SciQuest’s CEO Steven Weihe took the stage to kick things off at the NextLevel customer conference at a very civilized 9:00 in the morning (it is so refreshing not to have to show up early on Monday morning for an 8:00 AM start). Pierre Mitchell and I are here in Orlando, attending on behalf of Spend Matters, and both of us will be speaking. Steve began his talk by noting that this is the largest NextLevel to date, with some 725 attendees from 300 organizations.
Some of these attendees, he noted, came from the CombineNet customer base (SciQuest’s most recent acquisition), and Steve took the time to welcome this group at the start. He also joked SciQuest is doing so well coming off a strong Q4 in 2013 that they did not “require beer tickets” this time around for the welcome reception.
Yet sourcing is not just about maneuvering the best way to get a free drink. It’s also about buying the right set of enabling software capabilities. Steve noted during this talk that in the area of e-sourcing, after “listening to our customers, we heard the need for strategic sourcing and as a result, we acquired CombineNet.”
“As a result of the acquisition, we have two products in our portfolio,” Steve told us. “Sourcing Director for daily processes and to support indirect spend (which is integrated into our eProcurement capability and supplier management) and Sourcing Optimizer. Sourcing Director is based on an updated version of the AECsoft sourcing product and is a ‘day-to-day compact car’ for activity.”
Compare this with the “Ford F-450 pick-up truck” in the form of Sourcing Optimizer for heavy procurement lifting. In Steve’s words, you need both, but for different sourcing activities.
Look out for dispatches from NextLevel in the next few days. We’ll give a closer look at the combined product roadmap for SciQuest’s sourcing products and the rest of the provider’s suite capabilities, including how the provider stacks up in the market relative to peers from a source-to-pay coverage perspective. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, we invite you to look at recent coverage of CombineNet from their customer event in the fall of 2013 and the acquisition announcement earlier in the year.