Ketera and Claro Partner: A Sign of Things to Come?

Given that there are few best of breed procure-to-pay providers left in the market -- aside from the gorilla of the space, Ariba -- I bet there's a good opportunity for Ketera to work more closely with boutique firms such as The Claro Group. And while this partnership announcement between the two providers appears focused more on sourcing, I believe that there's still a huge opportunity for both the boutiques and the Big 5 to take the current generation of procure-to-pay capabilities to their customer base, using the savings generated from category sourcing programs to fuel the business case for such investments as eProcurement and EIPP. And given the degree of business process and change management work involved in the roll-outs of these types of capabilities -- especially if companies want to gain full leverage from their investments -- it would seem that consultancies have a strong value proposition outside of IT integration and strategic sourcing tied to these initiatives. But few firms appear focused on the process and change management side of Spend Management, preferring to sell cost reduction initiatives such as a category sourcing (which have a clear ROI) into their client base. For boutiques and large consultancies alike, perhaps it's time for a change of focus -- or at least creating a complement to the other services they offer.

Jason Busch

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