Early this morning, I came across this announcement from Tradestone Software. Having seen first hand how un-automated many of the steps in the global sourcing process are, I believe that solutions that address international trade, finance and sourcing needs (from automating the trade finance process to helping manage total cost) will be begin to take off in 2006. Why? As global sourcing continues to boom and as practitioners realize the amount of time they're wasting on activities that technology could help automate, they'll turn to software and web-based tools to make their lives easier. Tradestone is one of the vendors at center of this movement. And with Vastera now part of JP Morgan Chase, there's clearly a large opportunity left for other start-ups to come in and fill much needed niches in this market as well. Watch this space!