While the number of organizations moving forward with business performance management (BPM) is expanding, the number of established BPM vendors is shrinking. These two trends may seem contradictory, but they're really not. Let's look at what is driving the consolidation in the BPM space, and what the implications are for current users and future purchasers.

In the past two years, there have been quite a few mergers involving performance management software companies. Two primary trends are driving this consolidation. The first trend is that vendors are filling holes in their product offerings or strengthening existing components. Cartesis acquiring INEA is an example. Cartesis is a very strong player in complex, global financial consolidations, one of the cornerstones of BPM. Until fairly recently, they did not have a separate budgeting and planning module, another key element of BPM. When they did finally release their own budgeting module, they found themselves in the market with a version 1.0 product competing with many established products. To level the playing field, they needed a budgeting product that had gone through several versions and had a robust feature set. They were able to find these necessities in INEA's product set. Thus, this first trend is really about time to market with a complete, robust BPM suite.

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