Information Builders joins BPM fray

Information Builders has announced the availability of its business performance management (BPM) framework, formally marking the...

Information Builders has announced the availability of its business performance management (BPM) framework, formally marking the company's entry to providing what it calls an orthodox BPM balanced-scorecard approach.

IBI president and chief executive officer Gerald Cohen told an audience at the company's Summit 2004 user conference that the "organically" developed solution - as opposed to a patchwork of products added via acquisition - is designed to shorten business cycles and features enterprise-wide scorecarding, financial reporting, performance metrics and dashboards.

The WebFocus Performance Management Framework, available now, is standards-based and features analysis of staged or real-time data across a data access architecture, according to need.

IBI also unveiled new report enhancements to its real-time WebFocus enterprise BI suite, including integrated Microsoft PowerPoint reporting and scalable vector graphics (SVG).

In addition, WebFocus graphs can new be produced in Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format. The enhancements allow the ability of save an active dashboard as a PowerPoint slide.

Industry observers note that the rise of BPM offerings can be attributed to enterprise demands for higher return on investment, as well as the need for better customer service delivery and business efficiency. According to industry research firm International Data, the $12.5b BI and BPM market is a bright spot in an otherwise stagnant enterprise business software space.

Within the next five years the market is expected to grow 7%. According to Dan Vesset, senior analyst and research manager of analytics and data warehousing for IDC, enterprises can gain a competitive edge from improving the accuracy and speed of critical decision making. Vesset added that in an era of compliance regulations and increased CIO accountability, BPM technology is looking very attractive to organisations.

Certain BI trends are emerging, added Vesset. These include advanced data visualisation, event-based analytics, business activity monitoring, and the increased role of web services.

Also at Summit 2004, through its subsidiary, adapter supplier iWay Software, IBI announced Data Migrator RT (real-time) and Data Migrator integration products.

Data Migrator RT provides a "drag-and-drop" real-time message capture, transformation and data movement, which enables enterprises to capture front-end data, IBI's Cohen said, adding that Data Migrator enables the batch movement of data. Pricing is $25,000 and $15,000 respectively.

Ryan B Patrick writes for

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