Revisiting OB10 – Flogging the E-Invoicing and Network Workhorse

There are a few vendors in the market who tend to under-invest in marketing and know nothing about how to turn up the rhetoric for competitive and positioning banter. But these providers do often know how to quietly grow and sign deals. Yet buzz abhors an information vacuum. If the IRS got a buck for every time one of OB10's competitors said something negative about their prospects to a customer or analyst, it would go at least some way to paying down the Federal deficit!

Despite the competitive trash talking, OB10 continues to execute. Their new portal and Express Payments capability is one of the more elegantly designed in the market. But perhaps more important, OB10's expertise behind the scenes in targeting campaigns to on-board suppliers in the most effective manner as possible using a combination of online and offline "sales" approaches, is clever. And it works, judging from new customer wins, overall supplier uptake, and absolute volume.

Even though OB10 lacks the P2P footprint of an Ariba, the platform capability and socially-constructed interface and back-end of TradeShift and the diverse on-boarding and connectivity capabilities of a Basware, it remains the e-invoicing network work horse, and a provider that some of the biggest companies in Europe (and the world, which are unannounced) have selected for e-invoicing connectivity and supplier enablement.

Longer-term, perhaps OB10's strategy and capability will undergo some serious threats from competitors in the market (we think SAP and Tradeshift pose the biggest threats longer-term). But today, from their flat-rate pricing (per invoice) to their roaming/open network approach in Europe, we consider them the work horse of the market. Reliable? Yes. Sturdy? Yes. Fast? Not necessarily. But if one needs to sow or plough a connectivity field with its suppliers, OB10 represents a safe and solid choice, despite what its competitors may have you believe.

For past OB10 coverage in 2012 on Spend Matters, see:

Coupa and OB10 Tackle Accounts Payable with E-Invoicing Partnership
An OB10 Update: More than Just an E-Invoicing Network (Part 1 -- In Ariba's Competitive Crosshairs)
An OB10 Update: More than Just an E-Invoicing Network (Part 2 -- Sector Trends and Product Roadmap)

An OB10 Update: More than Just an E-Invoicing Network (Part 3 -- OB10's New Portal)

For a deeper and comparative analysis of OB10 and competitive products (including Tradeshift, Ariba and others), we encourage you to subscribe to our frequent commentary on Spend Matters PRO. Drop us a line for a demonstration and free trial if you are interested (smoore (at) spendmatters (dot) com).

- Jason Busch

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