In an effort to highlight the leaders of the nascent business process management (BPM) software market, Forrester Research yesterday released its latest BPM TechRankings. The research firm reevaluated the top pure-play BPM vendors' products: For process analysis capabilities, the firm examined the products' ability to analyze processes and identify business trends and bottlenecks; for human workflow capabilities, Forrester checked for a flexible interface development and organizational management capabilities.
BPM applications enable companies to conduct such tasks as creating new business strategies, lowering operating costs, and improving process performance. Forrester reevaluated the top pure-play BPM vendors' products, which include FileNet's Business Process Manager 2.01, Fuego's FuegoBPM, HandySoft's BizFlow 8.7, Intalio's Intalio|n3, Lombardi Software's TeamWorks 4, Metastorm's e-Work Version 6, Pegasystems' PegaRULES Process Commander 4.0, Savvion's BusinessManager 5.0, Staffware's Process Suite v10, and Ultimus' BPM Suite 6.0.
Vendors were selected based on several criteria, some of which include automation, human workflow, and process analysis. When testing for automation Forrester checked how well a product handles different types of process patterns like looping and tested for the ability to support transactions that go beyond one day while incorporating changes along the way. When evaluating human workflow capabilities, Forrester checked for a flexible interface development and organizational management capabilities. For process analysis capabilities, Forrester examined the products' ability to analyze processes and identify business trends and bottlenecks.
"A lot of the products excel in one area, but few are strong across the board," says Sharyn Leaver, senior analyst at Forrester. She adds, however, that Savvion's BusinessManager 5.0 "is the strongest across the board" when considering design, automation, and human workflow.
Leaver told CRM magazine that Intalio, Savvion, and Fuego shined as the three strongest leaders in automation; whereas Ultimus and HandySoft lead the way in human workflow; and Lombardi Software impressed Forrester Research analysts the most in the process analysis criteria. The report also highlights differentiation among the pure-play BPM solutions across other criteria including business modeling and analysis, standards, optimization and change management, and horizontal and vertical process expertise.
While Forrester Research does not size up the BPM market, Dataquest estimates the worldwide BPM market in 2002 to be $452.5 million, which grew as much as 20 percent in 2003 to nearly $543 million and the research outfit expects the market to continue its double-digit pace through 2004.
Leaver can attest to an uptick in BPM interest. "We've seen a big increase in [BPM] adoption levels since one-and-a-half years ago." She adds that of the 528 IT decision makers in North America surveyed by Forrester Research, 33 percent of the firms are either using or piloting BPM technology today, up from 11 percent in mid-2002. One of the driving forces for BPM adoption, she adds, is the need to "have more control over business processes," due to recent compliance requirements brought about by Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA legislation.