BPM Market Continues to Evolve

July 11, 2005

BPM adoption continues to spread across all industries, as we hit the
halfway mark of 2005. No longer limited to obvious verticals like financial
services and manufacturing, BPM’s broad appeal is spreading to any company
with processes that require a workflow involving information, people, and
systems. Today, BPM solutions can be found in such diverse markets as
pharmaceutical, government, transportation, and healthcare. In our most
recent informal market survey, Upside Research saw the continuation of
previous patterns for adoption and implementation of BPM solutions, as well
as some interesting trends that highlight BPM’s impact on the greater
enterprise software solutions market. The following results indicate that
BPM is becoming an effective solution for many enterprises.
Sales growth continues but pace is more moderate. After several years of off-the-charts growth for many BPM pure-plays as they quickly ramped up their efforts and started signing marquees customers, the most recent check of revenues for BPM vendors indicates the growth has become more moderate.The average growth from the survey respondents between Q4 2004 and Q1 2005 was 20%, with many vendors adding between 10-20 new enterprise customers. A few vendors actually had no growth in the first quarter because of extended sales cycles, but have seen that business close in the second quarter.
EMEA seeing greatest increase. The majority of BPM sales continue to occur in North America, but there has been a significant increase in sales to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). This can be attributed to the efforts on the part of the vendor community and industry-driven organizations to educate global enterprises about BPM’s role in business strategy. Similarly, as many early adopters roll out enterprise-scale process automation, BPM is showing up in all corners of the world, sparking the global interest.
Adoption rates hampered by market confusion. While general awareness of BPM as a technology by the end user population has risen over the past several quarters, there still exists a significant level of market confusion. Because a variety of technologies are calling themselves “BPM, including Enterprise Application Integration, ERP, and Content Management, end users are confused by what constitutes a business process management solution and what components are necessary to solve specific business problems. Vendors are seeing more awareness of BPM, but are challenged by the market confusion, which is leading to longer sales cycles in some cases.
Technology synergies are emerging. As with any technology market, as the market progresses, complimentary technologies emerge as important areas of overlap. BPM is no exception, and the market has seen a growing interest over the past six months in several synergistic technologies. The greatest interest has been in business rules engines, either providing the ability to integrate with an organization’s existing rules engine or providing an OEMed rules engine to customers. Two other technologies, process modeling and simulation capabilities, have found themselves increasingly a part of the core BPM offering from vendors.
The Upside Uptake
The most recent survey results continue the trend that Upside Research has been following for more than two years: Business Process Management is a noteworthy solution for many enterprises. As the most recent survey results indicate, BPM continues to gain ground and grow from a trendy technology into a viable, enterprise-strength solution. The slower pace of growth indicates some of the bumps that BPM is hitting as it moves along the road toward mainstream technology solution. Enterprises are kicking the tires of BPM, but once they determine it can help solve some of their process issues, they are buying in a big way.
The continuation of development in emerging markets for BPM is also encouraging for BPM’s longevity. As the global market for BPM expands, so will the best practices and understanding of how to best leverage the technology. Upside Research expects this to continue, and for organizations to continue to find unique ways to apply BPM to their business problems. Because of the market confusion, Upside Research believes it is important for the BPM market to consolidate around several important pillars of functionality in order to firmly establish itself as an easily recognized class of technology solution. This consolidation should take place over the next 12 to 18 months and continue to sharpen the core focus of Business Process Management.
To read more about Upside Research’s analysis of its latest State of the BPM
Market survey, look for our upcoming report.

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