Down the Procurement Pub with Basware, Wax Digital, Outsourcing Fails, and Amy Shark

Let’s get a bit personal today. This is me and my mother in law Lucy – who has her own Twitter following as a vegetable gardening guru, aged 85 – in a pub called the Crown in Hartest, Suffolk on Wednesday night (don’t let anyone tell you Spend Matters is written months in advance!)  It was a lovely meal, the small pub group has their own brewery in Bury St Edmunds and it is a beautiful building in a beautiful village...  Why am I in Suffolk? Well, maybe we’ll tell you next week …

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Basware announced their quarterly financial results this week and again, it was a curate’s egg of an announcement, but with perhaps the positives winning out. Net sales were around 35 million Euro, representing "organic growth at constant currencies of 7.0%".  Organic cloud revenue growth at constant currencies was 15.6% as the firm continues to transition to being a cloud-based software business. But that has yet to translate into the bottom line - adjusted EBITDA showed a loss of almost 2.7 million Euro.  CEO Vesa Tykkyläinen said; "Our cloud revenues continued to grow as a proportion of sales, and now account for 62 percent of total revenues. This is accelerating our total growth, which was 7.0 percent on an organic constant currency basis in the second quarter, up from 1.8 percent in the second quarter of 2017".

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Wax Digital, SaaS eProcurement firm, has appointed John Thompson as their new Chair. The firm continues to grow, now registering around $10 million in annual revenues.  Since 2011, Thompson has worked in a number of Non-Executive and advisory roles for privately owned Venture Capital or Private Equity-backed tech businesses, and prior to this Thompson was Co-Founder and CEO of Commerce Decisions, a procurement SaaS business which was acquired by QinetiQ in 2008. Good luck to him and the firm!

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On a more depressing note, will the public sector, and local authorities in particular, ever learn when it comes to back-office outsourcing? Now we hear about the latest fiasco (thanks to Dave Orr for pointing this out), as the Vale of the White Horse council in Oxfordshire finds that if all goes well, their outsourcing programme might, just might, not actually cost them anything additional compared to their previous internal costs. Savings? Benefits? You must be joking. We may come back to this but really, read this and this from the Oxford Mail and weep.

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We’ve brought you over the years unknown artists who went on to be pretty successful – Lady Gaga, Wolf Alice, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and The 1975 come to mind. So here is Amy Shark, real name Amy Billings, an Aussie singer-songwriter, in the Lorde mode, whose track ADORE has been huge down under and more widely on streaming and social media.  Can she convert those 35 million Spotify plays for that single track into sustainable success? Her debut album Love Monster is out now and sounds pretty good to us.

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