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Metastorm Merges With Proforma For Modeling

Metastorm today agreed to buy partner Proforma, which provides modeling software to make business process management (BPM) run smoother.

BPM is an evolving software market that seeks to rein in business processes, aligning them with specific technologies to help companies keep control over distributed computing systems, such as service-oriented architectures (SOA).

IBM , BEA Systems , Oracle  and a raft of startups, some of which offer open source implementations of BPM, populate this $1 billion-plus market.

Proforma, a BPM specialist, provides hundreds of reference models based on published standards and frameworks, representing high-level strategy and organizational models that link to physical architectural models.

To honor the acquisition, Metastorm, which wrote its BPM software on Microsoft's  .NET platform, is renaming its flagship software platform Metastorm Enterprise.

From the Proforma deal, Metastorm Enterprise includes ProVisionEA, which provides models that describe enterprise assets, relationships and future state and Metastorm ProVisionBPA, which helps software architects document and analyze business processes through modeling, simulation and Six Sigma methods.

The driving engine for Metastorm Enterprise is the company's own BPM engine. With it, customers will be able to build a unified business model, said Metastorm CTO Greg Carter.

"[The acquisition] addresses a question or a challenge that we saw in the market in that we wanted to more firmly tie the operational efficiency and execution that you achieved with Metastorm BPM with the strategic goals and methods of with a product like ProVision," Carter told internetnews.com.

"It allows us to have a much broader reach in an organization."

ZapThink analyst Ronald Schmelzer agreed.

"This brings them more from being a runtime process management and modeling firm to more of process design and analysis, and increases their applicability to emerging approaches such as SOA, which demands greater understanding of business process and how it relates to composite services," Schmelzer added.

Exact financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Carter said Proforma was on track to earn about $20 million in sales for 2007, which will make Metastorm a $70 million company for the year. Metastorm will gain 100 employees in the transaction and plans to retain all of them.

Metastorm will offer customers the entire Metastorm Enterprise platform, or each component separately. Preserving its previous relationship with Proforma, Metastorm will continue to use the ProVision Common Interchange Format (CIF) interface and other interoperability standards to enable integration with other applications.