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CPM, BPM, EPM … S.O.S!

Ouch! I just read more closely the Wikipedia article on Corporate Performance Management linked in my last post.

Actually, there is no wiki-entry for CPM. CPM searches are redirected to Business Performance Management, aka BPM, and the piece is painful to read, poorly written! Even Wikipedia discredits its own article as containing weasel words and biased content.

I agree with Wikipedia. This article sounds like somebody’s marketing propaganda. See if you agree.

First of all, I sense (pre-Oracle) Hyperion bias. Take the wiki-reference to Howard Dresner. Why is he even mentioned in this article? With all due respect, Mr. Dresner gave up his claim to unbiased thought leadership in 2007 when he left Gartner to evangelize for Hyperion as a high paid CxO, Hyperion’s Chief Strategy Officer. While I grant him a role in differentiating Business Intelligence from Data Warehousing way back when, his influence on CPM was minor compared to others.

Henry Morris of IDC, for example, who coined Analytic Applications. As Morris defined them, these are the key analytic processes to 1) Set goals; 2) Monitor performance; 3) Analyze; 4) Course correct; and… 5) Repeat. Sound familiar? CPM in a nutshell! Morris chronicled the inception of the industry and stayed with it well into its hockey stick phase. If anyone deserves mention, it’s Morris.

A little more history… when the space got hot, Hyperion coined Business Performance Management and declared itself the leader. A magazine, BPM Magazine, and a consulting company, BPM Partners (an experienced, and IMO, unbiased team), got behind the acronym. As BPM picked up momentum, Oracle, in a very Oracle move, snubbed BPM altogether and declared itself the leader of an even higher order incarnation, EPM, Enterprise Performance Management!

Meanwhile, much of the rest of the industry, perhaps in reaction to the propaganda, gravitated to CPM, Corporate Performance Management. Gartner ultimately chose CPM and now publishes a Magic Quadrant.

[In a final twist of irony, when Oracle acquired Hyperion, all references to Hyperion’s BPM past were purged.]…and here we are, a jumble of acronyms, CPM, BPM, EPM. Confusion to the customer.

So why is A3 putting our energy behind CPM?

The short answer is that EPM and BPM have propaganda laden histories, and they each suggest a strong vendor bias. We want our customers to know we represent your interests and that we are not beholden to any industry behemoth. We hope you appreciate that we take the “I” in ISV very seriously.

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