Both Ariba and Procuri reported financial results this week. Ariba's numbers were obviously far more detailed, but Procuri disclosed a fair amount for a private company (even though without baseline metrics to work from, year-over-year growth percentages are hard to work from). In short, I'd say that both companies are doing fine (at least from a non GAAP perspective). Procuri, especially, is posting some impressive growth and backlog numbers (which I'll explain in more detail in a future post). It would appear that both vendors are generating cash -- or least improving asset value, based on AR in Ariba's case -- and realizing revenue and customer growth in the subscription area.
This is good news for the market, and I believe is representative of a general up-tick in deal activity and investment in the Spend Management technology world. As further evidence of this growth, it appears Ketera had a good 2006 as well. Perhaps most important, all three providers are driving innovation across the Spend Management technology spectrum.
But my big question for 2007 is who will be the primary beneficiaries of this investment -- ISVs like Ariba, Ketera and Procuri, or the ERP players who have larger aspirations to capture share? Only time will tell. I reckon that the immediate market is large enough for both groups to thrive. And that's good news, because customers will lose if the ERP Borg grows too fast.