Expanding on FreeMarkets’ Legacy: Enrich and Surrounding the Oracle Procurement Ecosystem

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As I mentioned last week in a post reflecting on the legacy of my past employer, the procurement services landscape has changed dramatically in the past two decades – and specifically in the past 10 years. Many procurement services firms in the market today owe part or most of their legacy to FreeMarkets, which was the first to pioneer on a wide scale the concept of bundling various other capabilities (software, process, market intelligence, operations delivery, global support, etc.) with core sourcing services.

But since FreeMarkets, the market has moved in many directions. Over the next few weeks, I’ll spend a bit of time each day highlighting some of the firms that were greatly impacted by the legacy of FreeMarkets, whether directly (with core team members starting or coming over) or indirectly. I’ll also share some of the elements that help them stand out in the market in an often complicated and confusing procurement services space. Let’s consider Enrich first. For further background on Enrich:

Enrich and e-Three to Merge: Consolidation in Oracle Procurement Ecosystems

e-Three: The Semi-Secret EBS R12 Delivery Option (Part 1)

e-Three: The Semi-Secret EBS R12 Delivery Option (Part 2)

Enrich was formed when e-Three, led by FreeMarkets alumni James Anthony and Jenny Saward, merged with Enrich IT, led by Arul Murugan. Having started out delivering essentially a lower-cost version of FreeMarkets’ FullSource offering (think reverse auctions and all the assistance that goes along with running a fully managed event, including the market making service), e-Three eventually grew into a firm that had standardized on Oracle as a procurement back-end for sourcing, while keeping up its sourcing events business.

Within procurement, Enrich started out focusing on enabling Oracle systems through staffing, implementation, and consulting services, but eventually developed its own front-end to Oracle’s procurement to make the provider’s tools more attractive from a user interface perspective and easier to use for transactional buying (think both re-skinning andworkflow/process improvements). Enrich is also one of the only providers with significant experience in deliver a SaaS version of Oracle’s procurement products (and the only one we are aware of that does so in a multi-tenant environment).

Together, James and Arul (and their teams) have huge potential to become an invaluable enabler of Oracle procurement customers, and in a manner that is far more strategic than the other firms that only implement Oracle solutions or manage hosted versions of the tool. In essence, Enrich is delivering all (and more) of the surround strategies that we discuss in the paper “Surround Strategies” to Get More From Existing eProcurement and P2P Investments specifically in an Oracle environment.

While I don’t know Arul as well, I’ve had at least a dozen conversations with James in the past year at various events and in person. We’ve talked about some lessons we’ve learned from FreeMarkets and how to apply them in the environment that Enrich is fighting for mindshare and attention in within the Oracle base. In my view, there’s no doubt that Enrich’s strategy to help companies get more from their Oracle procurement investments – or to accelerate them from the start – is based on early FreeMarkets lessons of driving early momentum in sourcing programs, essentially a base upon which to build a broader transformation program.

We’ll be exploring the Enrich Oracle “surround” offering in much more detail on Spend Matters Plus/PRO this fall, including an analysis of how Enrich’s purchasing UI compares with the standard eBusiness Suite toolset. But in the meantime, if you’re an Oracle or Ariba procurement customer and you don’t know Enrich, you should. Don’t wait for Oracle to bring in Enrich to demonstrate what they have in the areas of spend analysis, sourcing, procurement, and supplier management (both software and services). Investigate for yourself up front as it might impact your decision on future Oracle procurement investments or migration strategies.

For further reading:

The Booming Procurement Services Market: Backdrop and Challenges

Procurement Services Market Landscape: The Continuum of Procurement Services

Procurement Services Market Landscape: Market Drivers and Trends

How to Buy Procurement Research & Advisory: Part 1 – The Landscape

How to Buy Procurement Research & Advisory Services: Part 2 – Buying Strategies

Sourcing Managed Services: Not Consulting, Not Outsourcing

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