If you’re content to be lead, forever will you be a follower


Share on LinkedIn

Adam Deane posted something this morning. I like a lot of Adam’s writing but this one struck a bit of a bum note for me.

The industry is based on a few people making it move forward. Movers and Shakers..

Any decision they make ripples through the industry. A decision by one causes others to follow.

SaaS, Mobile, ACM, Simulation, ECM integration, Microsoft vs Java, BPMN vs BPEL…

Really ? So if IBM or Oracle decided to pull out of Cloud and declare on-premise is the way forward, are we all to follow suit because they say so ? It’s like old playground mentality, if they jumped off a cliff are you going to as well ? The market may be dictated (despite Adam claiming it’s a democracy) to by larger vendors but that doesn’t mean to say they own the path others must follow. Whether you’re large, medium or small you shouldn’t be content with the scraps from the table, you shouldn’t settle for wearing a pair of dead man’s shoes. We need the medium and smaller vendors to continue to push the envelope of innovation because sometimes they take the risks the bigger guys don’t. Acquisition is not innovation but if you have a fat wallet and marketing budget to match then perhaps that’s all you’re content with.

In any given month, the large BPM vendors will bring in more revenue that the small ones bring in a year.

In any given month, the large BPM vendors will spend more money on marketing and educating the public on the advantages of BPM more than the small ones combined.

I think Adam is misguided in believing that marketing = education. I’ve written plenty on the amount of noise and jargon generated by the vendor market, and funnily enough it’s by the one’s with the largest marketing budget. They don’t educate the public, they market to the CIO, the public are clueless because the message isn’t aimed at them. (and by public I mean the man on the shop floor with the process headache who really needs the help of BPM)

It’s when these guys sneeze, the rest of us run to check our forehead to see if we are coming down with something.

And it’s when these guys succeed, the rest of us feel that we are on the right track.

The measure of one company’s success does not define yours or the markets. If IBM does well it’s because it’s sold more licences, it doesn’t actually mean that BPM has become a success story. Like I said in a previous post about the size of the industry, licences alone don’t determine size and success. Perhaps as a small and up and coming vendor your measure of success is something completely different. Does that mean you’re on the same track as Oracle if they post $xyz bn results ? Certainly not. If TIBCO post miserable results does that mean Ultimus is going to suffer as a result ? Bollocks.

So Mr Gilbert.. from one of the Elois.. Congrats on the promotion.

Yeah, well done Phil, I’ll continue to admire and respect you as an industry figure but I’ll blaze my own trail thanks. I’ll walk a path I choose to tread. I’ll turn a wrong corner and learn from it. I intend to build my own legacy. Keep your shoes.

And as for BPM not having any celebrities ? Speak for yourself Adam ;)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Theo Priestley
Theo Priestley is Vice President and Chief Evangelist at Software AG, responsible for enabling the marketing and voice of the industry's leading Business Process, Big Data/ In-Memory/ Complex Event Processing, Integration and Transaction suite of platforms. Theo writes for several technology and business related sites including his own successful blog IT Redux. When he isn't evangelizing he's playing videogames, collecting comics and takes the odd photo now and then. Theo was previously an independent industry analyst and successful enterprise transformation consultant.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here