BPM Consultancy Unveils Partner Alliance

Craig Schiff, president and CEO of BPM Partners, Stamford, Conn., said each alliance partner will receive an exclusive recommendation based the vendor with which it works and its geographic region.

Not to be confused with business process management--which essentially maps out workflow between people, applications and data and also is known in industry shorthand as "BPM"--this particular brand of BPM helps companies continually fine-tune their operations to line up with corporate and financial goals. This matchup requires a complex melding of technologies and applications, including business intelligence software, key business metrics and performance indicators, and financial planning and consolidation applications. Complicating what is already a confusing process, vendors touting their BPM wares, such as Cognos, Hyperion and Outlooksoft, tend to describe their competing products in exactly the same terms as one another.

BPM Partners attempts to cut through the noise by advising customers on which vendors and products will match their BPM needs, and overseeing general project management. It does not implement the actual BPM systems, however.

"Customers like one-stop shopping, but our stance as a vendor-neutral consultant means we do not partner with vendors or have financial relations with them, and that means we do not do actual hands-on implementations," Schiff said. "We address that by partnering with consulting shops across the country that [work] with specific vendors and focus on particular geographies."

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Schiff said the consulting firm will train each partner in its methodology, ensuring a smooth hand-off at the different stages of the engagement. In addition, BPM Partners will pass along leads and will pay finders fees when alliance members pass along leads to it.

"The one tough decision they have to make is they need to agree to not compete with us," Schiff said. "We don't do implementation work. By the same token, we expect them to not be involved in vendor-selection work."

One partner who made that decision is Chris Iervolino, senior managing director of BPM implementation firm Itec Consulting, White Plains, N.Y.

"Craig and I have both been in this a long time and we see the same people," Iervolino said. "But as many contacts as I have, he has many more. Besides, I think some level of control, with coordination of [partner] specialties and prequalification, will really benefit everyone."