Taking Advice from Analysts

  • June 5, 2015
  • Scott

The weather was amazingIs there anything better than an analyst firm telling everyone to pivot an industry?

Of course, the post was written by Steve Wood, who has an axe to grind about his product, ManyWho, and therefore finds himself attending a conference and throwing rocks at the other vendors, but lapping up what the analysts have to say.  How odd.

Apparently, BPM is dead.  Never mind that companies like BP3 and Appian and IBM and Pega are thriving in the space. It’s dead.

A good sign that you might be on the wrong path – when the analysts are singing the same song before you are.  But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room in the universe of BPM vendors for another one with their own unique take on the subject.  So welcome, ManyWho to the fold – and enjoy your year of being the new kid on the block and criticizing all those old-guard companies… That used to be Lombardi, and Appian, and a dozen other companies.  But next year there will be another startup complaining about your old school way of thinking (hell, Salesforce is 15 years old – is that the cutting edge example?).  Next year you’ll need a better line than just being new and different.

The best thing BPM vendors can do is mind their customers, listen to the analysts, and then form their own opinions. Analysts aren’t gifted with any special understanding of your business that you don’t have for yourself, but they can share valuable context about what they’re seeing and hearing outside your four walls – information which you should double check and triple check with your team and your customers and your prospects.  Analysts are a source of information, but they’re not your north star.



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  • Steve Wood

    Hi Scott – we should show you what we’re doing. We’ve put a lot of work into creating a BPM platform that doesn’t follow the same conventions you might be used to. We started at the applications level and worked down to workflow/business process automation. Be very happy to give you a demo. Let me know.

    • Steve,
      I get it. And I get why you’re throwing a few rocks to bring attention. But when you say “put a lot of work into creating a BPM platform” – your company was started 2 years ago and has 6 employees (probably less for much of those two years) – it doesn’t sound like “a lot” from an enterprise software perspective. Design tools take more work to build right than applications. (Also, putting it in perspective, we’re “just a services firm” and we have more developers…)

      There are a lot of companies pursuing a similar approach over the years- one day one of them will get it right. Maybe Manywho will be the one, maybe flokzu maybe Effektif or OnIT or maybe something else. But they have all suffered from an empty ecosystem and no way to prime the pump. And they have all believed that business users want to create processes and applications… not clear that that it is true.

      BTW, the demo is great. But referring back to many discussions on BPM and ACM forums (and this blog, just look for fun discussions with Keith Swenson) it is coding by another name. In other words, the level of expertise and structured thinking required is approaching what is required to code… so might as well call it code 🙂


      • Steve Wood

        Sure – I can understand what you’re saying in terms of time. I think you need to understand our story and development more to understand what we’re doing. ManyWho wasn’t built in 2 years.

        On the whole code/not code discussion – I think that’s an over intellectualization of the wrong point. Call a model code or not code – who cares. The real benefit is layers of abstraction and complexity. Do you work with a specialist plastics molding supplier that does small batch manufacturing or do you build your toys in lego. Both are plastic and both are toys 🙂 Typing code is simple in any language. Getting the architecture right is considerably more complicated.

        Offer to give you a demo is still open. Would be good to get your direct feedback.