I usually don't embarrass people like this, but a couple weeks back, I got a call from two product management / product marketing types at Endeca who wanted to pick my brain for 30 minutes on the spend analytics and broader procurement/supply chain business and technology areas. Since they aren't clients, I have no problem conveying a few points of the conversation -- especially in light of their quality questions. If I were an incumbent spend visibility guy/gal, I'd be scared. Perhaps very scarred for what the future might bring in the form of a new competitor. For in talking to these two gentlemen, it became clear that should Endeca get the internal support to really put some engineering muscle into their Spend Analysis Module and associated future products, they will quickly transition the spend visibility world to a whole new playing field. What's the power of Endeca -- and more generally the concept of Guided Navigation as they call it? Simple. The ability to rapidly identify, locate and present information in entirely new ways so that information and insight literally pop off the screen -- instead of waiting for your cadre of sourcing analysts to sort through their OLAP environment and figure out what to do next. Very cool, I say.
- Jason Busch