At Empower earlier this week, Procuri unveiled a new integration partnership with Seeburger, an integration provider who is not as well known as the Tibcos and WebMethods of the world, but nevertheless has a strong suite of integration capabilities -- and according to what Tim Minahan told me, the best integration technology when it comes to the supply management world (at this point, I am not deep enough in Seeburger's capabilities to agree or disagree with Tim's opinion).
If you're interested in learning more about the deal specifics, you can read the announcement here. In my experience, if we consider the first generation of e-sourcing, batched-based integration was sufficient. But as companies are moving to monitor supplier performance, internal spending data, and overall procurement performance in real-time, a new level of integration is critical. Thus, I believe this partnership makes a lot of sense. But before endorsing it, I'd like to see evidence of customer use and real-world benefits. I'm hoping that Procuri will follow-up with a reference customer soon.
At this point, Procuri and Seeburger see three potential levels of integration using Seeburgers' technology. The "Level One" level of integration will integrate a customer's back-end systems to the Procuri data center with no need for software installation at the customer site. Level One is designed for companies that can transfer transaction files outside their firewall.
"Level Two" integration supplies AS2 communication and message mapping into the Procuri data center via a small client installed on the customer's network. Level Two is for organizations that can produce transaction files but cannot send them to Procuri directly.
"Level Three" integration is where things get interesting. This Rolls Royce offering provides full back-end integration through installation of a runtime version of the Seeburger business integration server at the customer site and uses Seeburger connectors to link Procuri solutions directly to customer databases and enterprise systems. For Procuri customers looking to integrate their data to achieve real-time visibility into company, supplier, and supply-related performance "Level Three" integration will prove invaluable. And if they can pull it off and provide a reference to the market, Level Three integration should dispell any notion that On Demand applications are inferior to installed because of the data and visibility challenge. When this happens, it will be a game changer, in my view.