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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!

Recently in BPM Confidential Category

As the performance management space continues to pick up steam (both in terms of new customers and new vendors), some established vendors seem to be struggling a bit. One of the larger vendors appears to have a serious disconnect between its marketing group and its sales team. The marketing people see this vendor as a premiere provider of packaged application solutions for the business performance management market. This isn't just hype, they have a solid product set to back up this claim. It's also good news because this is exactly what the market wants, especially if finance is leading the charge. The problem is that sales and especially pre-sales are presenting a different face to prospects. Their demo typically starts and ends with a blank Excel screen and a pitch that claims you can make the product do whatever you want. For the most part they do not show the pre-built applications. At this point in time very few people are looking for a set of tools to build a performance management solution from the ground-up. The sales presentation though is leaving prospects with the impression that is in fact what this vendor is offering, when that is not really the case. We have observed this situation first-hand in the field and have seen the vendor lose deals because of it.

A smaller vendor also seems to be going through some rough times. In their case the problems appear to be with the product. We have not had a chance to review the product itself recently, but that is what leads us to believe there are issues. This vendor has refused to allow an independent third-party to review their product. Since that is one of the main ways you get written up in buyer's guides, analyst reports, and recommended to analyst clients it strikes us as very odd. As a matter of fact this is the only vendor in the performance management space that we know of taking this stance. We can only assume that like a movie studio that doesn't preview its latest film for the critics they must have something to hide. Unlike a bad movie, which can still be entertaining, there is nothing entertaining about a bad product. For that reason we no longer suggest to our clients that they consider evaluating this vendor.


Posted July 19, 2010 12:52 PM
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Since the Microsoft announcement several months back many in the industry remain skeptical about their ability to deliver anything of substance any time soon. The only real fear seems to be the potential impact on pricing. Unfortunately for the rest of the BPM vendors, I believe that the Microsoft impact will be larger and be felt sooner than expected. I know many of the people that have been recruited into sales and pre-sales positions at MS and most of them are top-notch, experienced BPM corporate salesmen. Being able to sell to the corporate business buyer has been perceived as one of the weakest links in the MS PerformancePoint chain. Speaking with those sales people has also revealed that they already have substantial pipelines of major corporations very interested in learning more about PerformancePoint. On the product side, one of the pre-sales guys who has been in this space for many years is very impressed with what he has seen so far. While the larger BPM vendors tend to minimize what MS is capable of, some of the smaller vendors see the writing on the wall. Many of them are planning to leverage what is being delivered by Microsoft and add their own unique domain expertise on top. How this will all turn out is anybody's guess, but it is certainly going to be an exciting time in the BPM world.

Posted October 25, 2006 7:37 AM
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What is going on with the Business Intelligence/Business Performance Management analysts at the major IT advisory firms? Many seasoned thought leaders are either changing firms or joining the vendor community. Howard Dresner and Frank Buytendijk left Gartner for senior strategy roles at Hyperion. Lee Geischecker recently left Gartner for another advisory firm (where I would guess she will be under some form of non-compete for a period of time). I am also aware of senior analysts at two other firms getting ready to make a move as well. One is planning to join a vendor, the other has not finalized their plans yet. Maybe these analysts are looking to round out their resumes, or maybe they were made offers too good to pass up. Regardless, the impact on vendors, the IT media, and end user organizations could be significant. The number of unbiased, knowledgeable experts to call upon for guidance and opinions will be greatly reduced. Some of these analysts will be replaced, in other cases research areas will be consolidated. In either case there will initially be 'green' analysts learning the space. The few seasoned experts left standing will be in high demand. Factor this in to your analyst usage plans for the next 6-9 months.

Posted August 29, 2006 12:58 PM
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There are not that many industry analysts that appear to fully comprehend BPM today and the possibilities for tomorrow. The few that do get it (read: align with my thinking) include Lee Geischecker and her associates at Gartner (although they insist on calling it CPM), Henry Morris and Kathy Wilhide at IDC, and John Haggerty at AMR. A name that has been missing from that list of late is John Van Decker, formerly of Meta Group. Well, after a brief stint in a strategy role at a vendor, John has returned to the analyst fold. He can now be found at the Robert Frances Group. Welcome back John.

Posted September 19, 2005 7:39 AM
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The BPM industry can be brutal for the software vendors. As the demand for their software has heated up each vendor is trying desperately to outdo the competition. Since prospects are showing a preference for vendors offering a complete BPM suite those who don't have it (which is most of them)are looking to quickly acquire the missing pieces. Geac, who not too long ago did their own acquisition of Comshare for budgeting and consolidation capabilities, may now be an acquisition candidate itself. Geac has stated publicly that they have been looking to make additional business software acquisitions. Apparently a recent planned deal fell through due to price, and now they are considering putting Geac itself up for sale. How many BPM companies will be left a year from now and who will they be? Comments welcome.

Posted September 9, 2005 8:27 PM
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