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BPM Pulse 2010 Results and Analysis, Part 2

Originally published May 11, 2010

Last month in Part 1 of this series, we looked at who is moving forward with business performance management (BPM) and why. This month we will take a look at how they are implementing BPM. In particular, we'll examine what type of technology solution they are employing and how satisfied they are with it.

Vendor Type

After you have documented your business requirements and have a rough road map in place, a major decision needs to be made early on in the process of selecting a performance management solution. While there are many solutions in the market, they actually fall into a handful of unique categories. If you look at vendors across categories, it becomes difficult to truly evaluate one against the other. If you primarily stay within a grouping, the comparisons become more straightforward.

The primary categories that we see are: pure packaged application vendors (examples: Adaptive Planning, Longview, PROPHIX), pure tools vendors (examples: IBI, MicroStrategy), vendors of both tools and applications (examples: IBM/Cognos, SAS), and ERP vendors that also sell BPM applications (examples: Infor, Oracle, SAP). For purposes of the 2010 BPM Pulse survey, we also asked respondents to distinguish between ERP vendors that they currently work with and those that they do not. That line of questioning was introduced when Oracle bought Hyperion and SAP bought OutlookSoft. The goal was to determine if, for example, an SAP ERP customer would still purchase Hyperion even though it was now owned by (and at some point would be integrated with) a competing ERP vendor. Also, we wanted to see if people were now more likely to purchase BPM from their own ERP vendor as opposed to looking at stand-alone packaged application vendors.

For the 2009 BPM Pulse, the top 3 choices were: tools plus applications vendors (37%), application-focused vendors (32%), and their current ERP vendor (22%). Both tools-only vendors and other ERP vendors were each chosen by 5% or less. The 2010 BPM Pulse results noted that the top 2 choices were essentially flipped with packaged applications leading with 37% and tools plus applications coming in second with 28%. Current ERP vendors followed with 21%, and the other two choices had about 7% each. What this means is that packaged applications are clearly a strong consideration in a performance management decision. Whether bundled with tools to expand and further customize the package or stand-alone, this choice is favored by a significant margin over pure tools and build-it-yourself solutions. In addition, while quite a few people are looking to their current ERP provider for BPM solutions, only a small number seem willing to purchase BPM from other ERP vendors.

SaaS Solutions

Another important decision that needs to be made before evaluating specific vendors is how you will consume the offering of software and service. Does software as a service (SaaS, cloud, hosted, on-demand) fit into the equation? Does the purchaser find SaaS desirable, acceptable, or unacceptable? There are many factors that go into this decision including company size, culture, and existing infrastructure. In the 2010 Pulse, 33% said they would consider purchasing a SaaS solution, while 21% said they would not. The biggest group, 45%, was simply not sure. There is obviously a large opportunity here for vendors that can provide a cost-effective, robust SaaS solution that meets the purchasers security requirements (which was the reason most often cited by those who said no).

Vendor Satisfaction

So how satisfied are BPM purchasers with their software vendors? As it turns out, quite satisfied. On a 5 point scale with 5 being the highest, 81% gave their vendor a rating of 4 or a 5. Many, 38%, have been working with this same vendor for 3 or more years. Vendors received the highest marks for customer support, product functionality, ease of use, and price/value. While still good, some of the lower marks were for training and documentation. Overall, these relatively high scores would seem to indicate a mature and established set of vendors and products. I can tell you that having been in BPM vendor management myself, customer satisfaction with BPM vendors was not always this high.

Further confirmation of vendor satisfaction: 97% would buy from their vendor again and 95% would recommend them to others, although that raises the question of the 2% that would buy from them but not recommend them. Do they want to keep this great vendor to themselves or are they willing to put up with things that they don't want to subject their peers to?

All in all, a solid report card for the BPM vendors. The focus on application vendors bodes well for several new vendors we are tracking who are about to enter the market. They are all application focused. We will have more information on these new vendors in our BeyeNETWORK blog as it becomes available. Vendor-specific customer satisfaction ratings are available in our Vendor Landscape Matrix.

In next month’s Part 3 of this series, we will examine specific product capabilities that purchasers are looking for as well as how much they are planning to spend for them.

  • Craig SchiffCraig Schiff

    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!

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