John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

IBM Gobbles Up BPM Outfit Lombardi

acquisitions_phagResearch firm IDC estimates that the market for business process management software and services will hit $3 billion by 2013. That’s a little more than double the category’s current $1.7 billion. So it is not all that surprising to see IBM (IBM) bolster its position there. This morning, the company acquired Lombardi, a well-known midrange BPM vendor, for an undisclosed sum.

It’s a significant deal for IBM, and the company claims there’s a great fit between its BPM portfolio and Lombardi’s Teamworks and Blueprint offerings.

But not everyone agrees. MWD Advisors analyst Neil Ward-Dutton wonders if there’s a bit too much overlap between the two companies’ BPM offerings.

“Although the strengths of Lombardi’s tools are different from IBM’s there is almost 100% product overlap,” Ward-Dutton writes. “What’s more the design philosophy of Lombardi’s offering is almost diametrically opposed to that of IBM’s offering–many of Lombardi’s strengths come from its tightly-integrated toolset and repository. It’s not straightforward to see how these things can come together to form a coherent portfolio–unless they’re basically fenced off from each other and positioned as supporting different kinds of BPM scenario (with Lombardi focused on ‘people centric’ processes, WebSphere on ‘system centric’ processes).”