Jaggaer’s Merger with Pool4Tool: Taking the Contrarian Role Around Integration

contrarian Cherries/Adobe Stock

Jaggaer’s merger with Pool4Tool creates a combined entity approaching $100 million in annual revenues spread across nearly 1,000 customers. That would mean about $100,000 per customer per year, which clearly has a nice ring to it.

After going public as SciQuest, then private and then public again before being acquired by Accel-KKR, in May 2016, for $509 million, Jaggaer’s capitalization history is unusual. Throughout that time, the company has made numerous acquisitions that nicely cover the breadth of the source-to-pay (S2P) application space.

But it has never promoted itself as a soon-to-be-finished integrated platform — no such vapor.

For example, while Oracle and Coupa push a “unified code base” as a benefit, Jaggaer almost scoffs at the idea. It doesn’t have one, so naturally it places emphasis on the value of its business solutions, pointing out that its customers want problem fixes; that they rely on Jaggaer’s ability to deliver those fixes with solutions that perform well; and that the “lack of integration” is a red herring — that its apps integrate where necessary.

While listening in on the analyst call Friday announcing the deal, it was clear that company representatives didn’t want to be bothered with an integration discussion. From what I could tell, they would have characterized it as a semantics-driven waste of time. Actually, I found myself falling in line with their unapologetic attitude.

That said, there’s a double-edged sword here that solution shoppers should understand.

While a commitment to not fix things that aren’t broken sounds sensible, especially if you want to hit the ground running, software development practiced independently (or not part of any overarching master development agenda) would seem to be a handicap, if not a self-inflicted wound.

Of course, listening to the unified crowd crow about one code base, one product road map, and then watch it acquire companies where the resulting capabilities are obviously not any more integrated than Pool4Tool’s currently is (or won’t be), does make you wonder.

In other words, while the idea that “the apps will soon be integrated” has emerged as the default expanding platform promotion standard, at what level or for what purpose is rarely part of the discussion. The term “integrated” now gets tossed around in the context of user experience suggesting that color schemes and naming conventions constitute evidence.

I sense a rant coming on, so I’ll stop. Suffice it to say that when it comes to the notoriously vapid discussions that generally surround the topic of application/platform integration, Jaggaer has proudly adopted the contrarian’s role. It ain't tryin’ to fool no one.

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Voices (2)

  1. the doctor:

    rant on blogger, rant on along
    rant on blogger till the truth hits home
    rant on promises, rant on news
    rant on blogger like we want you to do
    and rant on vendor hooey, rant on (rant on)

    1. Tom:

      I am torn…

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