Who Will Pick up the Supplier Performance and Quality Torch?

With the break-up of Apexon, I wonder who will pick up supplier performance and quality torch. A number of the broader suite providers have at least rudimentary supplier performance capabilities (although most are just scorecards and surveys on steroids). But despite the lip-service paid to performance and quality by a number of vendors, I still believe that there's a big opportunity for new or existing entrants to dive far deeper into the area and create a new, stand-alone segment of the market. Personally, I think the merging of performance, quality, and risk management remains a huge opportunity. One possibility that I'm hoping that we see is a network-based business model that rolls up performance, quality and risk data from multiple organizations.

Perhaps this type of solution might be based along industry or geographic lines. But one thing's for sure -- the traditional enterprise software and SaaS providers don't really get this sort of model. If it does catch hold, my money would be with content providers or an exchange / marketplace model to pull it off. The sad part is if D&B were really serious about the sector, they would have done it already, using Open Ratings as a foundation to build such a capability. The other dark horse here is SAS, but I reckon they'd build this type of thing as a custom solution or packaged offering versus starting with a network-centric model.

Jason Busch

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