Sam Ping Foon, China At SunsetGartner released its 2015 Magic Quadrant for Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Suites last week  (access the report here). Like it or not, this is one of the most widely anticipated industry analyst reports of the year covering the corporate/enterprise performance management space. This is the ninth year in a row that SAP has been ranked a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Corporate Performance Management Suites – and we’re proud of that. But there’s more to learn from the report.

As expected, many of the vendors featured in the report have quickly responded with their take/spin on the findings. While some may question the placement of their “dot” on the quad and survey findings, the report does present some interesting perspectives. Here’s my point of view.

It’s Virtually Impossible Not to Track the Dot

We’ve all done things we’re not supposed to – it’s human nature. While Gartner advises not to make year-on-year comparisons on individual “dot movement,” it’s almost impossible to fight the urge to track the dot – what you’ll often see is a swirl which in and of itself isn’t very useful. What is more useful/interesting is the relative positioning between vendors’ dots year on year. This can indicate how one vendor is doing relative to another from the perspective of the report findings. And there are some significant changes in relative positioning this year.

Some Leaders Are Ahead of Visionaries on Completeness of Vision

The four categories on the quad are Niche Players, Visionaries, Challengers, and Leaders. The natural progression of most vendors is to reverse move up the “S curve” from Niche to Visionary to Challenger to Leader as the vendor matures. As mentioned, one of the categories is, “Visionaries” and with that name one might presume that because a vendor is in the “Visionaries” category, they’re ahead of vendors in other categories on Completeness of Vision. That’s not necessarily the case.

As you can see in this year’s report, the two frontrunners in the Leaders category are ahead of all the vendors in the Visionaries categories on Completeness of Vision (you can read what’s all included in Completeness in Vision in the report).

SAP Makes a Major Move on Completeness of Vision

SAP is one of the two aforementioned Leaders. And this year, SAP made a major move on Completeness of Vision. According to Gartner, “SAP is a consistent leader in this market and has seen an increasing in its Completeness of Vision this year, largely due to its continued product and platform investment in ERP-CPM simplification to support new OOF and strategic CPM processes.”

What’s very important to note is that this increase in Completeness of Vision didn’t even fully reflect the release of SAP Cloud for Planning – our new, built-for-the-public cloud solution –because of the timing of the release (Generally available in February 2015).

Cloud Carries More Weight

This point is doubly important. First, because SAP delivered a high performance planning app built for the cloud leveraging modern design principles that hasn’t been fully reflected in our scoring. And second, according to Gartner, positions of all the Leaders took a hit due to reflect CPM cloud momentum. This would have amplified the positive impact SAP Cloud for Planning would have had if it had been fully included in our scoring.

The Leaders Are Still the Leaders

What hasn’t changed this year is the Leaders are still the Leaders – there’ve been no new entries into the Leaders’ section of the quad this year. Although, as mentioned, SAP made a significant move from a relative positioning perspective on Completeness of Vision. This is the ninth year in a row that SAP has been ranked a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Corporate Performance Management Suites. We’re honored for the recognition, but more importantly we’re proud to serve our thousands of customers around the world with our broad portfolio of capabilities and exciting new innovations.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see what’s new and what’s on the horizon with SAP’s EPM portfolio at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, FL and Financials 2015 in Nice, France.