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Industry Acronyms: CPM, BPM and EPM

 Corporate, Business or Enterprise Performance Management

These umbrella terms represent the coming together of business intelligence – backward looking, reactive, historical – and analytic applications – predictive, forward looking and proactive. The goal is to create an integrated management process that takes a company strategy, creates a business plan to deliver on that strategy, aligns operational managers to that plan with a budget or forecast and then reports and analyses on the outcomes – either reinforcing the strategy or driving business change.

The desired result of this process is to improve business performance. This could mean improved sales, increased margin, reduced costs, higher share price or improved economic profit. The software used however will not produce this effect on its own. Whilst product vendors would like to think that all their software is relevant to every company, each company, dependent on size and industry sector will benefit most from specific solutions. We have listed the most popular companies and their products to help identify what may bring best value, given a set of circumstances.

The common components of a CPM or BPM strategy vary from vendor to vendor or on a particular analyst's viewpoint. Not all components are relevant to all companies but what is clear is that business intelligence and analytic applications need to be combined to form a solution. One key question is - do you buy best of breed from many vendors or settle for an integrated suite from one vendor and compromise on specific components. Most important of all though, before reviewing specific products, is to define the strategy and road map, to identify what business problems need to be solved and understand any inter-dependencies with other initiatives:

  • Strategy setting and Balanced Scorecards
  • Budgeting and Forecasting
  • Management reporting and analysis
  • Activity based costing and management
  • Financial and statutory reporting