Metastorm announced today that they’ve acquired Proforma. Strangely, the Proforma URL already remaps directly to the Metastorm site and the products are already relabelled as “Metastorm ProVision”; most acquired companies keep their own site and brand visible for a while so as to not freak out customers who haven’t heard about the acquisition yet.
I covered the Proforma user conference last year; I’ve always been impressed with their modelling tool since it goes beyond process modelling to full enterprise architecture modelling, and they seem to be moving in the right direction with increasing their browser-based modelling capabilities to allow this to be rolled out to a greater user base within an organization. They’re currently leaders in both the BPA space and the EA modelling space.
There’s still the round-tripping problem, however: I haven’t been briefed on this by either party, but based on my past conversations with Proforma, I’m suspecting that it’s a one-way trip from Proforma’s modelling environment to Metastorm’s process execution environment, since you likely have to tweak the modelled process significantly in order to make it run, and they likely aren’t supporting an extensible interchange format that would allow those changes to stay with the model if it were moved back to the modelling environment. I’m just guessing on this, of course, and would love to hear different. And, although Metastorm was one of the first vendors to offer a free downloadable process modelling tool, I can’t find that on their site any more, so they may be putting all of their process modelling eggs in the ProVision basket.
Metastorm bought CommerceQuest in late 2005 to improve their integration-centric BPM capabilities, and this acquisition rounds out the front end of their product suite — Forrester gave them a black mark in last year’s report for relying too much on third-party software, and this directly addresses that concern. The trick, as with any acquisition, will be how seamlessly that they’re able to integrate Proforma’s products.