Emptoris has a lot to lose if SAP customers decide that a partial supply management solution is enough -- especially given the large overlap in their current customer bases and those in which Emptoris wants to expand into. Given this, I'm not surprised that Emptoris came out with a pre-Sapphire announcement today noting a number of enhancements to its supply management suite and services. Next week at Sapphire, I'll offer some more analysis on Emptoris' news, but I thought I'd hit on a few of the highlights today.
First, Emptoris is introducing what they're terming an "advanced sourcing service" for high-value and high-risk categories of spend such as transportation, packaging and print. You can read their announcements for the specifics, but if you want the cliff notes, look at this as a shot across the bow of CombineNet, who offers similar services and decision support capabilities in these categories. For this offering, Emptoris is bundling what they describe as "advanced analytical capabilities, e-sourcing category expertise, highly scalable, high-availability infrastructure, and event management services" together. Stay tuned next week as I offer further analysis on this piece of the news and compare Emptoris' new capabilities to that of CombineNet's (perhaps with the help of Michael Lamoureux, who is a true optimization expert).
Second, Emptoris is introducing new "opportunity identification" and analysis features within their spend visibility capabilities. These are designed to help users more quickly and effectively analyze spending data to develop cost reduction opportunities. While not automated to the same degree as Zycus' new analytical and bubble chart visualization tools the solution does make Emptoris spend visibility solutions that much more pragmatic and results driven. And third, Emptoris announced new globalization capabilities in their contract management module. This announcement basically brings their contract management capabilities up to the same globalization level as the rest of the Emptoris suite (which previously was designed for global supply management processes).
Stay tuned next week as we analyze some of these capabilities in more detail (alongside SAP's forthcoming SRM announcements at Sapphire). Also, I'll offer a sneak preview of what to expect from Emptoris later in 2007 as they continue to innovate on the product front.