Down the Procurement Pub with IBS, CIPS, Proactis, ProcureCon and Ultraviolet Fires

So not often we can feature the same person in our traditional Friday “in a pub” picture and also in our music clip, but today that honour goes to Graham Bell, of Capita Integrated Business Solutions, who I met the other day. As well as being in the software business, (Integra finance and procurement software being their flagship product), he is an accomplished musician as you will see below. (Late news - technical hitch! Music to follow next week I hope - apologies).

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We broke the news here that Sam Walsh, the just-retired CEO of mining giant Rio Tinto, was to be the next CIPS President and he took over just two weeks ago. However, one of the dangers to CIPS of appointing a prominent business figure may be already evident. A scandal is brewing around a payment made by Rio Tinto to a French consultant. He got $10.5m for his “very unique and irreplaceable services and closeness to the president” of Guinea in the context of a deal to retain iron ore mining rights in the country. Walsh was then CEO of the relevant business and participated in an email discussion about the payment. Keep your eye on this one …

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The Proactis acquisition machine roars into action again! The firm seems to have a mission to scoop up every small to mid-sized UK eProcurement software firm, particularly those with a public sector focus. After EGS, Due North and Intelligent Capture, the firm announced yesterday the acquisition of Millstream Associates for some £15.5 million. Millstream provides services mainly related to advertising public contracts – for instance, portals and the Tenders Direct service to notify firms of opportunities to bid.  That takes Proactis into a slightly different area, but there is considerable synergy with the existing business and the financials behind the deal look attractive too, which was reflected in a 15% jump in the Proactis share price yesterday. We’ll have more on this next week.

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procurecon-2016Our week was dominated by ProcureCon Europe in Berlin. We could only make two of the three days, but it was enjoyable and illuminating. We will have more next week on the event – after sitting in around 20 sessions, we are left with the view that there is greater understanding than ever about what procurement should be doing – yet still many issues around execution to consider.

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Instead of Graham Bell's band - see above - a tribute to the late and very great Leonard Cohen.

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