In the past there has always been a select group of analyst communities that run the information market for BPM. Gartner & Forrester have established themselves as the foremost authorities in the area through experience, reach and activity in the marketplace. Lately however, I've been speaking with several smaller, more independent individual analysts and analyst groups. These groups such as BPM Redux, Bloor, Business Process Incubator, MWD Advisors, and Ovum have brought several new ways of thinking. They sell themselves as the "BPM user" analysts, arguing that some of the more traditional groups rate BPM solutions on criteria that miss the mark with the user community (especially when it comes to the small to midsize customers). Their ideas are refreshing and I must say they make some very compelling points. Although I do believe that the Gartner's and Forrester's of the world have a role in analyzing industries, I see a shift taking place that is refocusing the way we measure industry players.
These new analysts are making a strong and interesting play to bring a new light on research in the market. On speaking with BPM Redux, Ovum and several others they have some extremely relevant points coupled with a solid grasp of what BPM users are truly looking for. Their views are new and relevant to what's going on in the market. Additionally their strategy for gaining information and cost (specifically lack of cost) to be part of their research is a refreshing change. From a BPM vendor perspective, after years of paying astronomical amounts to be a part of certain research organizations reviews, it makes complete sense to be able to see a 360 degree view of what is actually available. From a BPM consumer perspective, you might find it surprising to learn that there are vendors and products that weren't included in a research paper purely because of their choice not to spend $50K on a conference, or $45K for research access.
I'm not arguing that the old evaluation standards aren't valid or haven't earned the respect they're given but, why create research, sell it as all encompassing but only include those who pay the price to be part of it? So, if I were looking for a BPM solution I would strongly consider the research of the aforementioned groups as a major means of my research. After all, what is industry research if it only includes a select few industry players?