I've always had a particular affinity for Iasta, perhaps because we both originally came at our respective markets from a position of underdog. Not only did Spend Matters and Iasta both lack the requisite rubberstamps -- e.g., in Spend Matters case, a big analyst or media brand behind the site and in Iasta's case, a well-known venture capital or corporate investor -- but we also quietly worked extremely hard to channel our energies into what ultimately mattered, focusing entirely on nurturing our core business and customers rather than listening to extraneous noise or getting sidetracked along the way. In Iasta's case, this resulted in success that took many profitable but conservative growth years to play out (also owning to the relative slow building of revenue under a SaaS business model compared with the traditional enterprise software one).
Still, Iasta continued to hit key inflection points along the way. Most recently, in what seemed like a relatively short period in 2007-2008, Iasta transitioned away from bring a well-kept sourcing secret to a provider stealing wins and market share away from bigger name providers on a regular basis. Moreover, Iasta made the jump from competing on price to competing on value and overall capabilities -- no small feat given their self-funded business model. From releasing sourcing optimization capabilities that could hold their own with just about any non-specialist provider in the market -- delivering, in fact, superior capabilities than many of its bigger name rivals -- to building out a services group capable of delivering everything from staff augmentation to procurement transformation, Iasta started to drive the market vs. simply competing within it.
Because of my respect for what Iasta has been able to accomplish through determination, focus and a completely customer centric attitude, I'm extremely excited to announce this morning that they have become an Associate Sponsor of Spend Matters. While Iasta's commercial support of Spend Matters may be new, their commitment to the blogosphere is anything but. Years ago, Iasta launched one of the very first blogs in the entire Spend Management sector, E-Sourcing Forum, which continues to this day, albeit with numerous other contributors as well. Moreover, their commitment to a new type of shared or collective thought leadership in the sector by launching the first Wiki shows how much they value educating the market. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Iasta as they join the Spend Matters sponsor community.