BPM, BI and performance management

From a Forrester report published last week, “Business Process Management (BPM) Meets BI And Performance Management (xPM) Head On”:

Most business process management (BPM) vendors have integrated their products with business intelligence (BI) for analyzing historical process data; but BPM products should also integrate with BI to support decision-intensive business processes like order management, credit risk management, and sales opportunity management. The problem is that BPM vendors are not currently thinking about BI in this context. They are thinking about automating decision-intensive processes, but current performance management (xPM) products lack the capacity to define and execute business processes. The situation is about to change, however, as BI vendors begin partnering with BPM vendors or even OEMing BPM products. Within the next 12 to 18 months, this trend may even culminate in BI vendors acquiring BPM. As this unfolds, we will be on the brink of a Process to Data (P2D) explosion.

The requirement to integrate BPM data into BI and performance management systems is becoming obvious: I’ve touched on that in several posts in the past, including the integration of BPM with Six Sigma, BPM maturity levels, and the various posts on BPM and compliance that really drive home that BPM is just a part of a much bigger picture. This report talks about the other side of that: having BI and performance management systems launch processes in order to gather information required for decision making.

I’m not sure that I agree with their prediction of BI vendors acquiring BPM, since the ease of integration with many of the top BPM products now would mean that there would be little added value in a BI vendor wedding themselves to a single vendor. BPM in all its forms (including everything down through the integration stack) is a much too pervasive within the average large organization for a BI vendor to assume that they can foist their chosen BPM product on a customer that already likely has at least one other BPM product in use.

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