and strong technologies. The recent major acquisitions in the space (SAP/OutlookSoft, Oracle/Hyperion, Business Objects/Cartesis) have changed the playing field. In the end, size does matter. By acquiring Applix Cognos picks up 3,000 more performance management customers they can sell their applications to, and 200 additional performance management experts join their staff in sales, services, and development. Applix has the high-performance TM1 OLAP engine, an extremely satisfied customer base, and strong partner network. However, as a relatively small company in a space dominated by big players they were missing out on being involved in many performance deals. With Cognos' larger sales force, marketing, and deep R&D pockets this is a big win for Applix. What about customers and prospects?

The combined companies are stronger than either was alone in the area of Financial Performance Management. Cognos' consolidation and planning applications combined with Applix' financial analytics gives them a strong offering in this area. As part of this Cognos will now have its own profitability analysis solution (part of our BPM 2.0 framework). Also, the combined entity will be a force to be reckoned with in the mid-market. Applix and its product set were fairly successful in this market segment. Combined with the Cognos brand and marketing/sales reach this should be even more true in the future.

What about the negatives? Integrating two companies, people, and technologies is always a time-consuming distraction. I think this is less of an issue here since it is easier to absorb a much smaller company with a narrowly focused product set. The biggest challenge will be around product overlap. Although I have not seen PowerPlay and TM1 go head to head in many deals and they have very different strengths, the products have been presented in a similar manner from a marketing perspective, If both products are to co-exist they will need to reconcile the messaging and positioning of each in a way that is clear to the market and their own salesforce.

I wasn't expecting this deal (thanks Cognos and Applix for keeping me in the dark), but in the end it makes perfect sense.

Technorati tags: Applix, Cognos


Posted September 5, 2007 7:10 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |