Free is Good — Aravo's Big Bet

Earlier today, supplier information management (SIM) and sustainability supply chain solution provider Aravo announced they would offer a free trial-version of their core supplier enablement application available for a test period of 90 days. This marks the first time I can recall that any leading provider in a given Spend Management market niche has made their solution available for free -- even for a trial period. Sure, you can get free reverse auctions from Why Abe or Open Source eProcurement from Coupa, but Aravo is perhaps the only established provider who has gone the free route to entice long-term customers. According to Aravo, the 90 day offer enables access to their "supplier registration, profiling, validation and approval capabilities" allowing "up to 5 buyer users to test the product with up to 2000 suppliers for a period of 90 days."

Realistically, no procurement organization I know of is going to enable 2000 suppliers with 5 team members in 90 days, but heck, even if an organization is able to accelerate the enablement of 20 suppliers, this is a huge opportunity in my book. In regards to how this news will impact the broader competitive market, I'm guessing that this announcement will put pressure on Aravo competitors such as Ketera to offer similar trail periods of their own enablement solutions. But long-term, I suspect that neither provider will lose-out, as supplier enablement is only the front-end to a much more involved supplier relationship management life cycle, which both providers are aiming to support. I am planning on talking with Aravo about this announcement later today and will share additional thoughts with Spend Matters readers on the subject later in the week.

- Jason Busch

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