Where's the BPM market going?

The Mist I remember back in the deep, dark mists of time (about ten years ago, actually), The BPM market used to have several players in it. Gartner's Magic Quadrant had a diverse number of players in each of the quadrants, and it was easy to look at and understand the fragmentation. Things were called 'BPM' and everyone knew where they stood with it - although, in reality, very few people could adequately define 'BPM' as a concept.

More recently, though, the market has started to amalgamate. Major companies were purchased by competitors and their products merged together (Metastorm and Provision is one example). The fragmentation of the market decreased suddenly. The Magic Quadrant (and Forrester's Wave) had fewer parts to it. Things looked good for the BPM vendors, but, not necessarily, good for the market.

People like Gartner then started to split their BPM Magic Quadrant up into different areas. We got BPMS, and ACM and the like. Different companies were invited in to join, and, pretty soon, the market seemed to be just as wide-ranging as before.

But is it really? Or have we just moved the goalposts?

Is this a classic reorganisation the likes of which we experience in companies at regular intervals? Movement for the sake of movement.

Is it a way for some of the consulting companies and business integrators to muddy the waters for customers and justify large consulting fees?

Or is the market genuinely in the throes of some major increase in the number of vendors working in a particular niche? Are we on the cusp of an explosion of products that will help customers conquer the BPM beast?

I'm not sure I know the answer myself, but I suspect a number of my readers will have opinions on this. Feel free to share in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Nathan O'Nions via Compfight cc

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