BEA State of the Market Survey

BEA recently completed a "thorough analysis" of the BPM market, based on analyst reports, articles, and customer surveys. Some highlights, with my thoughts:

  • BPM is one of the fastest-growing software markets, projected to go from $500 Million in 2006 to $6 Billion in 2011. When I see $6 Billion I have to wonder what they're counting, but yeah, it's definitely moving.
  • Rapidly consolidating, from 150 vendors in 2006 to 25 in 2007. That's just silly. It was never 150, and it's more than 25 today. I would say the BPMS market is still ripe for consolidation, which hasn't really happened yet.
  • 65% of BPM solutions in BEA's own survey integrate 3+ systems. A good sign I agree. Being BEA customers, though, I suspect that is well above the industry as a whole.
  • Company politics and shortage of soft skills outweigh technical challenges. I agree, for a SOA shop, BPM is a piece of cake technically.
There's a nice explanation of the enterprise app silo problem. I expect major redaction of this part once the Oracle deal closes.

Some nice data about market maturity. Short version: it's still early days, with most implementations at the departmental level, although 18% report "enterprise-wide BPM".

In BEA's own customer survey, the top-rated capability in BPMS selection was ease of use of the modeling/design environment. I tend to focus on that one as well, and I think you'll find that the leaders in the Gartner MQ and Forrester Wave tend to be those with slick business-oriented design tools.

BEA says BPMN is the only real standard in BPM, and has a nice picture of a BPMN diagram. Now if only AquaLogic BPM would look like that...

BPM-SOA integration is an area where BEA has a leadership position. Most of the SOA vendors don't do BPM well, and most BPMS vendors either ignore SOA or try to make BPM and SOA the same thing. A nice discussion of this in the report.

There is a great discussion of event-driven BPM, with appropriate kudos to BPMN for incorporating events in the process model. ALBPM is pretty event-aware, compared to other BPMSs... now if they just used BPMN to express it!

Another good discussion of the intersection of collaboration and BPM. This is another strength of BEA, based on great cross-pollination between Plumtree and Fuego acquisitions. Their survey stats are surprising - not sure I believe it - claiming 91% of BEA customers incorporate collaborative activities in their processes: shared document review and production, team workspaces, and ad hoc tasks within a structured process.

Overall this is a very interesting report, and it's free.