BPM: Still not Dead

Scott Francis
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Neil Ward-Dutton was at AppianWorld recently, where he no doubt saw demos of Appian’s software that Appian has been (so far) reluctant to show other BPM vendors and gurus at bpmNEXT each year!

But beyond that, apparently some numbers were discussed, and I’m always looking at BPM vendors to see how the market is doing.  Appian’s results speak directly to Neil Ward-Dutton’s talk at bpmNEXT – Schroedinger’s BPM – both dead and alive.  If it is dead, why do vendors keep reporting record results?  If it is alive, is it past its prime?  I think the notion that BPM is dead just misses the point: BPM is just a name that is attached to a bunch of vendors in the market and it’s life or death is just the sum of the lives and deaths of those vendors.  Given that, it appears to be alive and well:

Appian is certainly scaling, too. In a briefing a week or so before the conference, the company shared some financial and business performance nuggets: fiscal 2014 saw revenue up 47% over 2013, with a 111% increase in software license bookings and a 60% increase in Appian Cloud bookings (with the discrepancy stemming from the fact that increasingly, on-premises product licensing is also shifting to a subscription model). Looking at Q1 2015 over the same quarter in 2014, software license bookings were up over 300%.

47% revenue growth is great news for the company, and better than the 30%+ rates they were quoting in 2013.  I hope this is a trend of more consistent reporting of financial progress by Appian as they’re an interesting case study of a BPM vendor going wide with their offering (after the whole custom app market).  At BP3, we also put our money where our mouth is, and we’ve reported on our own growth over the years (for the record, 62% revenue growth in 2014), and we don’t get any of our revenue on Appian customer-base… So I think we can say with confidence that we have two independent variables pointing to a positive outlook for BPM heading into 2015.

Hard to reconcile those data points with the idea that BPM is dead!