We've lined up four sponsors already for the launch -- or shortly following the launch -- of Spend Matters UK & Europe, slated for next week (or early the following, barring any last minute software challenges). If you'd like to get in on the ground floor of the UK & Europe launch, which we are in the final stages of ironing out the technical and design site details on, time is running short. You can still get in touch with me or Peter Smith, (e-mail provided a the end of the post in the above link) who can tell you more about it. Our initial sponsorship pool is definitely weighted more heavily towards software than services, which is perhaps not surprising given the lack of the former's detailed coverage in the UK & Europe by other media, but we plan to look at all aspects of the procurement and supply chain ecosystem in our coverage.
I'm more excited than ever about the prospects of Spend Matters in Europe, if for only the reason that UK and European firms seem more optimistic right now about their own economic fortunes -- and their need to spend smartly, rather than simply cut back on volume -- rather than US ones, many of which appear resolved to batten down the recession hatches as reduced consumer spending leads us into a more painful dip the second time around. I suspect this means that many companies in the UK & Europe will take the time to think more methodically about reducing costs and maintaining supplier quality and performance rather than the knee-jerk reactions that categorized many of the cost cutting/working capital initiatives on a global basis in the past recession (e.g., layoffs, extending supplier payment terms, etc.).
Yet the purpose of Spend Matters, whether chatted about in pubs across the pond or discussed around the water cooler somewhere in a US industrial park, is not to forecast regional or global economic doom and gloom. It's to provide companies with insights and news to help stretch their dollars, pounds and euros that much further, both in good times as well as the "austere" ones, as the Brits are fond of calling their reduced entitlement spending environment. To this end, much of the new content we're planning for the UK & Europe site will focus on adopting themes within our US coverage for local consumption (e.g., the differences of services procurement needs/wants in Europe, regional adoption of different sourcing approaches and programs (both private and public sector), the challenges of BPO/outsourcing in Europe amidst a different labor climate, etc.).
If you're curious to learn more, please drop us a line. I'm also happy to share more in person with anyone who is curious, following our initial launch, when I'm over in London for a quick trip in a few weeks time.