Here are recent articles on performance management software.

Greg Brown writes:

There comes a moment in the life of every growing small business when the traditional performance review -- management interviewing staff, then printing up reports -- falls far short. Keeping on top of the human factor, which employees need which opportunities and challenges, how and when to move or remove talent, is critical to reaching the next stage. Corporate performance management can be as important as finance, sales and grooming top managers.

Software and specialized business performance consultants can help fill the gap if human resources capabilities are lacking: Scorecards, industry metrics, in-house consultants, all of them play a role in revitalizing and recognizing your business performance management needs.

Covered in this guide:

1. Digitizing human resource processes through corporate performance management
2. Finding performance management consulting
3. Corporate performance management at the financial level
4. Sizing up grow-as-you-go business performance management software
5. Balance scorecards and change management as corporate performance management

Daniel Gray writes:

Performance management software allows organizations to objectively answer that age old question, in a business sense. It's all about gathering and examining information to make informed decisions. As such, performance management is often part of a big-ticket enterprise software solution. A performance management software package allows the big guns to observe, appraise, and (hopefully) reward. After all, the foot troops love to be showered with incentives for their hard work ...

The United States Agency for International Development defines performance management as "the systematic process of monitoring the results of activities; collecting and analyzing performance information to track progress toward planning results; using performance information to inform program decision-making and resource allocation; and communicating results achieved, or not attained, to advance organizational learning."

Other Fed functions offer differing viewpoints. The Office of Personnel Management describe the process as "work that involves assisting managers and supervisors in establishing, maintaining, and monitoring effective performance management programs to plan, monitor, develop, rate, and reward employee performance, and services that support formal and informal award programs to provide employee incentives and recognition."

Rick Sherman writes:

What is the difference between business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM)? What is the difference between BI and CPM vendors?

The answer to the second question is that they are the same. And, the fact that the vendors are the same clouds the answer to the first question. Marketing literature and industry articles further confuse the issue by using the same terms, applications and benefits for both BI and CPM. BI has become the term describing the technology used to access, analyze and report on data relevant to an enterprise. It encompasses a wide spectrum of software including ad-hoc query, reporting, on-line analytical processing (OLAP), dashboards, scorecards, search, visualization and more.

These software products started as stand-alone tools, but BI software vendors have incorporated them into their BI suites. BI software is always part of an overall CPM solution. CPM, however, is not just about technology. CPM involves the processes, methodologies, metrics and technology (applications and software tools) used to monitor, measure and manage a business. The business processes may include financial, marketing, sales, customer relationship management, supply chain management or others.

In part two of his series, Rick Sherman writes:

Build versus buy is always an important consideration in an IT systems project. Often the default position is that buying a pre-built, vendor-supported software package has a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). But the conventional wisdom that buying has a lower TCO than building is based on an assumption that the purchased solution meets your business needs. If it doesn't, the cost to customize pre-built software -- or worse, the costs of changing your business to fit the software -- can seriously impact that supposedly low TCO. When evaluating a build versus buy decision for CPM packages, it is critical to assess your business and technical requirements. Often, any IT systems purchase decision is solely based on technical and cost considerations. The technical specifications are clear, so it's easy to see what you are getting. A CPM package evaluation, however, isn't so clear. In order to really understand what the CPM package provides you need to dive beyond the sales PowerPoint slides and into the details of what processes, metrics, data definitions and data sources are implemented in the package.

Peter Sayer writes:

Oracle has bought Moniforce, a Dutch vendor of Web application performance management software.

Key to this, it said, is a module of Moniforce's software called UXinsight, which can detect errors in application logic. Because of the way it works, it can monitor the performance of custom applications based on Oracle or non-Oracle infrastructure, Oracle said, making it of interest to its integration partners.

Peter Williams writes:

Those who provide network fault and performance management software have been experiencing new challenges as technologies advance and new software emerges. Enterprises using network management software unchanged for only two years will be behind the curve; in fact the vendors themselves are struggling to keep up. Think of the challenges. There is virtualisation—of the servers, storage pools and the networks—which builds in extra (hidden) layers of complexity in continually mapping the virtual to the physical. Various trends include a shift towards more server-based shared applications and content management, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and software as a service (SaaS). Conversely, there is also peer-to-peer networking, as well as converged data and voice sharing the same wire, and wireless networking for both. This is all very clever, but also complex to manage from one central point, and it has also to be seen against a backdrop of network managers wanting less complexity while they maintain 24/7 live operation. It is a tricky time for vendors and no single network management product covers the whole gamut. So what is to be done?

From DCVelocity:

Just as they installed warehouse and transportation management software a few years back to streamline their order fulfillment and freight operations, companies are now installing event management and performance management software that will allow them to respond instantly when things go awry. "Companies have come to the realization that to thrive today, it's not just about having a good plan," says Randy Littleson, vice president of marketing at Kinaxis, a software maker based in Ottawa, Ontario. "It's about responding when the plan does not go as predicted."

That's exactly what these two software applications are designed to do—detect, diagnose, and resolve performance exceptions. The first type, event management software, collects data in real time from multiple sources so that it can monitor a shipment's progress against predetermined milestones, such as the ship date, and notify supply chain managers if an event fails to take place on schedule. The more sophisticated versions of the software enable companies to respond to exceptions as well.

FoxBusiness reports: ""The complex enterprise-wide performance management challenges that we are now addressing require complementary functionality and a tight integration at all levels of the supporting technologies, including data integration tools, database platform technology, and performance management software," said Frank Brooks, senior manager of data resource management and chief data architect, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. "It's also critical that each of these components provide world-class capabilities based on their own merit. We've already benefited from the capabilities and integration of IBM's DB2 Server technology and their Information Server suite of data integration tools. We've also implemented a number of innovative business solutions using Cognos' expanding set of Business Intelligence and Performance Management tools.""

Report: "BURLINGTON, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ivara Corporation, the industry leader and innovator in asset performance management solutions, today announced that AbitibiBowater Inc., a global leader in newsprint, commercial printing papers and wood products, has selected Ivara EXP Enterprise software to optimize the performance and reliability of its pulp and paper assets. Working with USCCG, a leading management consulting firm and certified Ivara Implementation Partner, the solution will be deployed throughout AbitibiBowater’s 29 paper mills."