News from Spend Matters US: MNR’s new blog, WALLMEDIAN, …and should we start hazing for procurement??

It’s not quite rowing a 2K with a mouth full of your own hair mixed with Tabasco sauce (ahem, the hazing ritual of a certain crew team I know of), but...

The Case for Procurement Hazing (Part 1) -- The concept of hazing goes back hundreds (if not thousands) of years as a form of initiation into a formal or informal group, or even a profession (more on this in a minute). Wikipedia defines hazing as "the practice of various rituals and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group." Hazing can also cross the line, as Wikipedia also suggests, including the 18th century example that novelist Francisco de Quevedo includes in a book, showing "a scene of students hazing one another." In the military, an example of hazing I've heard from various colleagues who served in the Coast Guard is dragging new recruits out and getting them filthy with motor oil at a given set of coordinates in the sea -- or something to that effect. Then they're "official.

The Mickey Perspective

The Mickey Perspective: What do the ISM Numbers Tell Us? (Part 1) -- Earlier this morning, we referenced Mickey North Rizza's (MNR, for short) new blog,www.strategicsourcing.com, and promised to follow-up with some posts highlighting some of her more informative content to date. We'll start with a post that examines what recent ISM PMI numbers tell us. In this analysis, Mickey shares four specific summary observations we should zero-in on. (Part 2)

...and check out BravoSolution’s new blog, too.

BravoSolution’s Most Strategic Asset: www.strategicsourcing.com -- Whoever registered strategicsourcing.com back in the day at Bravo (or VerticalNet) must have had a stroke of genius, given that URL is probably worth thousands today, if not more. But the "strategic asset" to which I refer in the title is certainly not the domain name, however descriptive and even valuable it might be to offset OPEX costs if sold (we're sure the computational server power used in all those massive sourcing optimization events does not come cheap) . No, the asset to which we refer is Mickey North Rizza (see our series: herehereherehere, and here), who Bravo snapped away from Gartner earlier this summer following the IT research borg's acquisition of AMR Research. As all Spend Matters readers know, Mickey was -- and is -- one of the industry analysts we hold in the highest esteem.

Why CIOs hate procurement, continued...

Why CIOs Secretly Hate Procurement And Other VMO Tales (Part 2) -- In the first part of this essay, I tried to provide a first-person account of the evolving world of IT spend from both a CIO and procurement perspective from roughly 1995 through the mid-2000s (don't nail me down to an exact date -- after all, the margin of successful go-live errors for ERP implementations and large upgrades at the time could be measured in multi-year spans, not quarters or months). Hopefully I succeeded in explaining the spend evolution of the era and how, at least to some degree, procurement started down the path toward IT influence.

Something fresh in the realm of P2P.

WALLMEDIEN: A P2P Name You’re Going to Hear More About in 2013 -- Throughout 2012, we've had a number of interactions (and brief demonstrations) with WALLMEDIEN, a provider that is probably one of the most comprehensive vendors we've seen when it comes to surrounding existing P2P implementations. We're going to continue our investigation this fall into WALLMEDIEN, including more demonstrations and customer calls, but our early analysis suggests that across a range of areas, from catalog management to the complete front-end re-skinning and back-end enablement of SAP and (and Oracle and Ariba Buyer), that this European-based provider is going to continue to build traction within the installed eProcurement community in North America as more and more people hear about them.

Welcome, Seal Software!

Seal Software Joins Spend Matters as an Associate Sponsor -- We're excited to announce that Seal Software has joined Spend Matters as an Associate Sponsor. Seal Software is a provider of two distinct product lines – a contract management solution (based on Microsoft Sharepoint technology) and a Java-based contract discovery and onboarding solution. The latter product, Seal Discovery, constitutes a completely new contract management product segment. Discovery is applicable to all enterprises. It dynamically identifies contracts on a network, extracts clauses and metadata, organizes content for further reviews, and populates corporate repositories for use by other solutions (e.g. CRM, CLM, ERP, SIM) with contract data. The tool can be essential in migrating existing contracts and metadata to the full range of enterprise platforms.

What’s up with the notion of spend analysis?

Spend Analysis: Dying or Morphing Into Something More? -- For years, spend analysis was one of the most important areas of procurement technology (even if spending on it was minimal compared to P2P, sourcing and other areas overall). Zycus built its entire business on the area -- classification, originally -- before expanding their suite value proposition. Many other smaller providers have as well, including some in more recent years (e.g., Rosslyn, Spend Radar). But much of the overall spend analysis business, at least as measured by absolute dollar-volume, has gone to the suite vendors and even the ERPs. Moreover, the analytics specialist in the field, BIQ, sold its business to Opera Solutions after pushing capabilities far beyond the canned reporting capabilities that ship with most solutions (and Opera appears to be up to some fascinating things that we hope to share in the future if they'll let us).

Shoot Jason or Thomas an email - input needed.

Exploring The Future of Supplier Networks: Your Input Needed! -- Spend Matters is embarking on a research project to explore the future of supplier networks. We're not taking a survey-based approach – although it may follow at some stage – but instead are most keen to get a number of qualitative inputs from vendors, practitioners, and consultants about the way networks are currently being used (and not being used). It still amazes us when we hear about implementations for indirect eProcurement tools where providers recommend essentially hard-wiring suppliers rather than tapping into a network driven approach for on-boarding and document exchange. Granted, direct materials can be a different story entirely – and there are business cases for EDI-type connections – but this may change in the future as different types of business networks converge.

- Sheena Moore

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