cc-hubwoo: Bad Name, Good Company (Part 1)

Perhaps I'm being culturally insensitive, but I really don't understand how anyone with a marketing bone in their body could come with the name "cc-hubwoo". Maybe it's German for something, but it just does not translate properly into the rest of the English language. It reminds me of when we took FreeMarkets to Japan and we were politely told that our services cost too much to be purchased from a company called "flea markets" -- one of the rough translations of the name, it turned out.

In any event, if you can get past the name, cc-hubwoo is a Spend Management provider which is beginning to capture the attention of the market, in Europe and beyond. And besides their recent Intersources acquisition notwithstanding, they're one of the few vendors which has chosen to stick to some pretty basic knitting opting for stability -- SAP SRM 4.0, their core technology platform, is about as flashy as a five year old Accord -- over bells and whistles.

I recently had the chance to catch up with a few team members from cc-hubwoo – including a friend and fellow FreeMarkets alum who is working with them in North America – to learn more about what it turns out is a razor focused go-to-market strategy. Essentially, the firm is built around offering an on-Demand version of -- and enabling services and supplier enablement for -- SAP SRM. Given the rather foundational procurement capabilities within SRM 4.0, I asked them what type of customers would be the best fit and they told me that those SAP shops that fit the following criteria are the best fit.

To wit, they responded that those companies who: have deployed or plan to deploy an SRM solution; have a stalled, limited SRM deployment; are having/had SAP upgrade/patch issues; are running older R/3 versions, do not believe that supplier connectivity is a core competency; still have point-to-point or one-way supplier communication; those with unsophisticated document choreography; and have an inability to perform 2 or 3 way match or to deploy a multi-supplier, electronic catalog – these are all good fits with cc-hubwoo’s competencies. In other words, they’re trying to appeal to late majority or laggard SAP shops.

Currently, cc-hubwoo is claiming to support the largest SAP SRM platform in the world with approximately 90,000 users, processing around 550,000 POs per year. In addition their Hub and Supplier Order Management systems routes and distributes 2 million POs annually, representing some $6 billion in volume. And their Supplier Network -- which either cc-hubwoo customers or installed SAP SRM customers can tap -- includes 14,000 connected suppliers and features a catalog management system with over 3,000 online catalogs, representing some 40 million items.

Stay tuned for additional information and analysis as next week, I'll offer a follow-up post with some additional insights into cc-hubwo's offerings, direction and strategy. As part of this, I'll shed some additional light on their recent deal to enter the strategic sourcing and technical implementation landscape.

Jason Busch

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