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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!

December 2007 Archives

I have noticed a disturbing new trend in BPM vendor selection in the past few months. There have now been several instances of vendors being selected solely on the basis of prior experiences or business relationship with that vendor. For example, a media company I am familiar with determined that a specific BPM application vendor was the best fit for their particular needs. However, the CEO stepped in and said that 'since our ERP provider, who we have a long and positive history with, has recently acquired a well-known BPM vendor that is who we are going with'.

I guess I'd feel better if the CEO had focused on the benefits of the future data integration of the BPM and ERP products, or other synergies rather than just the fact that they had done business together in the past. In another instance, a global multi-billion dollar company spent several months going through a detailed requirements gathering and vendor evaluation process. They selected the solution that best met their needs, but at the last minute there was a personnel change at the top. This new team leader decided to override their recommendation and go with the vendor she had used successfully at the last company she worked for. The problem in my view is that success at meeting one company's needs does not necessarily translate into being the best choice for a different company with its own unique requirements. In both of these examples the vendor that ended up winning the business was not the one that best met the company's requirements. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe the most important criteria in selecting a vendor should be how well they address your business requirements. Of course if the vendor is difficult to do business with or has a price that is way out of line then you need to look elsewhere. Also, this approach of buying BPM solutions based almost entirely on prior relationships tends to favor the largest, most well established vendors. This in turn can have a chilling impact on newer, smaller vendors and the competitive pricing and innovative solutions they bring to market.

Posted December 21, 2007 9:53 AM
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