Hubwoo and GEP – a Christmas romance?

It’s not unusual for interesting corporate transactions to happen right at the back end of the year, for obvious reasons. Fitting things into a financial reporting schedule maybe, or perhaps just senior staff incentivised to make something happen before calendar year end.

And this week saw an interesting announcement – not a full acquisition or merger by any means, but what looks like a serious ‘partnership’ between two major firms in our solution provider space. Hubwoo, (publicly quoted, international but Paris headquartered)  and GEP (privately owned, mainly North American customers) are getting together to “deliver best in class source-to-pay solutions in the cloud” as they put it.

My US colleagues (Pierre Mitchell in this case) are as usual ahead of me on this so here’s his introduction – and some useful links to their previous writing about GEP.

Earlier today, GEP and Hubwoo announced a partnership to integrate GEP’s procurement managed services business and source-to-pay applications (including its new SMART platform, which we’ve written about here and here) to Hubwoo’s business [information] network. GEP’s applications will integrate to the Hubwoo Business Network and its multi-tenant catalog and supplier integration capabilities.

Hubwoo has one of the largest business networks in the  market, whilst GEP are an interesting firm (as we wrote here) with services spanning software, outsourcing and even consulting type services. So there appear to be some good synergies here – but as Pierre Mitchell points out, the test will be in the delivery of this.

Of course, where the “rubber meets the road” here is the extent that GEP will use and adapt the Hubwoo network for its managed services clients (e.g., for more advanced supplier discovery for use in a tactical “buying desk” service) – and how GEP will use the Hubwoo network in a hybrid model with its existing catalog and supplier connectivity capabilities.

The geographic fit also looks interesting, with Hubwoo being strong in Europe as well as the US, whilst GEP are US orientated with some Asian presence, but not much really in Europe.

This is also part of a broader trend for providers  offering a broader source-to pay solution to the market. We’ve seen Coupa expanding their own offering this year into sourcing and analytics to complement their P2P capability. And the recent Basware / BravoSolution link-up is unproven as yet but is perhaps the closest equivalent to what GEP and Hubwoo are aiming to do. And of course SAP / Ariba continues to be a major presence.

So look out for more detailed coverage here – and on our US site – when we come back to this development in the New Year, once we’ve spoken to the firms involved.

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