BPM Showdown! Oracle's Hyperion System 9 vs. OutlookSoft vs. Cartesis Suite

Welcome to BPM Showdown:
Oracle Hyperion System 9 vs. OutlookSoft vs. Cartesis Suite

I'm Lyndsay Wise, senior research analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers. Welcome to another in TEC's series of enterprise software Showdowns. Today's Showdown pits three of the top business performance management (BPM) vendors against each other in a head-to-head contest: Hyperion System 9 vs. OutlookSoft vs. Cartesis Suite! We hope you find this Showdown helpful and informative, and invite your comments and questions at showdown@technologyevaluation.com.


Business performance management (BPM) can be viewed as the next generation of business intelligence (BI) software. BPM helps businesses make efficient use of their financial, human, and material resources by consolidating data from various sources, analyzing the data, and putting the results into practice.

BPM creates better feedback loops, and provides forecasting abilities that help companies take corrective action in time to meet earnings projections. BPM also provides key performance indicators (KPIs) that help the company monitor the efficiency of projects and employees against operational targets.

For this BPM Showdown, we selected three of the top BPM solutions: Oracle's Hyperion System 9, OutlookSoft, and Cartesis Suite. We looked at these vendors' solutions in two ways:

1) full configuration, which includes both the back end IT and business functionalities

2) business-oriented configuration, which includes reporting analysis and business performance management, but excludes the technical back-end portion of data warehousing, integration, support and system requirements, workflow, and analytics

We used our BPM evaluation center to compare the three solutions. The results are based on the most recent request for information (RFI) data supplied to us by the three vendors, indicating their levels of support for each of the 610 functional criteria in our BPM evaluation center.

To eliminate any chance of bias, and to ensure a level playing field, all 610 criteria comprising all the modules and submodules in the BPM RFI were given equal weight and priority. In other words, no area of functionality was treated as being more important than any other.


The chart below shows the overall vendor rankings for the full configuration (IT and business functionalities).

BPM Vendor Rankings with IT and Business Functionalities

As can be seen above, Oracle's Hyperion System 9 is the overall winner, with Cartesis placing second, and OutlookSoft coming in third.

However, the story changes significantly if we look only at the core BPM business functionality, as can be seen in the chart below. Although Hyperion still ranks first overall by a considerable margin, OutlookSoft moves up into second place, with Cartesis now finishing third.

BPM Vendor Rankings with Business Functionality Only

OutlookSoft's rating changes so dramatically because its solution provides strong performance management functionality without best-of-breed data warehousing and workflow functionality.

Accordingly, OutlookSoft may be a good choice for organizations that place a high priority on core business performance functionality, such as aligning business processes to overall performance, increasing the alignment of metrics with actual increase in sales, and shortening financial cycles.

As you can see in the chart below, which shows the main modules in the full configuration, Hyperion finishes first in five of the eight main modules, with second-place Cartesis finishing first in the remaining three main modules. OutlookSoft does not rank first in any of the main modules.

Overall, Hyperion offers the most complete solution in terms of both business and IT functionality. This is largely due to the fact that this application is positioned as a crossover solution offering both BI and BPM functionality, as opposed to OutlookSoft and Cartesis, which function within the BPM space only. This makes Hyperion an attractive solution to organizations that want a full BPM solution with strong data warehousing and back-end capabilities.

Main Modules—Full Configuration (IT and Business Functionalities)

The graph below shows the core business-oriented BPM functions.

Main Modules—Business-oriented Functionalities Only

When we look at core BPM functionality only, Hyperion places first in three modules and ties for the lead in a fourth. Cartesis also places first in three modules, and ties for the lead in another two, while OutlookSoft fails to finish first in any of the modules. You may notice that there is quite a range of scores in business activity monitoring (BAM), which involves collaboration between departments to identify who does what when, and where this activity fits into the overall process. This is still a newly developing area within BPM, and so is not yet fully supported by all the BPM vendors.

Now that you've seen some of the overall rankings, it should be pointed out that they do not tell you everything you need to know.

What the rankings do provide is a basic, high-level view of vendors' general strengths and weaknesses. However, the fact is, no two businesses will use a BPM solution in exactly the same way. Businesses have unique requirements that need to be supported by the BPM solution they are implementing.

For example, although Hyperion placed first overall, Cartesis was stronger in data integration by a considerable margin. So if you are in the process of trying to combine data that resides in different database systems in order to provide a single view to your employees, partners, and customers, Cartesis may be a better choice than Hyperion.

And, as we've also seen, companies that require stronger core BPM functionality should probably look at different vendors from those organizations in need of a complete solution that covers both the business-oriented core BPM and back-end IT functionality with roughly equal strength.


Given that out-of-the-box rankings generally don't reflect the practical, real-world needs of an organization, and that the rankings can shift depending on what areas of functionality you look at, how then do you determine which BPM solution is best suited for your business?

The fastest, simplest way is to do what we did to produce the results you see here: use TEC's BPM Evaluation Center. We got our results in twenty minutes, versus weeks or even months of struggling with huge Excel spreadsheets.

TEC's BPM evaluation center allows you to set priorities that reflect your organization's business model and special needs at every level of functionality. At the modular and submodular levels, even down to the individual criteria, you can tell the system which business processes are critical, important, or not important to your organization. The system then compares your priorities against the vendor responses to produce a shortlist of solutions. You get a custom comparison—one that ranks vendor solutions not on out-of-the-box functionality, but rather on how well that functionality matches the business requirements of your organization. It's the best way we know of to evaluate BPM solutions, and we invite you to give it a run-through. Simply click on the link below to visit our BPM Evaluation Center to conduct your fast, free custom software comparison. After all, there's no other organization quite like yours.

For a free custom comparison of BPM solutions, click below.

Find out which BPM solutions are best suited to your company's particular requirements and type of business.

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