Strategic Sourcing Europe: Digging Into Hubwoo

Who says that bloggers can't attract the attention of CEOs? As a follow-up to a post and comment exchange with Hubwoo's CEO, Mark Williams, JP Massin recently sat down with the leader of the European-headquartered provider. And it would appear from the conversation that Massin has changed his tune on the provider. He notes that prior to this conversation, "my latest and controversial posts about Hubwoo were boldly underlining difficulties and unclarity which I believed were not addressed in Hubwoo's official press release." But following his discussion, Massin appears to be drinking the Hubwoo Kool-Aid (which must be spiked, given the 180 degree turnaround in his analysis). To wit, the "bottom line" is that Massin believes what he has "heard and seen [is] that Hubwoo hangs on with great assets in its back pocket" and shows what would appear to be quite a bit of promise from his analysis.

I will withhold judgment on the future of Hubwoo until after my own investigation this spring. But I suspect that if Hubwoo can remain in SAP's good -- and preferred -- graces, then its future is certainly assured, given the sheer number of SAP customers who will be moving to SRM – or trying to get more from their SRM shelfware -- in the coming years. Still, it's always a risky strategy for a technology provider to bet the proverbial farm on the good will of one vendor rather than owning underlying technology itself. But for Hubwoo and SAP customers, there's probably not much risk in this case. And that's because Hubwoo is looking more like a sharecropper on SAPs lands rather than a yeoman farmer tilling its own soil -- a situation where neither party stands to benefit much from a change in the status quo.

- Jason Busch

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