Even after years of consolidation, there are still many viable solutions available to the business performance management (BPM) buyer. Certain software categories have become richer and deeper because of the merger and acquisition activity.

As always, it is imperative to understand your business requirements first before you look at any technology solutions. Unfortunately, many companies still jump into technology selection without fully understanding and documenting their business requirements. When dealing with BPM, this can be disastrous. The IT team must make sure the finance and business unit needs are met, or the system will be underutilized. Once detailed requirements are in place, the first technology choice relates to the type of BPM vendor to be considered. Today there are four major types of vendors offering performance management software: enterprise resource planning (ERP)/transactional systems, business intelligence (BI) tools, BPM applications and BI+BPM suites. Your requirements, IT staff availability, background of project leader, existing enterprise applications, IT infrastructure and even company size will play a role in deciding which category of vendor is the best match for your company.

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