When I was on the vendor side of the world, I used to always chuckle when I read an analyst whitepaper or brief that described something as the "dirty secret" of a sector. If the pundits are to be believed, it seems there's far more dirty secrets out there than many people imagine. But this blogger would agree that supplier content management, in particular, is perhaps the biggest dirty secret in the Spend Management world. It is a huge challenge for most organizations, and probably the largest stumbling block to achieving expected eProcurement returns. Because of this, whenever a vendor decides to make a concerted effort to tackle the content management challenge, it captures my attention. Earlier in the week, Ketera announced that it would tackle the content management challenge head-on, offering a new content management solution to “help procurement overcome significant implementation and adoption barriers."
While I have not demoed the product, I would agree with virtually all of the statements Ketera makes in their product announcement. And I'm sure others would as well. But some of the best examples of supplier content management innovations are not coming from the Ketera's and Ariba’s of the world. They're coming from niche providers with novel approaches to tackling the content challenge. One small vendor, in particular, which has a unique approach to helping companies better access and manage catalog data is Vinimaya. By using an agent-based model to gather catalog information as a query is conducted, users are assured of gaining access to the most current information from multiple suppliers, even in a punch-out situation. Very cool indeed. In future posts, I'll explain more about Vinimaya's approach and what makes them different. But when it comes to better managing catalog content, no vendor is an island, and Ketera's new capabilities are certainly worthy of consideration as part of an integrated approach to managing content.