In actuality, they simply used a different language or notation: process models with organizational and workflow-oriented semantics as opposed to programmatic execution language. That stood up only as long as you used BPM to model your processes, not automate them.
And that means you need IT front and center, and the stack people right behind it. Even with the emergence of BPMN 2.0, which adds support for executables, the cold hard facts are that anytime, anything executes in software, IT must be front and center. So much for bypassing IT.
Savvion was in a challenging segment: A tiny player contending for enterprise, not departmental, BPM engagements. If you are a large enterprise, would you stake your enterprise BPM strategy on a slow-growing players whose revenues are barely north of $10 million? It wasn’t a question of whether, but when Savvion would be acquired.
[Editor's note: Savvion is bringing a new geographical footprint to Progress. Savvion is well positioned in India, where Progress is eager to tread. And Progress is prominent in Europe, where the Savvion-broadened portfolio will sell better than Savvion could alone. ... Dana Gardner.]
There is some alignment with the vertical industry templates that both have been developing, especially for financial services and telcos, which are the core bastions (along with logistics) for EP. And with the Sonic service bus, Progress has a pipeline for ferrying events.
[Editor's note: The combination of Savvion BPM and Progress CEP help bring the vision of operational responsiveness, Progress's value theme of late, out from the developer and IT engineer purview (where it will be even stronger) and gets it far closer to the actual business outcomes movers and shakers. The Savvion buy also nudges Progress closer to an integrated business intelligence (BI) capability. It will be curious to see if Progress builds, buys or partners its way of adding more BI capabilities into its fast-expanding value mix. ... Dana Gardner.]
The market itself is not new; capital markets have developed homegrown event processing algorithms for years. What’s new (as in, what’s new in the last decade) is that this market has started to become productized. More recently, SQL-based approaches have emerged to spread high-end event processing to a larger audience.
Acquiring Savvion ups the stakes with TIBCO Software (TIBX), which also has a similar pairing of technologies in its portfolio.
Given ongoing consolidation, that leaves Active Endpoints, Pegasystems (PEGA), Appian, plus several open source niche pure plays still standing.
Like Savvion, Pega is also an enterprise company, but it is a public company with roughly 10x revenues which has still managed to grow in the 25 percent range in spite of the recession. While in one way, it might make a good fit with SAP (both have their own, entrenched, proprietary languages), Pega is stubbornly independent and SAP acquisition-averse.
Pega might be a fit with one of the emerging platform stack players like EMC or Cisco (CSCO). On second thought, the latter would be a much more logical target for web-based Appian or fast-growing Active Endpoints, still venture-funded, but also a promising growth player that at some point will get swept up.
[Editor's note: Tony's right. Once these IT acquisition waves begin, they tend to wash over the whole industry as most buyers and sellers match up. As with EAI middleware, BI, and data cleansing technologies before, BPM is the current belle of the ball. ... Dana Gardner.]
Disclosure: Progress Software and TIBCO are sponsors of BriefingsDirect podcasts.