I'm hoping to speak with Verticalnet to get their perspective on my last post about them a couple of weeks ago, but we've not been able to set something up yet, despite exchanging emails. I did have, however, a brief chance to talk with a recently departed executive that echoed my sentiments that execution will be critical, but that the pieces should be in place. Everyone I've spoken with agrees that Vert's product, service, and solution elements are all there. Now, I know Verticalnet will make the argument that a transition to a subscription based model takes time (Ariba makes a very similar argument as well, in fact). But I would counter that with the strength of their services and spend visibility capability they should, in theory, generate significant up-front revenue in new relationships to ease the transition. In any event, it should be a good discussion when we finally do catch up, and I'll share it here at Spend Matters after it happens. Incidentally, Atlas Commerce co-founder Dan Tiernan has crossed functional boundaries with a new vendor, Skill Survey, in the reference checking / hiring arena. Seems simple and elegant enough.