• October 15, 2007
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Forrester Wave Ranks Cognos and Oracle Tops in Performance Management

Cognos and Oracle provide the best combination of strategy and current offering in the business process solutions (BPS) market, according to the latest Forrester Wave rankings from Forrester Research. The BPS space, as Forrester defines it, parallels the market more commonly referred to as business process management.

Of the 10 vendors appearing in the Forrester Wave: Business Performance Solutions, Q4 '07, Oracle is bumping up against Cognos in the Leader section, with Cognos having the edge in terms of current offering but lagging slightly behind in strategy. The two companies are not alone in the Leader segment of the Wave, however: SAS Institute trails closely, and Business Objects also resides in that same upper-right corner of the field. Just across the line in the Strong Performers segment is SAP, which last week announced plans to acquire Business Objects. Other vendors ranked in the Wave include Applix, Microsoft, Clarity Systems, Longview Solutions, and Infor.

"Adoption of applications for planning, measuring, and reporting business performance is growing rapidly as companies focus on aligning their growth and operating strategies with individual performance metrics and compliance requirements," writes Paul Hamerman, vice president of enterprise applications at Forrester and author of the report. BPS is the header under which Forrester groups such purpose-built applications, which aim to address three key business needs:

  • Forecast and analyze performance across the enterprise;
  • Align strategic and tactical goals with performance metrics; and
  • Make actionable performance information more accessible.

Hamerman notes two main trends in his report: market growth and vendor consolidation. Of the two factors, the amount of consolidation activity in the BPS market space is the one most clouding long-term predictions. In fact, the report comes a time of major flux in the marketplace, appearing amid last week's acquisition news from SAP and Business Objects (as well as Oracle's offer for middleware vendor BEA Systems, which had itself acquired BPM vendor Fuego last year) and roughly a month after two other major deals: Cognos' plans to purchase fellow BPM (or "BPS") vendor Applix, and Longview's acquisition by Exact Software. Infor, on the other hand, has publicly put its ravenous multiyear acquisition binge on hiatus.

"The vendor landscape for BPS continues to evolve towards fewer vendors with broader offerings, as point-solution vendors are swallowed up by larger players," Hamerman writes. "Recent vendor acquisition activity reflects this trend." In addition to those previously mentioned, the Forrester report cites Oracle's April 2007 acquisition of Hyperion Solutions, SAP's acquisitions of OutlookSoft and Pilot Software, and the acquisitions by Business Objects of Cartesis in June 2007 and ALG Software in October 2006.

The 2006 business performance solutions market was estimated at nearly $900 million in product license and subscription revenues, according to the report. "Forrester expects this market to grow at a healthy 11 percent rate through 2010, resulting in a $1.4 billion market," Hamerman writes. "Based on our client inquiries and analysis of the market, we expect planning, budgeting, and forecasting to remain the largest application component of BPS, growing at a rate of 12 percent through 2010. Strategy and performance measurement, though less mature in terms of customer adoption and solution strength, has higher growth potential at 16 percent."

On-demand applications -- sometimes referred to as software-as-a-service (SaaS) -- aren't much of a factor in BPS at present, according to Forrester. "[Customers] typically require the solutions to be installed on-premise to optimize integration and design flexibility," Hamerman writes. "As a result, SaaS offerings from the vendors included in this Forrester Wave report are virtually nonexistent, although we expect to see some demand for SaaS in BPS going forward."

Related articles:

SAP to Acquire Business Objects [Oct. 2007]
The friendly takeover folds new business intelligence capabilities into one of the leading enterprise software platforms; amidst differing opinions, rumors loom of a counteroffer from Oracle or IBM.

Feature: The 2007 Market Awards: Business Intelligence [Sept. 2007]
Business Objects, named a Leader, expanded its functionality through acquisition: The September 2006 purchase of ALG Software preceded the buying of data search developer Inxight the following May.

Exact Software to Acquire Longview Solutions [Sept. 2007]
Corporate performance management union will accelerate Exact's expansion into the higher end of the midmarket.

Cognos To Purchase Applix [Sept. 2007]
The $339 million acquisition is the latest example of the convergence of business intelligence and performance management.

For Cognos, The Time is Now [May 2007]
The company releases a new BI and performance management solution tailored for the SMB segment and based on technology acquired from the Celequest purchase.

SAP: Boosting Its CPM Credentials [May 2007]
SAP will buy OutlookSoft, putting more analytics tools into the hands of CFOs; the acquisition continues a consolidation war with Oracle, and comes after Business Objects announced plans last month to buy performance management provider Cartesis for $300 million.

SAP Acquires Pilot Software [Feb. 2007]
The German software giant purchases the management software provider to make good on its promise to embed more analytics in its offerings; more acquisitions will follow, according to the CEO.

Oracle Is Set to Purchase Hyperion [March 2007]
The $3.3 billion acquisition would be Oracle's largest since Siebel, and continues Oracle's focus on BI while undermining rivals; more BI acquisitions are to come, according to analysts.

Business Processes Manage to Keep Growing
IDC predicts rapid growth for the BPM software market, which is expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2011.

BPM's Evolution
The market will see dramatic growth over the coming years, buoyed by a renewed interest in process management, as BPM vendors begin to leverage SOA.

Feature: The Big Picture
How to connect the dots to reveal a complete image of new corporate performance management software solutions; Longview Solutions is listed as a Gartner Magic Quadrant visionary.

Infor Takes a Breather from Building Its Better Mousetrap
Software conglomerate tells analysts to expect no further acquisitions--for now.

Infor Is the Top Performer in Performance Management
A research report rates 11 vendors and their products in the performance management space, giving users a sense of where to turn to improve business results.

The Newest Method of BPM
WebMethods unveils the latest version of its flagship product, with strong emphasis on utilizing SOA to drive process management.

Software AG Is Set to Acquire webMethods
The deal may help Software AG's position in the SOA/BPM landscape.

Wet Woos Fire: BEA Systems Acquires Fuego
The middleware provider expands its SOA offerings by acquiring a BPM software company.

Metastorm Improves Its Forma
The business process management vendor acquires Proforma, expanding its capabilities with enterprise architecture modeling.

Metastorm Adds ICCM to the Pod
The vendor now lets users integrate BPM into all aspects of their business, not just the contact center.

Viewpoint: Business Process Management Is the Next Phase in the CRM Evolution
Used to complement each other the two will drive greater results than they would on their own.

Viewpoint: The CRM Intersection
Where business and technology collide.

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