Over on E-Sourcing Forum, David Bush posited a rumor earlier this morning that a "major e-sourcing" vendor is about to be acquired by a consulting firm. About the only vendor that I would guess it could be is Emptoris, though I have absolutely no confirmation or source to suggest that it is indeed them (if the rumor amounts to anything more than idle speculation, for that matter). However, David's post does raise an interesting point: should consultancies be in the business of owning their own enabling enterprise software -- either to use in conjunction with their core services or as a leave behind? In general, I'd say the answer is no. My FreeMarkets experience taught me that the billable hour -- or any type of fee-for-services or savings based arrangement -- almost always takes the attention necessary away from software development that is necessary to create leading stand-alone offerings in both solution areas. True, there have been exceptions. For example, IBM, among other large services and outsourcing providers, has recently shown interest in picking up and strategically integrating software companies into its core. But I just can't see an IBM /Emptoris -- or for that matter, an Accenture/Emptoris -- deal in the cards.
- Jason Busch