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Early Returns of SAP Market Survey Shows Cross Industry Appeal of BPM

Chance to win free SAP Press Book:  Business Process Management – the SAP Roadmap – participate in wave 2 of BPM market survey!

Earlier this month SAP rolled out a survey to see where our customers and partners are currently applying BPM methodologies and tools.  While our survey is not yet complete, we wanted to share some early findings.


In the first wave of our BPM survey, consisting of around 60% SAP customers and 40% SAP partners, the majority of partners report serving customers in multiple industries, while those customers participating represented a broad collection of industry applications.  With customers, manufacturing was the most prevalent application for BPM.  With partners retail and horizontal applications were most common with public sector being a close third. 


So far, there are only some similarities between our data and that collected by Gartner in their December 2008 user adoption survey.  Their data shows nearly 19% of BPM adoption within manufacturing (discrete & process), with retail coming in a distant third at 10%.  In their case, they carefully qualified their participants, and exclusively concentrated on customer use.


Another interesting finding is the dichotomy between partners and customers as to whether they view BPM as a management discipline or an IT implementation approach.  Currently our findings show that over half of responding customers feel that BPM is an IT implementation approach while almost 60% of partners see BPM as being both an IT and a management discipline.  This shows the early nature of BPM within our responding community as many IT departments are still “checking out” BPM.  It is encouraging, however, that many of our partners understand the importance of connecting management and IT in BPM, and clearly there is a lot of opportunity for partners to help SAP customers align the groups.

While I was unable to find a comparable number with Gartner or Forrester, the study cited above from Gartner did show that 64% of BPM projects were funded by line of business budgets as opposed to IT budgets.  I consider this to be an even bigger indicator about BPM being a philosophy for business enablement as opposed to IT enablement.


The last interesting finding I would like to share is the main drivers for which customers and partners are utilizing BPM.  In the case of our respondants, the vast majority are looking to improve process performance metrics with process automation being a secondary goal.    

This correlates with the Gartner user adoption survey, which shows process monitoring as the most important capability with management of events, human interactions, and system processing coming next in importance.


We will publish a summary of our final results when the survey completes.  In the meantime, we would appreciate your help.  Please participate in our survey.  Respondents to this survey have a chance to win one of three copies of the book we are giving away:  “Business Process Management:  The SAP Roadmap”.

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