Gartner has been keen to stress that the iBPMS is not a natural evolution of the BPMS Magic Quadrant. Over a year ago Gartner suggested in research reports that IBO (Intelligent Business Operations) was the way forward-thinking clients would run their businesses. And with that in mind, the iBPMS is the technology platform that supports IBO.
So the results of the MQ were eagerly awaited by the BPM software vendors like excited school kids around the noticeboard with exam results. But many of the vendors who read the report and were probably disappointed, confused and angry – in that order.
But probably more importantly, where does it leave clients who have made strategic decisions based on the 2010 BPMS MQ? They have made purchasing decisions, choosing the Leaders in that MQ only to find some of them languishing at the bottom of the Niche quadrant. A couple of new entrants in strong positions are a real surprise and there are a number of companies who have not appeared.
Sadly this MQ seems to have raised more questions than it answers.
But in Gartner’s defense, the MQ research and publish process is quite lengthy (opportunity for business reengineering?) and the development cycle for software applications is getting faster. In fact the report states: “Gartner analysts conducted 14 in-depth vendor reviews during January, February and March 2012 to produce this report.” So, by the time the MQ is published, some 6 months later, some of the criticisms (or “Cautions”) in the report have already been addressed by the software vendors.
For the record, these are my observations, not those of my employer, TIBCO Software. Whilst no vendor is happy unless they are top, top, top right in the MQ, but TIBCO can take heart from the first paragraph of the summary of their Strengths
“Tibco has all the components to make a great iBPMS…. Individually, the above listed products deliver strong functionality; however, collectively, they are not yet fully integrated. ”
The integration of different applications is front and center of the product roadmap that was presented at the recent TIBCO User Conference – TUCON – last week in Las Vegas. And many of the product integrations were announced at TUCON.
The importance of the ideas of IBO cannot be understated. The need for agilty and the reacting to events whilst at the same time maintaining regulatory compliance is the challenge for every organization. Those that master it will deliver “extreme value” as TIBCO’s founder and CEO, Vivek Ranadive describes it.
So we should look forward to the evolution of the iBPMS over the next year. In exam terms this report probably gets “C+ must improve research techniques to stay current”