Opera Solutions acquire BIQ and Lexington Analytics

So Spend Analytics seems to be the big topic at the moment. We’ve been featuring PRGX, a leading provider in that sector, here – with the second part of our review coming tomorrow.  We also had the BravoSolution Real World Sourcing event last week, with spend analysis as the topic under debate. More about that session later this week as well. Then on Thursday last week, Opera Solutions announced they were acquiring BIQ and Lexington Analytics in an agreed deal.

This was probably bigger news in the US than here – none of those three firms are particularly big this side of the Atlantic. But there are undoubtedly interesting implications, perhaps medium term rather than immediate, for us in Europe.

BIQ develop leading-edge spend analytics software, while Lexington were their largest reseller – or consulting firm who sued BIQ technology, if you like. Opera were also a BIQ user / reseller. So there’s a logic to the deal that is obvious. My colleague, Jason Busch, has already published several pieces on the deal, so we’re not going to duplicate his excellent analysis here  – if you’re interested in learning more about the deal, the background and likely implications, read Spend Matters US!  Jason has also linked to several research papers that Spend Matters has produced on spend analytics and closely related topics.

You can read Jason’s background on the firms involved, and the thinking behind the deal, here.

Then he looks into what “data mash-ups” are all about, as BIQ have particular strengths in that area.

Finally here he gets into implications for customers and competitors.  He doesn’t actually think it will make a huge difference for current BIQ clients, but he does have some interesting thoughts about the implications for the competitive landscape – well worth reading.

A little more on Opera though from a European perspective. As Jason explains, they’re building a significant capability in analysing “Big Data” in order to get actionable information out of it that can benefit organisations. So their market and expertise is certainly not restricted to procurement data. As their website says,

We create and deliver powerful Big Data analytics solutions for industry and government.

However, in the UK, they are probably best known for what (in my personal opinion) was a poorly-judged report on public sector procurement issued last year, that got them a lot of publicity, but not much credibility in professional circles (see here for more detail). But that report may have been misleading, in that they clearly have huge analytics capability and capacity, and I’m told they employ some of the smartest statisticians in the world to drive their product offerings.

So expect to hear a lot more about Opera and BIQ over the next couple of years. We’ve said it before – you really need good spend analysis to run procurement well, and there’s no excuse these days for not going out and acquiring the tools to achieve that. With BravoSolution, PRGX, IBM, Opera, Rosslyn Analytics, Spend Radar, Spikes Cavell, Zycus and others all having different but strong propositions in this field, we suspect it’s going to be a good time for procurement buyers and users – lots of competition, lots of good products and providers available!

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