Afternoon Coffee: Lessons from OpenWorld, Food Prices Rise, M(app)ing Technology, Sporty Spending

Oracle partners on PRO.
Oracle OpenWorld – Exploring Oracle Partners in the Procurement Ecosystem -- Personally, I've found Oracle's hostile takeover of San Francisco for a week, better known as OpenWorld, to be a great learning experience. I might have spent too much time with best-of-breed solution providers to notice the solid progress Oracle has made. There are probably others with my (former) outlook among Spend Matters PRO readers, so here is a quick recap.

Sporty spending.
1 In 5 American Parents Spending More Than $1,000 Per Child On Sports Related Expenses -- According to a recent survey byRetailMeNot (the largest online coupon site in the U.S.) on the cost of student athletics, parents of children in grades 6-12 spend an average of $671 per year on sports related costs, with 21% of parents spending more than $1,000 per child. "We found that while parents believe that some sports are certainly more costly than others, parents should expect to spend, on average, nearly $700 per child-athlete during the school year," explained Trae Bodge, senior editor at RetailMeNot. The study revealed that 27% of parents said that football was the most expensive sport, followed by baseball/softball (12%) and hockey (11%).

Up and up.
World food prices rose 1.4% in September, FAO says -- World food prices rose 1.4% in September, pushed up by higher meat, dairy and cereals prices, according to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). The rise followed two months where prices held steady, the FAO said. There has been concern this year about possible food shortages as drought has hit grain crops in the US Midwest, Europe and central Asia. The FAO also forecast a decline in global cereal production this year.

"it's clear to me that maps will ultimately become ubiquitous in supply chain software applications..."
Maps: The New "Killer App" in Supply Chain Software? -- In the supply chain software market, mapping and navigation technologies are not completely new. Transportation management systems, specifically routing and scheduling solutions, have embedded these technologies for many years (see Descartes' acquisition of GeoMicro from earlier this year). And network design solutions have also used mapping technology to help users visualize different scenarios. What's new or different today is that thanks to various factors -- including improvements in software architectures and integration schemes, faster and cheaper computing power, and the rise of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets -- mapping is transitioning from being a niche feature in a handful of software applications to becoming a "must have" capability across the enterprise.

- Sheena Moore

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