IBM, SAP AG, Hyperion Solutions Corp., IDC, Meta Group, The Data Warehousing Institute and BPM Partners Inc. announced on Thursday the BPM Standards Group. Based in Stamford, Conn., the group has outlined as its goals the establishment of BPM standards that can be used by software vendors, service providers, consultants and, ultimately, users.
BPM—an acronym associated with other efforts, like business process management—brings together financial planning, business intelligence, reporting, analytics and other functions to create a single view of a corporations performance.
As an organization, the BPM Standards Group represents a good smattering of the bigger categories within the BPM industry: applications and tools providers, implementation consultants, system integrators, and IT and data warehousing industry analysts.
The BPM Forum—a group of operations, finance and IT practitioners—is in the mix to represent the customer point of view. This group will do the testing and validation of the BPM Standard Groups concepts.
Those concepts will, eventually, boil down to a BPM framework that includes core processes that define specific technologies and methodologies to support the processes.
At the same time, the BPM Standards Group is hoping to pound out some of the intangibles surrounding BPM: what works and what doesnt work in terms of implementations, clarity on what BPM can and cannot do, best practices from actual BPM implementations, and a set of common definitions for BPM.
The group also will provide suggested roadmaps for companies interested in implementing BPM software.
The BPM Standards Groups mission is not entirely altruistic. According to Meta Group, one of its founding members, the software market for BPM applications reached $1.1 billion in 2003 and is expected to grow an additional 15 percent to 20 percent this year.
IBM also did its own study. A September 2003 survey showed that 65 percent of 450 CEOs surveyed rated BPM as a top priority.
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