Friday Rant — I’m Back!

I've spent the past 11 days traveling throughout Israel with my family. It was an utterly fascinating trip and without question, there's not a country that is ten times or more the size with even half the complexity and diversity of political, economic, religious and military viewpoints. To stereotype the views of the Jewish (both sectarian and non-sectarian) populations, Israeli Arabs, Israeli Christian Arabs, Palestinians, Bedouins and Druzes is impossible, and I learned firsthand how the global media does a tremendous disservice by presenting the notion that there are really only two predominant sides to the issues. Nothing could be further from the truth once you start to talk to people and travel the country. The diversity of opinion is wide indeed. There's definitely some analogies and metaphors in this for procurement's relations with finance organizations and other company executives -- not to mention the stereotypes and often incorrect hard-line views between both -- but I'll leave that for when my usual faculties return.

I'm pretty knackered today, as you might imagine. After sitting in both the 30th and 50th row of coach on Wednesday for around 15 hours of flying time on two different planes with a 3 and 6 year old, combined with the hope to have accomplished far more writing than I was actually able to, I'm scrambling to get back to Spend Matters. Yet I'm also pleased we were able to pull off nearly two weeks of content without the type of attention I'm used to giving this thing. Credit for this goes to all of Spend Matters contributors as well as our new editor, Sheena Moore. Still, I'm looking forward to giving Spend Matters the attention it deserves in the coming weeks. We have a number of good analyses and stories we're working on that I'm sure will prove quite intriguing for practitioners and providers alike.

From SAP's newly articulated -- or hinted -- growth through acquisition strategy to continuing to present our own vendor shortlists (and others) in the areas we looked at as a follow-up to Gartner's recent magic quadrant, there's much ground to cover. I'm also excited to see a new independent voice covering the market in the form of Andrew Bartoloni, who is ramping up his own coverage of the sector. Moreover, I'm very thankful for the recent views that Michael Lamoureux (AKA, "The Doctor") shared on Spend Matters as well. I hope this is the start of more frequent discussion and collaboration between us.

On a more personal note, some people have already reached out to me having seen my LinkedIn profile change. I was shocked that people actually noticed these little changes so quickly. My new employer, "Spend Matters Group," represents the formalization of a new partnership I started last year with a colleague I've been working with informally for years on corporate strategy and M&A work. Stay tuned for more on this in the coming months, but if anything, this new focus will allow me to turn my attention much more to Spend Matters rather than the mix of vendor strategy/marketing and software selection I've divided my energies between in the past (in addition to the blog and research itself).

Going forward, my plan is to redouble efforts on Spend Matters and Spend Matters research (i.e., Compass) and only selectively engage in advisory work for a handful of clients, primarily on the M&A and corporate strategy and development front. We'll also be ramping up the Spend Matters team later in 2010 as well (we're currently staffed by three full-time employees; but we have over half a dozen other contributors). I will also continue to work on technology strategy and selection projects -- my target is no more than one per quarter -- for practitioners and consultancies working on behalf of clients so my skills don't get rusty in this area (such efforts also inform Spend Matters vendor analysis quite a bit as well).

Stay tuned. It should be a fascinating 12 months of continued growth for Spend Matters and my own involvement with it.

Jason Busch

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