The Latest on BI+PM = ?

In two earlier posts, “What’s in a Name?” and “Putting the Business Back into Business Intelligence“, I talked about the ongoing debate about what we should all call the combination of business intelligence and performance management. With the recent wave of PM acquisitions by Oracle (Hyperion), SAP (Pilot and OutlookSoft), and BusinessObjects (Cartesis), the two markets are clearly becoming one.


As Cindi Howson points out in her blog, this trend is probably more vendor-driven than customer-driven, but that doesn’t mean it’s won’t ultimately benefit customers. The views of CFOs and CIOs are (slowly) converging on what’s required for a consolidated view of performance across the organization.


So what’s the latest on what some of the leading analyst groups are calling the new single market?


Gartner: Based on a new research note published last week, it sounds like Gartner has decided that their new term is — wait for it — “business intelligence and performance management”:


Business intelligence (BI) and performance management (PM) is an umbrella term that
encompasses and defines a continuum of applications, technologies and methodologies to
support a user’s access and analysis of information and improve insight, decision making and
performance management.


IDC: For IDC, BI and PM are both part of a larger category called “Performance Management Tools and Applications”, which also includes CRM, SCM, Workforce Analytics, and Spatial Analytics. And PMTA is in turn part of the “Business Analytics” market, which also includes data warehousing.


Forrester: Forrester has started using the term “business performance solutions” (BPS) instead of performance management, defined as “applications for planning, measuring, and reporting business performance” . But it doesn’t appear to include “BI”…


Why do I care? Unclear categories and naming makes it (even) harder to understand what these products do, and how they relate to business concerns and the IT infrastructure. There’s still a clear opportunity for a new business-focused category which reflects the reality of the market today and, ideally, doesn’t add confusion by trying to extend or repurpose an existing term.