Proactis Rebrands – Perfect Commerce, Millstream and Hubwoo Bite the Dust

Almost a year after the major acquisition of Perfect Commerce, Proactis, the global spend management and B2B eCommerce company, yesterday unveiled its new brand identity. “All group companies will become the new Proactis”, said the firm.

So no dramatic new name  - “Iproctechwiz” or something similar -  which is a bit disappointing in terms of our abilities to make jokes. But the chosen approach is probably sensible from a cost and common sense point of view. Presumably that means the Perfect Commerce and Hubwoo names will disappear – more to go into the procurement software graveyard along with Emptoris, Freemarkets, Trade Extensions, Commerce One and many more. We suspect not too many people will be mourning at the graves for these latest names; consistent branding seems a sensible step at this point for the firm. The press release says this -

“Proactis’ comprehensive suite of technology solutions and expert services are organised into three key brand areas:

ReThink Spend. An integrated suite of spend management solutions that streamline every aspect of buying and paying for all types of goods and services, while eliminating risk.

ReThink Sales. Integrated digital marketing, selling and invoicing solutions that streamline the entire B2B sales process.

The Business Network. A global eCommerce network that makes all forms of interaction and commerce faster, easier and more cost effective”.

It is interesting to see so much focus on the sales -side of commercial relationships; not many software firms in our industry put as much emphasis on that. The announcement goes on to say that processes driven by Proactis technology will dramatically reduce – or even "virtually eliminate" – all three inter-related forms of waste. As the firm puts it:

"Time: Reducing the elapsed time of many finance, procurement and sales-related processes by using technology to streamline them. In addition, driving greater compliance with organisational policies and regulatory requirements.

Money: Reducing wasted money by helping organisations prevent unnecessary purchases, create best-value agreements, minimise the risk of supplier non-performance and non-compliance, and leverage working capital.

Talent: Reducing the time people need to take away from their core jobs to perform various aspects of the Source-to-Pay process by using technology to simplify interaction points, automate more aspects of the process and make the overall system more ‘self-managing’".

Whilst we wouldn’t disagree in terms of these points, indeed it’s a nice summary of why to use procurement technology generally, it doesn’t answer the key question for Proactis. That is: why should customers buy their product rather than SAP Ariba, Coupa, Jaggaer, Ivalua, Tradeshift … etc?

In terms of shareholder value created, Proactis has been a major success story in recent years; the recent financial results were a set-back, although not necessarily a major one. But in the next few months the firm will need to show that bringing together “old” Proactis, Perfect and Hubwoo into “new” Proactis can be a case of the whole exceeding the sum of the parts. More on that no doubt when our US Spend Matters colleagues do their detailed analysis on the products, but good luck to the Proactis team in the meantime.



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Voices (3)

  1. Final Furlong:

    I know what a good name would have been!

    Proactis. Why change a name when you don’t need to.

    And, I’m sorry, but the name ‘ReThink’ is more like a strategy company, or marketing firm, or PR, or, I know, a branding company!

    It’s about ‘thinking’ (or re-thinking) not trading, or buying, or commerce, or sourcing, or, as you say, something completely abstract, like Zycus (which, I believe, has no meaning and therefore, can’t be replicated).

    Never mind.

    1. Dan:

      It could be quite apt

      “I’m sorry, you want to buy what? Oh. Maybe you should give that a rethink.”

      1. Final Furlong:

        Yeah good point.
        Or it could have been…
        “I’m sorry, but you want to call it what? Oh, Maybe you should give that a rethink”
        “Hey, actually, that’s a great name for a company….”

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