Business performance management (BPM) - a growing software category with over 90 vendors - is a combination of business processes, select measures (metrics, key performance indicators) and systems that enable an organization to understand, act on and influence its business performance.BPM Partners, the independent authority on BPM solutions, released the 2006 BPM Pulse Survey, the industry's annual guide-at-a-glance to real world implementations and the only user report card on the BPM industry's vendors. This year's report shows that BPM is breaking out of the confines of the finance department and is starting to make inroads within functional departments in the rest of the organization.

The 2006 BPM Pulse identified several surprising trends, including:

The rise of applications: 33 percent of the respondents preferred an applications vendor, while 44 percent said their favorite BPM vendor offers both tools and applications. The tools-only vendors were the favorites of just 11 percent versus 2004 data, which related how 27 percent planned on building their applications from tools or custom programming their own.

Performance management as a true enterprise application: There are clear signs that organizations are recognizing the impact of BPM as a company-wide initiative. With a view towards synchronizing departmental applications to provide an integrated perspective, 75 percent of respondents rated metadata management as "important." In the same vein, 77 percent said that a unified solution, with a single database and interface, was important. For more information on the survey, please inquire at

Figure 1: Rating of Technology Importance

Figure 2: Where Companies Stand in BPM Initiatives

Figure 3: Reasons for Waiting on BPM

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