The performance management market today offers the broadest array of choices since this category came into existence. There is something for everyone: budgeting solutions that leverage spreadsheets and ones that don’t, financial consolidation from the most basic to the most advanced, cloud-based or on-premise solutions, high-end fully loaded solutions to straightforward ones for companies with more modest needs and budgets. There is a solution for almost every need and budget.

With a slow-down in the pace of acquisition resulting in less consolidation, combined with the addition of several new vendors in recent years, this year’s crop of vendors is the broadest and strongest we have seen. In addition to this bigger range of choices, the solutions themselves are better—more features, more areas addressed, and the time to payback is faster. Today’s application solutions offer more out-of-the-box functionality, which reduces implementation time, along with the related consulting costs.

 

Established Vendors

The vendors who have already achieved success in this space are not sitting still. Almost every vendor has a major release every 12-18 months, while several vendors such as Adaptive Insights (formerly known as Adaptive Planning) and Host Analytics offer smaller updates each quarter. These releases generally expand the core functionality of the product.

Most vendors already offered budgeting, so functional growth has been in areas such as financial consolidation, strategic planning and modelling, operational analytics, and advanced reporting capabilities. Centage, for example, has broadened its offering to the point that it is one of the most comprehensive solutions targeted at the SME market.

From a technical perspective the vendors have been grappling with how to cloud-enable their existing product set while also trying to address the nascent demand for mobile access. SAP, IBM and Oracle have been rolling out cloud-enabled versions of various components of their solutions. Longview has been very successful with the SaaS version of its tax solution. Tagetik and Axiom EPM have formalized their hosted options, while Prophix in its latest release introduced strong mobile capabilities. All of these vendors must be doing something right, because the levels of customer satisfaction (as measured by the BPM Pulse survey we conduct every year), are the highest ever recorded.

 

New Entrants

While the existing vendors were busy broadening and deepening their offerings, a group of new vendors arrived on the scene to further expand the available choices. We believe that to make it in the established performance management space these new vendors need two things: a senior management team with performance management experience, and a uniquely compelling offering. The vendors we are including in this year’s guide meet both of these criteria.

Tidemark, comprised of ex-OutlookSoft and SAP executives, has created a cloud-based, fully mobile solution that is strong on analytics, risk management and handling of Big Data. Anaplan, with management from Adaytum and ALG Software (two strong budgeting players acquired by other vendors years ago), has introduced a cloud-based offering focused on operational analytics, specifically in the area of sales performance management. Vena Solutions, with management from Clarity Systems and Prophix, has a product that fully leverages Excel as the front-end, but ties it to a real system and centralized controls. OneStream, with a team that was responsible for UpStream (which was acquired by Hyperion), has delivered an enterprise-class unified solution that adds data quality to the mix, a missing component in many alternatives.