Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solutions today focus on finance: Financial Consolidation, Budgeting and Planning, and Scorecards and Dashboards. This is understandable. Finance Departments need to handle the pressures for better and faster business performance numbers for regulatory compliance, transparency with stakeholders, and for business management. However, the CPM world is all set for radical change.
Enlightened CPM suppliers are re-positioning their offerings away from "only finance" and are embracing "enterprise performance management". These solutions model and measure not only the effects of actions across all enterprise departments, but also the underlying root causes and drivers using management methodologies like Balanced Scorecard. Performance Management software is set to become a means to provide business agility, alignment and accountability, not just finance metrics alone. OK, the vendors have talked about this for sometime - but the reality is that customers did not "buy into" the promise. Now the time is right as the business drivers and the technology readiness are aligned.
Bloor Research's "Corporate Performance Management" introduces a fresh new way of looking at emerging customer requirements for CPM and profiles the solutions of the top 21 CPM technology providers. Using the graphic visualisation of our unique Bullseye™ diagrams, Bloor provides insight into how the vendors position their products and services in the marketplace - and how they compare in 10 different areas - be they implementation, support, or value for money for example. This report will prove to be an invaluable guide for end users evaluating suppliers' CPM offerings. The CPM report complements the recent Bloor Research report on Business Intelligence.
In one of the most influential books ever written on software marketing - Crossing The Chasm - the author Geoffrey Moore talks about "Main Street". This is when a market has reached a level of maturity and a low enough price point that the technology is ready for wholesale adoption by corporate enterprises. When the likes of Microsoft, Oracle and SAP announce strong interest in the BI market you know Main Street is here—the market is now large enough to support the massive investments required for these large players to prosper on a worldwide commodity market basis.
The Business Intelligence (BI) marketplace is now at that point. If you need any more convincing of this point, visit the Business Objects web site, which promises: "Attend any training course in July or August and you'll save 10%. We'll also enter you into our prize draw to win a weekend in Spain!" The technology is now largely irrelevant—every credible vendor can extract data from heterogeneous databases, load that data into cubes, run some "what if" questions and output the results of those queries into professional report formats. The key question is: "which vendor(s) can you trust?"
Some vendors have been involved in unscrupulous profit-taking on the path to Main Street. Others have technology and a level of available resource that is questionable for the support of a complete enterprise deployment. Others have shown worrying inconsistencies and a lack of continuity. Regular changes of account representative are not a good sign. Nor are yo-yo financial results or scandals involving the company.
The message is clear. The time to flirt with half a dozen vendors is over—it is time to choose your long-term partner (or two) and get rid of the rest. The Business Intelligence report complements the Bloor Research report on Corporate Performance Management (CPM).