I just returned from the annual Gartner conference in Baltimore, MD this year. Here are a number of take aways from the event:
- The turn out was good. I noticed the place was buzzing with companies who were interested in BPMS or learning about BPM best practices. It's a good sign that the economy is healthy.
- There seemed to be less vendors this year than usual and that may be due to the fact that more consolidation has occurred in this field at the enterprise solutions level.
- The impression I got was that BPM is now fairly mainstream in the enterprise market, with established IT Services and Content Management companies dominating after their acquisitions.
- The message from Gartner was still that BPM was for the enterprise and a major undertaking that requires companies to transform themselves and invest considerable Dollars if they choose to embark in a BPM initiative.
We don't agree with Gartner's position on this. Our target market and customers in the Mid Market and SMB space have been benefiting from our BPM solution for years at a fraction of the cost and resource investment the traditional enteprise players require.
I did also observe some interesting facts and trends after speaking to a number of vendors and analysts:
- The opportunity for BPM is now moving downstream in the marketplace to Mid Market and SMB companies as the enterprise space has been saturated with the big IT services companies. Most of the established players however can't move downstreams given their business models and technology stacks.
- There have been a number of proven metrics and ROI measures from successful BPMS implementations: On average, companies are seeing double digit ROI, with more than 50% of projects completed within 4 months. In addition, companies are increasing customer retention and gaining competitive advantages through BPMS implementations.
- As I suspected, Social BPM is non-existent yet and is in its infancy. There is no real world application or what benefits it can provide in practice. It is primarily marketing hype at this point, however will likely change in the next couple of years.
Overall it was a good conference and it validated further our target and positioning in the Mid Market. It will be interesting to see the development of this market in the next few years.