Hyperion calls for a BPM revolution

Hyperion rallied its users to a revolution, calling for "actionable insight for all."

LAS VEGAS -- Driven by the belief that "actionable insight is a right," Hyperion Chief Strategy Officer Howard Dresner called on the more than 4,000 attendees at Hyperion's Solutions 2006 Business Performance Management conference this week to join in achieving true "information democracy."

"Six months ago, I left Gartner [where he served as a senior research fellow] and I joined Hyperion to start a new revolution, one that will start to deliver on the promise of actionable insight for all," Dresner said. "And that revolution is the BPM [business performance management] revolution."

According to Hyperion, BPM combines four areas of performance management: planning, financial management and control, analytics, and query and reporting. This enables greater business agility by bridging the information gap between IT and business.

"We are sick and tired of not knowing and having to guess," Dresner proclaimed against a Revolutionary War-themed backdrop. "We are sick and tired of multiple and inconsistent answers to a single question. We are sick and tired of people hoarding information.… And we are sick and tired of complex systems that are virtually impossible to use."

Dresner's list of grievances struck a chord with the audience.

"I think he's right," claimed Bryan Hall of Grant Thornton, a Chicago-based accounting firm. "It really does come back to freeing up people from relying on IT to be able to get the information they deserve." He added, "This is groundbreaking."

"BPM is about the business people waking up and saying 'We can't work this way,'" Dresner explained later. "It's a backlash against the whole tools and technological mind-set that we've had for the last 20 years. So, BPM is very much a business initiative in partnership with IT."

Industry expert William McKnight thinks Hyperion and Dresner may be onto something.

"It's time for BPM, because the information capability of organizations is far beyond what [it has] ever been and the linkages within business processes can be determined in a greater sense than ever before. Finally, business performance can be displayed in a comprehensible manner," McKnight said. "Hyperion is really at the forefront of this and has embraced it like no other."

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At the conference, Hyperion president and CEO Godfrey Sullivan also renewed his company's commitment to be good enterprise citizens. "We hear it from you every day. You absolutely need good interoperability with Microsoft; you have to have good interoperability with SAP. We are investing a lot more money now to do just that."

This news sits well with Jim Farley, IT project manager with Morristown, N.J.-based Honeywell International Inc.

"It's encouraging to see the strategic direction of the company where they are partnering heavily with SAP," Farley said. "From [our company's] perspective, we are going down an ERP SAP implementation strategy, and that's important to us."

Other Hyperion announcements at Solutions 2006 included the debut of its Alliance for Performance Leadership, designed to "incubate and synthesize ideas and execute upon the knowledge gained to create methodologies, inform product development, and provide a valuable resource for the creation and testing of best practices." Members will include BPM visionaries from the customer community, academia and Hyperion.

"The Alliance for Performance Leadership is one part 'think tank' and two parts 'consultancy,'" Dresner said. "With the Alliance, for the first time, those needing guidance… will have a single resource to draw upon for insight and best practices."

Hyperion also announced plans to integrate Microsoft SQL Server BI capabilities with Hyperion System 9 BI +.

"By integrating our leading BPM technology with Microsoft technology, we accelerate our ability to help our customers achieve information democracy across their enterprises," Dresner said.

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