Down the Procurement Pub with Oracle, 4C, CSC and Sandy Denny

Here is my old friend Lloyd Wigglesworth, having a cup of tea / glass of fizzy water with me in Waterstones bookshop, London. After a successful career, starting with me at Mars and going on to CEO roles, he is now a leadership coach and is also producing some interesting video – here is his website and here is an example, with another old Mars colleague, Justin King, talking very honestly about self-doubt and being a CEO (Sainsbury’s in his case).

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Last week Oracle announced it would acquire Textura, a provider of cloud-based construction management software, for $633 million. Textura’s solution is largely used by those in the engineering and construction industries. It provides end-to-end capabilities, leading users through the project management lifecycle, from initial bid process to sourcing, subcontractor management, invoicing and payment. The cloud solution processes $3.4 billion in payments for more than 6,000 projects each month, an Oracle announcement stated. In an article published on our sister site, Trade Financing Matters, members of the Spend Matters Analyst Team took a look at what the deal means for both companies.


Thanks to everyone who participated in our webinar yesterday with 4C Associates on the future of marketing services procurement. Was the Pepsi-Cola move to get rid of its marketing services procurement function an indicator of general problems for procurement in that category, or a one-off?  We had some really good debate, so thanks in particular to those who contributed with some great comments and questions – and we’ll have more on this next week.


This week CSC completed the acquisition of Xchanging, bringing the end of independent life to the innovative outsourcing business. Here is the opening paragraph of the press release – “CSC and Xchanging together will create a new leader in technology and business process services for the global insurance industry, significantly expanding CSC’s market coverage and enhancing the range of services to clients of both companies. The acquisition was accepted overwhelmingly by Xchanging shareholders, with approval by the CSC and Xchanging Boards and regulators”.  As you can see, the focus, as it is throughout the statement, is purely on the insurance side of the business, with no mention of the procurement element. But we did get an email from Spikes Cavell, the spend analytics part of the business, saying “Spikes Cavell will become an active part of CSC’s Big Data and Analytics business unit”, so maybe that element will find a good home within the giant CSC. We will see, but good luck to anyone we know in Xchanging.


There is a new Sandy Denny acoustic complication album out, “I’ve Always Kept a Unicorn”, featuring 40 rare, demo and session tracks from the most emotionally engaging British female vocalist of my lifetime - one who died tragically young in 1978, aged just 31.  There is very little of her around on video, unfortunately, and no live performance I’ve found of “Who Knows Where the time Goes”, one of the greatest songs ever. This is the best quality video of her  (singing with Fairport Convention) I have found, even if it is annoyingly short, but if you don’t know her work, it may inspire you to go and buy this new album, or one of her other collections.

 

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