Kudos to Ketera's PR team for getting some play in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Getting into the Journal is tough for small companies (I define small as anything less than $50 million). So a mention like this -- especially with a customer reference -- represents a crowing PR achieving for the quarter (maybe even the year). But the good news is that there's also substance behind the style when it comes to Ketera's solutions. Indeed, based on what I've seen in the past six months, they've come a very long way since the early marketplace / Marketmile days. And plus, they've got some nifty stand alone solutions (e.g., catalog content management) that can slot in well to competitive eProcurement implementations. But I digress ... here's the clip:
"To negotiate prices with suppliers, Chevron, San Ramon, Calif., used to have a complex process that involved sending emails back and forth with attached spreadsheets. At the time, Mr. Rose says, he didn't consider Web-based services because he worried that sending information over the Web could open the oil giant up to security troubles. But then he found a new service from Ketera Technologies Inc., Santa Clara, Calif., one of many Web-software start-ups that have attracted attention over the past 12 months. Using Ketera's software, Chevron's suppliers could input and make changes to pricing through the Ketera Web site, and Mr. Rose's staff could approve them and make tweaks on the Web site."
The rest of the article talks about other SaaS players, including Salesforce.com. Clearly, Ketera is finally getting associated with some of the bigger name players in the software world. But to increase revenues to a point where they'll have a shot at an IPO or a larger private exit, they'll need to figure out -- just like Procuri -- how to exponentially increase SaaS revenue given the challenges of showing rapid growth with a deferred revenue curve. Or the alternative is to complement their long-tail SaaS revenue streams with license revenue or a services mix.
Regardless, at least they've got a highly energetic management team running the show. I'm sure they'll figure out something. Regarding "what" this something is, I'll offer up some thoughts in the coming weeks after the spring conference season is over. Incidentally, I'm filling in as a last minute speaker / panelist at Procuri's Supply Management 2.0 Forum in Chicago tomorrow. So stop by if you're in the area! You can see the bottle of two buck chuck that Tim Minahan is bribing me with to take the stage on 23 hours notice ...