What's Behind a Vendor Press Release?

Last week over on E-Sourcing Forum, David Bush took it upon himself to devote a full day to covering vendor happenings (three posts in total). His little series reminded me that I've not been writing enough about what's going on in the vendor world of late (which you read about already this week, so stay tuned for more). In this third and final musing, David decided to dig under an Ariba press release which "proclaimed a new client acquisition". He writes that the release was "probably written to 'stick it to' the main competitor for that account. In this case, it's Procuri, by my guess. Prior to being acquired by Procuri, CMSI would tell anyone listening that they had deep penetration in the BCBS network, which was in fact, true." What David did not note here is that Upside and Emptoris are also vying aggressively for the Blues and the healthcare segment of contract management as well.

Back in the B2B .com days, I actually spent a few hours one night creating a chart that examined the correlation between stock price rises and press releases. By examining Commerce One, Ariba and i2, I found a direct correlation in stock bumps to press release issuance (especially around customer announcements). Now we all know this stuff is BS today ... a simple customer announcement should not move a stock (at least in most cases). But as David so observantly points out, there's many reasons vendors play the PR game. And it's not just about quietly sticking it to their competitors. The difference today, however, is that bloggers like us can now comment about deals from the peanut gallery -- which I've yet to decide is a net positive or net negative for those making the announcements. I suppose it's all about the individual case.

Jason Busch

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