Generally, there is a long time between the time companies recognize that they have a process management problem and when they begin to use a software solution.
One consequence is that there is a cost associated with waiting. Most companies ignore this cost but should they?
A company may want to improve their process with the thought that they would do it right the first time. Good luck with that. By the time you implement your perfect process in your BPM software, things will have changed. Over the years, I have learned that once you insert people into the process it doesn't usually work as planned.
When purchasing a software solution, none of us want to make a mistake. A mistake could end your BPM initiative 'forever'. I had a long philosophical discussion with a client on this topic. We both agreed that selecting a solution early had some advantages, even if it was not the best choice.
The time that you spend with your 'early' choice can be looked at as a valuable learning experience. You will go through gathering your requirements. You may look at process improvements. You will attempt to implement the software where you will learn what is right and what is wrong with the software. You may find out that the software will work - you may find out that it will not work. If you have to choose a new solution, you will be well prepared to make a much better choice.
Out of the gate, you don't need to purchase an enterprise license - build a prototype to use on a real process. Choose a small but visible process to build your proof of concept. Present your results to management to either expand this solution or purchase the better solution.
Have any of you pursued this path?