Upside Remains a Player to Watch

Two weeks ago, in the Spend Matters comments section, a reader suggested that they were curious "to hear about Upside's supposed success." This reader was "in the CLM business" and had "not seen them in a deal in way over 6 months". He then continued that my post was "one nice little story but I think there needs to be some fact checking here. Perhaps they have a large Pharma but I suspect the bulk of their deals are either in Canada or the really extreme low end of the market."

I responded to that reader in a subsequent series of comments, so I won't rehash the argument again here. But to prove that the rumors of Upside's demise were greatly exaggerated, I will point out a recent press release that shows that Upside is now the preferred solution for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's 39 member organizations (CMSI previously had the upside with the Blues). I hate reprinting vendor press releases or even citing them (especially about customer wins), but I think it's important to note this for the record here.

According to the announcement, "BCBSA undertook a rigorous evaluation and selection process that sifted through numerous software providers and after careful due-diligence, which included financial reviews, selected Upside Software as their preferred provider." Now that says it all, especially considering the complexity of healthcare and insurance contract management. What's the upshot? If you're looking at Nextance, Emptoris, Ariba, Procuri, SAP, Oracle or others for contract maangement, you should also open up your search to include Upside, too.

Editor's Postscript: While Upside now has the largest number of contract management deals with the "Blues" and has the "upside" as I joked, I was just informed that Procuri (CMSI, noted above) still has a number of BCBS relationships.

Jason Busch

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