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March 2009 Archives

Bitam does Enterprise Performance Management

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Bitam logo.pngBitam came to discuss EPM products in a Software as a Service model, BI industry in a bad economy, and the future of EPM in US and globally. Leading the discussion is Manuel Lopez, COO and Professional Services and Consulting.

Bitam's mission is “To improve business performance transforming valuable information into better business decisions" focusing on Enterprise Performance Management (EPM). I like taglines... Bitam's tagline is "intelligent knowledge you drive." With 57% of their employees in the research area, Bitam has a high emphasis on research rather than sales.

They became globally oriented about five years ago and placed an emphasis on the US about three years ago. Privately held and conservative financially. Privately held. 30+ consecutive quarters of profitability. When asked about 1Q09, Manuel said that this quarter 'should be' profitable. Headquarters in Reston, VA, Tampico, Mex, and Madrid, Spain, with their origin from Tampico.

They have 1,500 customer, with 100+ of them in SaaS. View customers. 97% loyalty rate based on maintenance renewals. 20% switch from other BI products. Most customers in Latin America from Mexico to Brazil, along with Spain. When asked how they have some many customers, Manuel said, "We are easy to do business with. We take the risk from the customer by doing more up front." It is impressive that 75% of their customers are small-medium businesses (with annual revenue less than $500M).

Manuel was asked about their uniqueness of their offerings, "Bitam started with the business problem, formulated a business strategy, designed a complementary methodology, and then developed homegrown products to support that methodology."

The biggest competitor was characterized as 'ignorance'. When pressed about major BI tool vendor, like Cognos, they has an 80% win rate when the customer is deciding whether to buy Bitam or the other vendor. When pressed further about customers already having a major BI tool, Manuel said that most customer are stuck in reporting and are 'ignorant' of dashboards and other EPM areas. Claudia asked who is your typical customer, business or IT. Manuel responded that it is usually the business where their value for EPM is more apparent.

Manuel argued that Bitam's value proposition is:
  • High user adoption rate
  • Up to 50% reduced implementation time
  • Up to 75% reduced Support cost
  • Up to 75% lower TCO
  • Easy to do business with
  • Open technology for seamless integration
Merv made the point that most of this value proposition is not a value proposition from the customer's perspective.

Covered a case study for Home Depot. Reduction of IT support from 4 dedicated to Cognos to 1 at 50% for Bitam. 100+ stores track sales, shipments.

Bitam recently acquired KPI Online, an OEM customer who took Bitam into SaaS delivery to 100+ subscribers.

After the break, we got into Bitam's notions of Knowledge Intelligence. Then, Manuel demo-ed their product set, starting with strategic planning using Stratego. From the strategy, Bitam can monitor performance. From performance to scoring individual's performance to those strategic objectives. Can then display as dashboards. By right-clicking on any KPI, the user can bring up the Knowledge Intelligence component that will display the Probable Causes. Under each cause, are suggestions for possible solutions. Next to the solution is a button to Add Initative, which creates a project to execute on that solution.
Bitam logo.png

Founded in 2000 and already in 25 countries with 125 employees and 11 offices worldwide. Bitam is enjoying fast growth and expansion. They serve 1500 customers with more than 100 of them utilizing SaaS based solutions. 75% of their clients are $500 Mil or less they have great success in the middle market.

A few financial highlights of Bitam's recent successes:
30+ consecutive quarters of profit with (1st Qtr. 2009 looking strong)
28% rev growth in 07
56% rev growth in 08

They specialize in delivering the EPM Cycle, strategic planning, financial planning and business intelligence. Bitam finds most of its traction when helping the business side of the company. They tend to see the value in utilizing the information to drive the company versus the IT angle of platforms, software and cost concerns. The solution line up includes 3 central products Strategic = Stratego, Planning = Ektos and for Monitoring = Artus.

Its interesting that Bitam doesn't so much aim at the middle market but has found very solid traction within it. I think this is a trend we will see from more and more companies. Smaller firms need and want the same tools as the big guys. Often times its probably more important to them to survive. Implementation times from Bitam vary but the average is 3-6 weeks. They leverage both tools and service to help their clients.

Bitam built out an acquired solution (purchased in 2009) call KPI Online to provide analytical models. The system has 1000 free subscribers who get access to a couple different KPI's while the 100+ paying customers have full access to all the information on the site. Originally KPI Online was a customer of Bitam technology and they used it to build the KPI Online site.

I have to admit I wasn't too informed on Bitam prior to today and it was great to learn about the company and I also enjoyed meeting Manuel Lopez COO.



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