BPM Series: Demystifying BPM System Vendors

As a CIO, if you are convinced that BPM Systems is the right direction for your organization, then you’ll certainly have a tough time in choosing a BPM System vendor. Not because you don’t have choice but because you have too much it. BPMI.org or IT research and consulting firms such as Gartner or Forrester will offer you at least 30-40 candidates. To understand their offerings, it is essential to know their evolution and current positioning. This can help you to choose the right BPM vendor depending upon business drivers & requirements for such an initiatives within your organization.

BPM System Vendors, based on their evolution can be classified into 4 categories:

Pure-play BPM System vendors : These are the niche BPM system providers who have defined this space. They offer BPM system in its purest form; rich and complete in functionality. They also are the thought leaders and responsible for continuously inventing this space by adding new features and functionalities. The leading vendors in this category are: Action Technologies, Savvion, Metatorm, Fuego, Pegasystems.

Business Integration vendors: Traditionally, these are EAI / middleware vendors offering integration software such as message brokers, and integration brokers with STP (Straight Through Processing) capabilities. These vendors are now enriching their integration solutio n suite by adding BPM components. They are positioning their BPM offering more as a complete integration offering rather than process management offering. These vendors are: IBM, Tibco, WebMethods, Vitria, Oracle.

Workflow & Document Management vendors: These are the vendors who have traditionally provided document management & document centric workflow systems. Such systems although supported human to human workflow, they lacked human to system and system to system integration capabilities. These vendors are now enriching their offering by enhancing their workflow & document management systems to an integrated suite of BPM & Content Management systems. These vendors are: Filenet, Documentum, Hummingbird, Newgen.

Enterprise Applications Vendors: They are enterprise application vendors providing packaged solutions such as ERP, CRM, or SCM systems. They are getting into BPM space with a vision to be the one stop shop for their existing and potential clients offering complete range of information technology solutions supporting flexible and integrated execution of processes. SAP leads this pack with its Netweaver offering.

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