Joining Forces — A New Direction For Spend Matters

It is with a degree of sadness but also guarded optimism that I announce today that Spend Matters will be taking a new direction. Along with a number of the other bloggers who are part of the unofficial Enterprise Irregulars crew, I have decided to sell a controlling interest in Spend Matters to a vendor consortium made up of a group of technology and services providers. The detailed announcement is forthcoming after market close today, but I was allowed to break the news this morning if I agreed to avoid naming companies. After nearly five years of writing this blog, the stress and verbal abuse from some of the larger solution providers became too much to take on a daily basis. The harassing calls and emails from one ERP provider, alone, were driving me to keep a bottle of Dewar's under my desk.

I realized that I needed a change. In the end, the decision was easy. Following an investigation into how much the brand name analyst firms were paid by some of the largest names in the business, some within the Enterprise Irregular group, including myself, concluded that our independence came at too great a price. There was also a moral -- some might say philosophical -- side to the decision as well. After all, we're not just in this for the money. Vinnie Mirchandani was instrumental in pushing our rag-tag group of independent bloggers to move in this direction.

Tired of seeing vendors and service providers get their margins squeezed to the point where they could no longer afford to invest in innovation, Vinnie successfully argued to the group that collectively we were a negative force for technology adoption. "Technology and services buyers have been too successful in negotiating down prices and demanding more from both big-name and upstart providers alike in the recession," Vinnie argued. "It is time we begin to speak for the providers, giving them a boost in the downturn. After all, can we afford another Satyam to happen?"

More details on this move will be forthcoming later today. Superficially, readers should expect more of the same on Spend Matters -- entertainment, insights (at least we hope) and pragmatic advice wrapped up in an easily digested format. But below the surface, we will all be pushing a subtly more provider friendly agenda. For example, I have agreed to stop printing rumors and innuendo about forthcoming ERP product releases (unless they are positive in nature). After all, it's only right. Consider it the Fairness Doctrine applied to a technology and services buying world where people are more likely to get their news analysis from RSS feeds rather than other media.

And who knows? Once the honeymoon is over for the vendor consortium -- which I suspect will happen quickly -- and I've sobered up, maybe I'll buy it back. At a discount of course.

Jason Busch

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