Trend: Collaborative Workspaces in Sourcing – IBM, Emptoris, and Directworks [PRO]

Collaborative workspaces are clearly a trend in solutions right now. With so much more data moving through all systems, better ways of managing it becomes critical. Drinking from a faucet is easy, but trying to drink from a fire hose can knock your teeth out. Most recently, at IBM’s Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2014, the collaborative workspace approach was announced as their Multi-Enterprise Relationship Management initiative. There are other sourcing providers who have seen the collaboration light as well. We have covered a group of direct materials sourcing solution providers earlier – for example, Directworks. In their case the collaboration is understandably more focused on products and components – but the recognition that capturing collaboration activities inside a procurement platform or solution is essential to optimal sourcing is the same. Another example would be SuccessFactors. Acquired by SAP a few years ago, this company has solutions that hold considerable promise for enhanced collaboration functionalities for the SAP/Ariba procurement suite, but we have yet to hear about a (procurement tool) release that uses this thinking. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, analyst Thomas Kase looks at what this approach can solve among today’s procurement challenges.

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