General News Content

Energy M&A Outlook: What the Halliburton-Baker Hughes Fail Tells Us About 2017


In Part 1 of our latest energy, mining and utilities outlook, we focused on the precipitous drop in this sector’s M&A activity, outlining exactly how many billions of dollars are at stake. Let's now take a look at 2016's biggest M&A deals — including the failed Halliburton-Baker Hughes marriage — as well as a look ahead to 2017 and the unknowns facing the EMU sector.

The Week in Direct Materials: Oil Prices, China, Steel, and NAFTA

oil oversupply OPEC

Energy and transportation prices bumped up, Chinese aluminum smelters are taking advantage of the subsidization game, and the U.S. steel industry is not all too happy about any of that – but one if its trade organizations still supports NAFTA. Find out why in this week's direct materials update from MetalMiner.

Wipro Acquires Appirio for $500M to Reach for the Cloud, Leverage Power of the Crowd


The acquisition — Wipro’s second largest — is not a consolidation play in a maturing industry, rather it is a way for Wipro to extend from its own mature core business into the fast-growing cloud technology transformation segment. It will also take ownership of what is probably the largest software development/analytics crowdsourcing challenge platforms, Topcoder (which was acquired by Appirio in 2013). Clearly, the acquisition of Appirio is a step into the future for Wipro. Why?

Upwork Skills Index: What Do the Fastest-Growing Freelancer Skills Mean to a Procurement Analyst?


Upwork, a leading online freelancer marketplace and enterprise freelancer management solution business, released its second quarterly Skills Index report this week. The first report, Q2 Skills Index, was published in July. Each report identifies the 20 fastest-growing skills among U.S.-based Upwork freelancers in given quarters year-over-year. We run down the latest Top 20 here, also unleashing our "inner statistician" by suggesting how to best hone the report findings — and why procurement should care.

Energy, Mining, Utilities M&A Flat as Price Volatility, Uncertainty Loom

kritchanut/Adobe Stock

Merger and acquisition activity is down considerably in the energy, mining and utilities (EMU) sector this year, reflecting a rising level of uncertainty as crude oil prices remain volatile and a possible industry-changing U.S. presidential election looms. Total M&A activity in the EMU sector is at its lowest point since before the great recession hit in 2008, Mergermarket notes in its recent update.

BravoConnect Dispatch: The Components of Future Procurement Technology Suites

Jim Wetekamp 2

I’ve known Jim Wetekamp, BravoSolution’s CEO, for well over a decade now. Before he got too busy and before I was able to surround myself with an analyst team far more savvy than me, Jim was one of my “go-to” folks to understand the latest around procurement products and ideas (and for virtual sniff tests) back when I was getting started with Spend Matters and Azul Partners. I previously thought of Jim as someone who was not only close to products, but close to both current and emerging customer needs. Now that he’s running the show at BravoSolution, Jim is as close to his firm’s solution strategy as ever. Here are 5 highlights from his talk at BravoConnect earlier today.

BravoConnect Dispatch: BravoSolution by the Numbers and a New Supplier Network Strategy

BravoSolution CEO Jim Wetekamp's fireside chat on supplier networks.

Earlier today, BravoSolution’s CEO, Jim Wetekamp, gave a talk entitled, “Enabling Procurement’s Journey & Maturity to Unlock the Power of Procurement.” While much of the chat centered on Bravo’s strategic and product direction, including a hint that the provider was looking at new approaches to building supplier networks, Jim shared a few items around BravoSolution’s growth in recent years. While I’ll touch on a number of the initiatives which BravoSolution is pursuing that Jim shared, one previously mentioned item stands out.

‘Smith Matters’ Descends on BravoConnect 2016

Peter Smith quite enjoying the 'conferencial' festivities.

I landed in London yesterday to attend and participate in BravoSolution’s 2016 customer conference, BravoConnect. The event is being held south of London, in Dorking, and is probably the most diverse midsize (roughly 200 attendees) procurement event I’ve been too – people are here from all across Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East, including my esteemed colleague and Spend Matters UK Editor Peter Smith. There are a number of topics I’m looking forward to exploring, not least of which is Bravo’s early integration and plans with Puridiom, which the firm acquired earlier this year (see also: BravoSolution & Puridiom Acquisition First Take: SWOT Analysis, Customer, Partner & Competitive Considerations). But more than just becoming a source-to-pay suite vendor with the addition of e-procurement and limited e-invoicing, there’s another side of BravoSolution that is almost more curious to explore.

The Future of Work Is Here, And Innovative Enterprises Like GE Are Getting It


I will be hosting GE Digital and Catalant on Tuesday, October 18 — tomorrow! — to talk about the future of work and how enterprises can leverage online platform intermediaries to achieve expertise-based outcomes with unprecedented specificity, efficiency and the new working capital of businesses — velocity. As someone who has been following the rise of online work intermediation platforms and the new modalities of work they enable, the “future of work” has always seemed like a curious expression. It always seemed to me that the future of work was something right at our doorstep, if not already here.