Oh to be in Boston in the Fall, with Emptoris announcing new products

Having just got back from the US a few weeks ago, I felt I couldn't quite justify the time away from the office to go back again, tempting though New England in the Fall surely is. So I am missing the Emptoris Empower global event in Boston this week, and slightly regretting it to be honest.

As I'm not there, I can't bring you the latest scoops or insider viewpoint. But it's clear that there are some pretty significant announcements from Emptoris this week. From their press release today:

Emptoris today unveiled “The Strategic Supply Management Platform for the Future,” the next evolution of the company’s award-winning supply and contract management solution suite...  Emptoris’ Suite V9 is the market’s only strategic platform that spans the global enterprise and connects disparate systems to provide complete visibility and control over spend, contracts, service providers and supplier intelligence and processes”.

Suite V9 will be available in Q4 2011 and sounds like it is a major step forward for the firm (we'll obviously confirm that - or not- when we've seen it properly). There is a new Programme Management solution within the suite, and significant user enhancements:

“… a highly-intuitive interface designed to improve the user experience and drive increased adoption – and new capabilities to allow users to “work the way they work.” The new interface, tight integration with MS Word and Excel, broad browser support and new mobile functionality…”

And there is a strong focus on supplier master data and the concept of integrating “supplier lifecycle management” within the suite – getting the full end to end view of the supplier, from initial assessment, adoption and on-boarding through to contract and supplier management, with consistent, robust and accurate supplier data to support that cycle.

The suite is also incorporating capability from both of the major acquisitions the firm has made over the last 12 months - Rivermine in Telecomm Expense Management (TEM) and Xcitec in Supplier Information Management (SIM) and related fields. It looks like Emptoris have worked pretty quickly to build those into the core product suite - they're both impressive applications in their own way so that should bring real additional benefit to customers. TEM in particular, while obviously very category specific, strikes me as something every large organisation should consider - as close to a "no-brainer" technology investment as you're likely to find.

“New Telecom Expense Management functionality includes budgeting and budget forecasting capabilities; unified wireline-wireless portal with credit card support; and mobile device management services tightly integrated with the end-user help desk”.

Emptoris are setting out their stall here to be the gold standard of sourcing platforms – with more capability, features and benefits than ever. And indeed they're pushing the boundaries now of what "sourcing" means by encompassing SIM, TEM and other associated areas. That’s an interesting strategic development in terms of the  procurement solutions landscape, and I suspect we’ll hear more from Jason Busch shortly - he is at the event. And we’ll take a look at the new suite in more detail as soon as we can.

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