I saw – and responded to – this question on Quora today:
What are the license fees / cost for the the top BPM solutions in the market ? ( Pegasystems, IBM ( Lombardi ) , Appian, Oracle , etc )
I am looking forward to do a benchmark of the top BPM ( Business Process Management ) sofware solutions on the market. Its well known that is always hard to have a clear knowledge on the licensing prices that top software vendors offer on their solutions.
Good luck with getting public information on that — like most enterprise software vendors, BPMS vendors are very reluctant to release this sort of information. Typically, they sell a package made up of software, services, maintenance and possibly even future growth, then apply discounts based on how close they are to the end of their sales quarter/year and other things that are unimportant to the customer but unfortunately used to drive sales.
You might have better luck finding prices for those who have a cloud version, since that tends to be based just on a per user/per month figure rather than a mysterious formula. However, I notice that many of them, stuck in their old ways of not disclosing any prices, don’t even publish those but make you request a quote.
The lack of transparency in pricing in enterprise software in general, and BPMS in particular, is not a good thing for customers.
I’ve helped a number of end-customer organizations with their BPMS purchasing decisions over the years, although I’m typically focused on how well the functionality fits their business requirements rather than how well the price fits their budget. At some point, however, the customer always asks “How much does it cost”, and my answer is almost always “I have no idea”. I might know how much it cost for some other customer, but the pricing calculations for a particular customer are usually so completely opaque that they can’t be generalized and – this is the killer – the vendor considers this confidential information that cannot be disclosed to other customers. Even cloud-based pricing, which should be publicly advertised on the vendors’ websites in easy-to-understand per-user-per-month terms, is sadly missing from some of the key cloud BPMS vendors.
Remember the bad old days of buying a car, when you had no idea how much it cost when you walked into the showroom, and had to go through some weird pseudo-negotiation between the salesperson and his manager, where they would throw in the free floor mats if you did your financing with them, give you an extra discount if it was within a week of the end of their sales quarter, or bait-and-switch you into a more expensive model? Enterprise software has always felt a bit like that to me, and BPMS pricing and sales tactics sadly fall into that same category, at least for many of the major vendors.
Now, remember what happened when people started sharing car prices online? Soon, everyone knew the dealer price on a car in advance, and were in a much better position to negotiate a fair price, rather than have the salesperson negotiate what they think you would pay. It would be good if the BPMS vendors could get ahead of that trend, and start being a bit more transparent about their pricing, starting with cloud pricing.