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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 Vendor News and Notes Category

They all claim that they have very happy customers, but only one can have the happiest. Our annual BPM Pulse survey has wrapped up and the related customer satisfaction ratings are always eagerly anticipated. We will be revealing the results of the survey tomorrow during a live webcast (don't worry if you are viewing this after April 26th, a replay should be available at that same link address). In addition we will name our selection for Best New Vendor of the Year, as well as identify the core list of vendors that we believe everyone should use as a starting point for finding their ideal performance management solution. Lots of  other information will be covered including updates on the latest vendor releases, and market feedback on topics such as the willingness of finance departments to utilize cloud-based solutions for performance management.

Posted April 25, 2012 8:12 AM
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IBM announced today an agreement to acquire Varicent Software, a leader in Sales Performance Management. We were one of the first to recognize Varicent and its important role in expanding the operational analytics capabilities of performance management.They took incentive compensation management, and elevated it to a new level of importance and value in the organization by embracing the core concepts of performance management: strategic focus, planning, monitoring, and analyzing. More and more of our clients today are seeking to expand their performance management systems beyond finance, and sales is often  the first area they target. We view this acquisition as very positive for IBM. This is a growing area of focus, and not just for the big guys. Just last year Adaptive Planning introduced its own sales performance management offering targeted at midmarket companies. We look forward to more vendors providing their own pre-packaged capabilities in this area.

Posted April 13, 2012 11:16 AM
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Within the past week two very different performance management vendors have received millions of dollars of outside investment. I say very different because one is generating excitement due to its application of the latest technology,  and the other is getting attention because of its new approach to solving a long standing business challenge. The companies are Tidemark and XLerant. You can read what we have recently written about each of them here and here. They are both good companies with a solid vision and very experienced teams. Venture capital guys tend to like to get in on the next big thing. Performance management is an established big thing so why the investments now? For one, they must expect continued growth. In addition, each of these companies does have a 'next big thing' element. Tidemark is wedding the proven principles of performance management to the next generation of technology. They are still relatively early stage, but the potential is huge. In the case of XLerant they are approaching the  crowded, but still in high demand, budgeting solutions area from a new angle. There certainly is  room for both of these companies to succeed. These investments also bode well for the established performance management vendors as it is just one more validation that performance management is an important and growing area. In particular Adaptive Planning and Host Analytics, pioneers in bringing the latest technology to performance management, should see interest in their solutions increase as the investment and related coverage of Tidemark may help more companies recognize the value of this approach.


XLerant received 3 million, and Tidemark 24 million.

Posted January 25, 2012 6:06 AM
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A new player has arrived on the performance management scene and they have the potential to make a big impact. Tidemark, formerly Proferi, came out of stealth mode just this week. To understand their technology approach to performance management you just need to look at some of their partners: Terremark for cloud infrastructure, Cloudera's Hadoop distribution, VMware vCloud, and SnapLogic middleware for integration. While this is clearly a step ahead of the current performance management pack, Tidemark's technology is not the main reason I expect them to be successful: It's the team. The investors, board, management, and employees consist of senior executives from Hyperion, OutlookSoft, PeopleSoft, Oracle, and SAP. Saying they have a great understanding of enterprise applications and performance management would be an understatement. I have personally worked with several members of the team in the past and was quite impressed with not only their expertise, but their laser sharp focus on the customer. Their depth of understanding of the space is evident in the areas of performance management they elected to tackle first: Strategic, operational, and financial planning/budgeting/forecasting, Metrics management and management reporting, and Profitability modeling. According to our 2011 BPM Pulse survey results these are exactly the areas that many companies still need to address. Well, perhaps they'll find their solution in Tidemark.


Posted October 21, 2011 9:18 AM
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When companies start to focus on operational analytics the first area they typically look at is sales. The reason is obvious - optimizing the performance of this area of the business can provide a quick, and sizeable, payback. To accomplish this most organizations have had to utilize custom built solutions or one of the few (and very basic) packaged applications offered by the incentive compensation management vendors. An established and successful performance management vendor, Adaptive Planning, is about to change all of that. With their Spring 2011 release they are introducing their version of a sales performance management application. It is a robust SaaS solution, tied to their core financial planning and reporting solution. If that isn't enough to make it unique it also has an optional direct link to Salesforce.com to pull in the underlying transactional data required for analysis. As an aside, Adaptive now has over 900 customers and the highest performance management customer satisfaction rating as determined by both Gartner and BPM Partners. We believe their new sales planning and analysis solution has the potential to be a game changer.  

Posted April 7, 2011 9:11 AM
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