I recently had the chance to catch up with Pete Loughlin, P2P expert, e-invoicing geek and no lover of value-based network fees, at Tradeshift’s analyst day in New York. We even did a video together, and I’m looking forward to getting the footage from him soon (and sharing it here).
Pete has been covering the event on his site as well, but what caught my eye earlier this week on Purchasing Insight was not his usually deft observations and pen, but rather a comment to a post from Tradeshift’s Christian Lanng in regards to Ariba/SAP that was almost entirely tangential to the post at hand (Pete talking about the death of the US Postal service and paper in general).
Here’s the incendiary comment for what it’s worth. Christian notes that,
“At last year’s Shared Service Link in Brussels there was an Ariba supplier who shared how his net business-case of sending paper invoices was greater than electronic due to the high supplier fees charged by OB10 and Ariba, in fact he gave one example where he paid 9000 USD for sending one invoice to a customer using Ariba’s network, to which he argued it would have been cheaper to send a guy on an airplane to the customer and type it into his ERP system, on business class… So I really think the real failure here is we accept that there are technology vendors out there, arguing with a straight face that it cost more to send an electronic invoice than to use the post office (which have all that crumbling brick and mortar infrastructure you talk about), but I agree they seem to have a very hard time facing the new, both the companies using the post office and Ariba.”
My question for the audience is whether Christian’s competitive ravel rousing using social media and other methods is shameless, smart or both. My opinion is that it's effective while also crossing the line (which line, I'm not sure).
Regardless of where you sit, I suspect we’ll see greater and greater use of social media in this type of competitive capacity in the future. However, readers should always question the motives of the source, and the fact that certain claims have not been fact-checked, especially in the case of comments.
So bring it on. But readers should beware of motivations and the accuracy of claims when it comes to blog/article, comments, Twitter and other sources.