The news has really created quite a buzz and almost everyone who is following BPM is excited about this announcement.
Why would IBM, an arguably formidable player in the BPM market in its own right, acquire a pure-play BPM product like Lombardi?
Lombardi has reported record performance in recent years. Blueprint itself has worked up a good momentum around the cloud offering and has gathered thousands of customers. Compare this with BPM Blueworks that IBM had initiated earlier this year. IBM has not made a big dent in the cloud area yet. So Blueprint is going to be a big value for IBM there.
Which obviously means, one benefit IBM would look for is target SMBs as an entry strategy through Blueprint.
But widening customer base is only one aspect.
IBM traditionally has had a complex set of product offerings, with questionable buyer friendliness for sure. Lombardi on the other hand has been more about simplicity. In the past, the way IBM handled the FileNet acquisition has been discussed much since the news came out today.
ebizQ started a discussion on this topic earlier and Rashid Khan makes a valid point saying the BPM industry itself is up for major change and it remains to be seen how agile IBM can be in the face of these changes.
So what will be really interesting to see is, with the inclusion of Teamworks and Blueprint, how IBMs BPM products will be stacked up going forward; how IBM will combine strengths of its BPM products to create a new value proposition to the customer.
I like how Scott assessed synergies – that Lombardi’s strengths are in technology closer to the process and IBM has its strengths in the integration space and back office tech. This is exactly what Bruce Silver says too in his post. He thinks the success of this acquisition will be decided by how well IBM is able to ‘meld’ these two strengths.
I think that’s really the main thing on most of our minds – how IBM will handle the future of Teamworks and Blueprint; how it will synergize all its products under its BPM umbrella.
But there’s likely to be a big shift in the BPM market itself. Like I mentioned over at the ebizQ forum, this acquisition is bound to upset the balance of power among BPM products in the market and some shuffling and re-alignment of vendors and their products will be inevitable in the coming year.
BPMS products like Savvion come to mind.
Any other products/fallouts you can think of? Please put your thoughts in the comments box.