The Latest Observations from the Continent (and the UK)

Over on Supply Excellence, Tim Minahan ran a series of posts last week interviewing Geraint John, the Editor of CPO's Agenda and Supply Management, two UK based publications which I strongly recommend even North American-based readers check out. You can read the interview series, which covered such areas from talent management to technology trends, here and here.

Within the interviews, I found Geraint's commentary on technology adoption trends in Europe especially useful. In one of the posts, Geraint comments that "Spend visibility and analysis is certainly high on the list [of European technology needs]; many companies are still struggling with that. Supplier performance and relationship management capabilities are there too. But I still see lots of organisations trying to extend the reach and usage of their e-procurement applications, so that they can increase compliance and get better data. The mood at the moment seems to be one of evolution and incrementalism, rather than big leaps forward. Europeans may have been more cautious than Americans about adopting procurement technology, but that doesn’t mean they have been any better at implementing and using it fully."

Given my interest in spend visibility and analytics of late -- and the uptick in deal volume in North America -- Geraint's observation about the demand for similiar technology at the same time from Europe is especially interesting (usually, European technology adoption typically lags anywhere in the enterprise applications market from a few quarters to a couple of years). As a final aside, we should also give credit to Geraint for using a word that is not in the dictionary (or at least spell check) -- "incrementalism". I'm sure that President Bush would welcome Geraint with open arms into his speech writing crew should he wish for a change of careers and continents.

Jason Busch

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