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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 2009 Archives

While there are some performance management vendors who show up in every deal, and others who show up in selected deals, there is one vendor who almost never shows up in the competitive marketplace anymore. What makes this particularly unusual is that they are sizeable, have been around a long time, and used to show up regularly.

The vendor is Infor. Their performance management product set has a storied and successful past starting life as part of Comshare, then Geac, and now Infor, a large and successful software vendor in its own right. So why don't we see them much anymore? It's not because they've stopped selling performance management products. To the contrary, they will tell you that their performance business is growing. What appears to have happened is that their customer mix has changed. Instead of being an equal combination of new name customers (open market competes) and add-on sales to existing customers, almost all of their sales are to their base. Is this a strategic decision they made or a decision forced on them by market realities? Probably a little of both. The performance management market today is more competitive than ever and it is costly to compete. On the other hand the cost of sales is much less (at least in theory) when selling to existing customers, resulting in higher profit margins. To their own customers Infor is already a proven entity with legal contracts in place and an established technology platform. In many cases they won't even bother to look at the competition. With a customer base of around 70,000 Infor has a rich market of existing customers to sell performance management to. So, what's the downside? Not bringing in new customers via performance management to sell other Infor products to. Other vendors are using their performance offerings as a wedge, as a way to get into new accounts and then introduce the rest of their product portfolio (land and expand). Missing out on these new performance management deals could shut Infor out of these accounts in other areas as well for years to come. Only time will tell who has the better strategy.

Posted September 29, 2009 1:56 PM
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