Craig Schiff, this week in his blog has an excellent piece that goes to the heart of the value of busi8ness performance management (BPM).
The significant value important in the way BPM is implemented comes with the focus it brings to make changes for a culture of greater shared thinking.
Skunk projects using free software are just not the way to do that. For it to work it must have buy in at the grass roots. This starts with the step of internal selling and going thru the organizational pain of doing proper evaluations. IT or Finance should not take short cuts if they want to champion such initiatives.
In the end the technology and choice of software is the least of the issues. As Craig expands on, what is more important is the scope of business change to use BPM and understanding what needs to be measured and who it is deployed to and so on.
I agree too that offers of free tools and services must be questioned. Alternatively there is value in offering to review to have fixed some of the very poor implementations that have come from ill founded scuttle approaches that result from freebies. This exploitation phase in such expedient cases is so often never done.
In the end the value extending the use of a BPM system brings with it the greater value to justify investment in more licenses. That makes for better reference sites for vendors and everyone wins, especially the customer.