Emptoris – the (Spanish) Musical hits the stage!

The Emptoris Empower event is well underway now. We heard yesterday morning about their product strategy, which will be rolled out over the next 12 months or so. It's interesting and in one area at least, seems to me quite strategically significant. More to follow on that shortly. And also more on the brilliant Spanish dance / music performance we enjoyed after dinner last night – apparently developed specially for the event. (Including a male dancer with very tight trousers for whom the adjective “smouldering” was invented.) Yes, you can imagine it now on Broadway: eSourcing the Musical!

Aside from all that, here are some of the emerging themes coming through from both the formal sessions and informal conversations over tea, beer, etc...

  1. The Rivermine merger / acquisition appears to be going well, although there has been limited integration – Emptoris sales people aren't in general out flogging Rivermine products. But those products certainly look very useful for any procurement function or category manager looking to make big gains in telecomms.
  2. 'Communities' – there is a lot of talk (mainly informal) about building communities both within organisations and beyond in wider procurement and supply circles. Social meida thinking is having an influence; and 'communities' looks like a theme for the Emptoris future development direction.
  3. Adoption issues keep coming up. There are no magic solutions being proposed but there's clear recognition that it is probably the biggest hurdle to implementing major procurement technology projects. And I'm surprised how many organisations seem to let their own procurement staff in effect opt in (or out) of using technology platforms.
  4. Knowledge management; there is increasing awareness that most procurement functions are pretty bad at storing and transferring knowledge and information. “When a category manager leaves, it takes us three months to work out what he was doing” as one speaker said. Technology solutions obviously have a role to play here.
  5. Transparent processes; regulation, concerns about bribery and a desire for better governance are leading organisations (not just public sector) to place more emphasis on having transparent procurement processes in place with clear audit trails around supplier selection, contract management etc.

So, some food for thought there. We'll have more on the Emptoris direction next week but for now, adios, mon amigos (or something like that...)

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