AMR's been covering the Spend Management market quite a bit in recent months. And I know that Mickey North Rizza is even busier than I am when it comes to the webinar and speaking circuit. One recent AMR Research brief, in particular, does a great job summarizing the comings and goings in the vendor world in the past few months (registration and membership required). According to Mickey, "supply management has been extremely active in the past six months with a plethora of acquisitions and product announcements." You've read quite a bit about many of these news items on Spend Matters already, but Mickey adds an expert take in her analyses (and one informed by having the time to step back and look at the situation vs. reacting in real-time blogging mode -- which in my view is a clear benefit the analysts have in their favor).
As I read Mickey's coverage, I'm more convinced of the continued role analysts need to play in the sector from a written coverage perspective. Bloggers -- even those who "get it" -- aren't blessed with the time to reflect, at least in the majority of posts. Still, I think it remains to be seen whether analysts increasingly make more of their written content free as an entrée to sell other services and their deeper research and benchmarking reports. As Mickey suggests, "Global supply management is global and, as the vendor news detailed above demonstrates, the market is finally getting it. Companies are demanding visibility and information at their fingertips for immediate global decisions ... [they] are prepared to spend money to save money, which becomes even increasingly important in shaky economic times. And vendors seem to be stepping up to meet those needs.” And I'd also argue that many vendors and practitioners I speak with are still reserving budget dollars for the type of research depth that some -- certainly not all -- analyst reports and relationships can bring to the table to help make better decisions.
- Jason Busch