The Moral of Mindflow

In the past week, I've covered a couple of announcements from Emptoris, a Spend Management vendor which would appear to be gaining significant traction in the market. Like others who covered the news, I offered my opinion and analysis. But in general, in the media and analyst world, when it comes to analyzing news like this, there's far too little fact checking and truly deep analysis. Consider how all of the media reports following the announcement recycled the same superlatives from the press release. As I read the various stories, I was waiting for someone else to call out how odd it seems that the provider which established a space, sourcing optimization, picked up a smaller vendor who did virtually the same thing.

When no one else took a contrarian perspective on the deal, I took it upon myself to do some additional homework. And over the past week my digging uncovered some noteworthy things. Namely, that Mindflow's revenue was virtually immaterial towards the end of their non-linear -- or would that be linear -- life.

On the surface, this deal seems like it was more trouble than it was worth. Seriously, doesn't it seem at least a little odd that a self-proclaimed "leader" of a specific market would acquire a vendor which: A) does not have significant revenue to contribute to earnings; B) has what Emptoris has claimed to have had all along; and C) has limited customers to go after for larger deals? I ask this rhetorically, as I don't have the answer to why they did this deal, other than the spin they put on it. But having observed how the Emptoris / Mindflow coverage unfolded, I am now sure of at least one thing. To wit, with good PR, vendors are virtually assured of getting the media to pass around their Cool-Aid -- even when there's a faint reek of spoilage wafting up from the communal glass which at least deserves to be pointed out, even if we can harmlessly dismiss it later on.

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