Down the Procurement Pub with webinars from Iasta and SciQuest, Rosslyn Analytics and Sharon Van Etten

A recommendation today for two London pubs, both visited in the last week or so, and both doing a range of excellent real ales, with food a cut above normal pub grub – the Castle at Farringdon and the Somerstown Coffee House, between Euston and Kings Cross. The latter has become one of my very favourite pubs in London, although their ‘English tapas’ menu has got a bit less vegetarian friendly since I was last there. Great choice of ales though and a lovely atmosphere in the place.

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A busy week for corporate announcements in our industry with Proactis acquisition and top management changes at OB10. But there was also a flotation for Rosslyn Analytics, the spend analysis firm. We have covered them some extent, but probably not enough recently, so we'll remedy that soon. The company was floated on the IAM London stock market, raising £10 million to spend on further technology development and sales and marketing.

But the owners weren’t happy: according to the Telegraph, they “blamed its lower-than-expected valuation on the poor performance of recent dotcom retail debuts such as Just Eat. The company, which offers database analysis services via the internet, was placed at 33p per share, giving it a market capitalisation of £24.9m. Rosslyn had previously suggested it was worth more than twice as much”.

Well... revenues in the six months to October 2013 were just over the £1 million, with a loss of £1.7 million in this period, so a valuation of £25 million sounds pretty optimistic to me. But hey, its ‘big data’, isn’t it. And I’m not exactly the world’s best investor. But another share price to follow with interest!

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Don't forget – our webinar “A Sector in Turmoil?” – all about procurement in the Financial Services sector, on May 8th at 3pm UK time. We'll be talking about how changes in the industry such as the move to new technology and greater compliance requirements are providing fresh issues and challenges for procurement people. I might reminisce about the old days in NatWest too if you’re very lucky, and call Fred Goodwin a few choice names … It's sponsored by SciQuest and you can register free of charge here.

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Anyone know anything about this £35 million college on the Isle of Wight that is “acknowledged to be a great white elephant, half empty, with a leaking roof and design flaws that will impose burdens on the Island’s schools budget for decades to come”. The “biggest public procurement scandal in the history of the Island” says one current Tory councilor. Everyone involved appears to have either left their jobs and won’t comment or is covered by gagging orders – so much for transparency. It seems a great shame we can’t even get at the lessons learnt, never mind identify who was responsible.

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And another webinar that looks interesting to tell you about. Efficio are a firm we haven’t covered enough here – a very successful and growing procurement consulting  and outsourcing firm. They’ve teamed up with our friends at Iasta for a webinar with the attractive title of “Become a Procurement Change Agent”.  They will be talking about a global procurement survey, studying exactly what it means to become a change agent, and the webinar is on May 13th at 3pm UK time – you can register here.

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Finally, music for today, and given it is Spring it felt like it should be appropriate. So here’s some German techno death-thrash metal from Der Uberlebenherrstein ... no, only joking. This is Sharon Van Etten, from her soon to be released new album, which if it is as good as her last will be a treat.

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