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Big Day for Cloud-based Performance Management

On Monday there were two significant performance management announcements. First, Adaptive Planning announced its acquisition of myDIALS. Adaptive Planning has been a pioneer in the delivery of cost-effective, easy to use performance management in the cloud. The best indicator of how successful they have been is their #1 rating in our annual vendor customer satisfaction survey. We have also been following myDIALS for several years and have been impressed with their easily personalized operational dashboards. This acquisition extends Adaptive Planning’s offerings from budgeting, planning, forecasting, reporting, and data visualization into true operational analytics. When they introduce financial consolidation capabilities at some point in the future they will have covered all the performance management bases and will have an offering that equals or exceeds what many of their on-premise competitors offer.

Also on Monday SAP announced their first cloud-based performance management offerings. This certainly validates the move to cloud-based solutions in this area and may help some larger organizations begin to take this approach more seriously. SAP’s initial focus is on expense analysis, P&L analysis, and capital planning. While it is certainly a step in the right direction the limited scope of the initial release will also limit its appeal. For existing SAP performance management customers it might be an easy way to add new capabilities. Right now though for anyone looking for a comprehensive cloud-based performance management suite there are better alternatives.

Speaking of those alternatives, they haven’t been sitting still either. In addition to Adaptive Planning, two other broad-based performance management cloud solutions have had some major news of their own this year. Earlier this year Host Analytics partnered with Birst to add business intelligence and analytic capabilities to its already fairly comprehensive offering. Just last month, Tidemark announced the general availability of their next generation HTML5-based mobile/cloud/big data/analytics-based performance management suite.

With several solid cloud-based performance management solutions now available, the question becomes – is the demand there? The answer based on our own BPM Pulse 2012 survey results is an unequivocal ‘yes’. For the first time more than half the respondents (57%) said they would consider a cloud-based solution, and the numbers were even higher for smaller companies. In addition, of those that said ‘no’ to the cloud for now, 76% said that may change over time.

In the end this is all great news for performance management buyers. They have more and better cloud choices than at any other point in time, in addition to many solid on-premise options as well. 

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