Global Market and Future Goals: BravoSolution’s New CEO Speaks Out – The Spend Matters Interview (Part 3)

Jim Wetekamp, BravoSolution’s recently appointed CEO, is no stranger to the depths of procurement solutions and technology. Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and managing director, first got his taste of Jim’s handiwork when he was working for a competitor to FreeMarkets, Atlas Commerce, which was acquired by VerticalNet. Jim has since focused on a variety of solution and commercial areas as that original entity morphed into something that would have been difficult to imagine at the time of the original analyst research into the procurement market. In this three-part interview series, Jason and Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, delve into Jim’s and BravoSolution’s current focus in global markets and its future plans. See also Part 1 and Part 2 of the interview as well.


Spend Matters: The Middle East has been a valuable growth area for BravoSolution. Who will be taking over the region/country specific management rolls?

Jim Wetekamp: The Tejari JV (in the Middle East) operates as an integral part of BravoSolution’s worldwide operations and locations, and will continue to be a strongly supported and important market. Tejari is a jointly owned venture by BravoSolution and Istithmar World. As partners in this venture, we have unanimously appointed Asif Khan as the general manager for Tejari. Asif has been an instrumental leader in the growth and direction of theTejari. Asif brings 10 years of experience within BravoSolution and a strong resume of success with regards to team, client and market development. We are excited to see Asif in this role and have confidence in the continued success in the Middle East market.

SM: Where do you see BravoSolution putting in the most effort around expansion?

JW: The biggest opportunity around expansion is working directly with customers (and with channels) in each of our global region to deliver improved access to knowledge, technologies and resources to drive their growth. Some have perceived us in the past as not centering our expansion on partnering strategies. But going forward, engaging and developing partners will be a core focus of our efforts in many regions.

It turns out the same tools we need to make our own local teams more effective are those in which partners need also. Hence, the focus on developing shared enablement services around knowledge, technology and even certain aspects of configuration, and delivery will support both direct sales and channel enablement across our target markets. It is essentially about building a hub, a nexus to empower solution and product delivery, and plugging spokes into it.

SM: Will we see more acquisitions or will BravoSolution stay focused on organic development?

JW: As you know from the past, BravoSolution (and VerticalNet before it) has been open to acquisitions where it served to either expand a solution or access a market. Nothing has changed with regards to this open view of the market and where opportunities may exist. We have historically had access to the resources necessary to invest in acquisitions where desired (such as Verticalnet in 2008), and similarly remain open to future opportunities where they may exist.

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