Procurement News from the US — Weekly Round-Up

Jason is headed to the UK next week to work with Peter, so if you see him, please load him up with some Sam Smith’s and a Barbour coat to bring back for me. Thanks!

Commodity EDGE is nigh...(and all I think about and do all day)

...so we wrote a post about why people should come. And we’d also like to welcome The Smart Cube as a silver-level sponsor: The Smart Cube to Present Forecasting Insights and Strategies at Commodity EDGE

Where do you stand on the P2P maturity level scale?

A Simplified P2P Maturity Model: Stage One -- Now You’re Getting Somewhere! (Technology/Systems) -- In the last post in this series, we considered what Stage Zero maturity looks like for organizations sizing up how effective their P2P environment is. Drawing on a political analogy, we might describe Stage Zero as the equivalent of what Herman Cain's campaign organization looked like when running for the Republican Presidential nomination. While well intentioned, the execution was, well, we'll point to the fact he's no longer in the race and you've probably already forgotten his 9-9-9 plan already -- a great lesson in and of itself for catchy P2P adoption ideas that lack the next level of fleshed out detail (not to mention on-the-record executive support)!

Look for a lot more technology coverage in the next couple weeks.

Zycus -- Building Up the Solutions Arsenal Behind the Scenes (Part 1) -- Last fall, Thomas Kase and I attended Zycus' analyst event in Boston, which consisted of a full-day set of demonstrations, briefings and interactions with senior members of the Zycus team and customers. One of the impressions that Zycus wanted to leave on the attendees was that it had significantly broader suite ambitions on its mind, including near-term objectives to capture material market-share extending far beyond spend analysis. This vision, they shared, would encompass sourcing, contract management, supplier management, total cost management and beyond. With the stated goal of being seen as a "strong number two" contender in the market relative to Ariba considering reputation and market share, Zycus shared an ambitious set of solution and customer goals that it hopes will catapult its way past others in the market.

Will CombineNet’s New Partnership with Spend Radar/Upside Fully Address Modular Suite Gaps? (Part 2) -- Continuing our analysis of CombineNet's new partnerships with Spend Radar (spend analysis) and Upside (contract management), we'll begin with exploring CombineNet's rationale for structuring these agreements using a partnership approach (rather than building or acquiring technology). Spend Matters asked CombineNet, "why partner vs. build (especially in spend analysis given the strategic importance of data acquisition)?"

What’s Fueling VMS Momentum -- and IQNavigator in Particular? (Part 1) -- Earlier this winter, IQNavigator put a press release on the wire that referenced some strong 2011 growth numbers (in defense of IQN's competitors, including arch rival Fieldglass, the general market and other individual players within it realized strong growth too; for a quick snapshot of what is fueling this market growth, check out our recent summary post on the the topic here). We recently caught up with IQNavigator and will be featuring an update on their solutions and general progress in the market. What's more interesting to us, though, is the "why" and "how" supporting both sector and individual vendor growth and adoption -- and IQN's numbers tell a story in and of themselves. Hopefully in this series, we'll provide a flavor of both.

And in this week’s commodity coverage from Nick Peksa:

Commodities -- Corn, Wheat and Fertilizer (Part 1) -- Without a doubt, the largest contributing factor to the demand on the fertilizer market is the world economy and the demand for agricultural produce. This week begins a two-part article looking at the relationship between crops and fertilizer. The starting point will be an overview of the current market trends of corn and wheat. Next week we will concentrate on the factors affecting the fertilizer markets.

 True/False and White Rabbits' Milk Famous Release

With that, I’m headed down to Columbia, Missouri this weekend for the True/False Documentary Film Festival. And the White Rabbits released their new album, Milk Famous (check it out in its entirety on NPR). No new music videos from them (yet) though...sorry Peter!

- Sheena Moore

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