With many enterprises looking to business process management for cost savings, the publication of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BPM solutions will enable enterprises to assess the good, bad and indifferent in a market brimming with talent.

The report looks at 25 vendors that offer multi-regional, cross-industry BPMs that, at this moment, account for most of the spending. Gartner (news, site) suggests that enterprises looking for industry-specific processes, or for a particular geography, should also take a look at the list of those that did not make the Magic Quadrant but are still well-placed vendors.

To be included in the BPM MQ, vendors were judged on four basic usage scenarios. Those scenarios include:

  • A continuous process improvement program
  • Implementation of industry-specific or enterprise-specific process software
  • Support for business transformation initiatives
  • Support for process-based SOA redesign

Model Driven Processes

Pure-play BPM vendors have long histories of model-driven process execution, as opposed to code-based execution, which Gartner believes is the best way for changing processes collaboratively in this volatile environment.

Think Agile BPM, with many of the vendors offering that kind of functionality already. Most of the big middleware and application infrastructure vendors recognize the importance of this shift to user empowerment which in turn improves their products.

BPM in 2010

So what’s happening in the BPM market? Gartner has identified three principal trends:

  1. The deployment of BPMS as enterprise programs rather than solutions to be applied to once–off projects, something Gartner says it first noted in 2008, and which has continued since. The financial services industry has been the leader in BPM adoption with many larger institutions pulling all their major projects into a more coordinated BPM program.
  2. An increase in the number of buyers who are investing to support continued business process improvement and drive business transformation. Leaving aside a few highs and lows brought on by financial difficulties in 2008, since late summer 2009, the number of organizations pursuing continuous process improvement or business transformation initiatives based on BPM has climbed back to five or six out of every ten.
  3. While some vendors have developed from pure-play backgrounds and continue to be leaders in the market, increasingly large middleware and software infrastructure vendors have greatly expanded their market presence.

Magic Quadrant BPM Leaders

BPM Leaders are vendors that cover all of the four bases in the usage scenarios already mentioned. They are vendors whose products and services focus on business process analysts working alongside process owners to improve and transform processes.

There were nine vendors that made it into the leader’s quadrant this time out. In alphabetical order they include:


Product: Adobe’s (news, site) LiveCycle Enterprise Suite 2 v.9

  • Strengths: Comes with a highly appealing, visually rich integration of documents, rich internet applications and unstructured content in the context of a business process with rule-based customized security and personalisation. Its differentiation is to provide process management capabilities with a rich, interactive user experience.
  • Cautions: Although it has strengthened its focus on its enterprise business and on the LiveCycle product family, market awareness is still low.


Product: Appian Enterprise v6.1

  • Strengths: A user friendly product providing a thin-client architecture for both design and runtime. It comes as a highly integrated environment, providing seamless user experience. Appian also has a complete BPM SaaS offering: Appian Anywhere.
  • Cautions: Because of its aggressive growth strategy that has resulted in a 67% increase, user support may be limited in some locations.

Global 360

Product: Global 360 (news, site) v.10.1