Business Performance Management

Business performance management is an off shoot of the BI system, but is often closely related. Its worth discussing here as it is many times linked with business intelligence. It’s involved with tracking and reporting progress on key corporate goals, usually with KPIs. Sometimes you’ll see this called enterprise performance management.

Many forecasting and budgeting tools are considered part of BPM, since the budgeted numbers are usually part of the company’s goals. Many of the consolidations in the mid to late 2000s were based around consolidating and adding BPM software providers to large big stack vendors. By having a BI, database, and then a CPM solution, a company could offer one-stop shopping for organizations. A big example of this is IBM, which incorporated Cognos and its Planning and TM1 toolsets. Oracle calls its whole package EPM, but Hyperion is really the specific tool. SAP also has its acquired OutlookSoft toolset, but this seems to be a little less emphasized than the Cognos and Oracle stacks. Microsoft used to have a standalone product called PerformancePoint Server, but this has been integrated into Sharepoint. In many organizations though, the default is good old Excel for the goal entry, tracking, consolidation, and reporting.

Some of the smaller standalone products include Prophix, Adaptive Planning, Host Analytics , and Longview Solutions. The smaller independent BI companies seem to be staying away from the category for now, and are doing more partnering, as Microstrategy is with Longview. A trend going forward will be toward increased integration and interactivity between the products though, such as being able to update a budget number on a published document and feeding it back to the database.

Sometimes BI topics like scorecards and dashboards are lumped into the business performance management category, but I believe this is a little incomplete. Usually, BI is used as the reporting end, but since BI is usually focused on historical data and reporting, other tools are generally used to generate the future goal data. This type of data entry and consolidation is not typically a strong suit of most BI programs.

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