SciQuest, a Spend Management software provider that is virtually unknown outside of the higher education and life sciences sector, continues to build momentum with new product releases, customer wins and retention rates. Perhaps the greatest irony of SciQuest's success in the eProcurement space is that for the longest time I assumed (and still often do) that buying indirect goods is the same across industries; rendering the notion of a tailored industry solution unnecessary -- at least from a core procure-to-pay standpoint. But given how SciQuest has quietly handed its better known best of breed and ERP competition their shirts in these two vertical industries, there's clearly something to vertical specialization in some markets. Even more remarkable than their new wins is the 100% customer retention rate they claim. As many companies I speak with consider their plan to migrate away from best-of-breed eProcurement systems to standard ERP platform offerings at some point in time -- a good number have already made the move -- this is all the more remarkable. Proof that a razor focus on customer needs can triumph over the best features and technology.
- Jason Busch