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Over the last couple of years we have witnessed vendors falling out of the Pure-Play category due to acquisitions (Fuego, Savvion, Lombardi…) or their move into a different strategy. Very few players are left in the Pure-Play zone: Appian, Global 360, Ultimus, Intalio, Handysoft, and few more. Before someone hangs me for picking these names, let me also mention that some of these are also creating their own niche by adopting cloud or domain models or aligning with additional areas getting created with convergence of BPM with Social, SaaS, CRM, Case Management, & so on. Agreed, like these others, Pega also is still tagged as Pure-play, but it is also not behaving like a pure play anymore. It has been moving up with business domain models for some time, and now with acquisition of Chordiant, has made itself align with CRM and Case Management even more.
Initially, the category “Pure-play” referred to those vendors that originated from workflow management, and to distinguish them from those originating from EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) or Document/Content Management or platform based development etc. Over the years, however, and especially now, it doesn’t seem to make much sense sticking with the same reference term for these vendors any more. They stand (and better do) for much more than where they originated from.
And if any vendor still doesn’t move ahead of this term and doesn’t positions itself really to differentiate from the plethora of other vendors, the future of such a strategy will be in serious question. Everyone needs a real identity and association with a business value, and more than just being pure-play horizontal framework/product.
So, is it time to drop “Pure Play” term from BPM vendors categories? Even if we retain if, what’s the future of such “Pure Play” vendors?