Procurement News from the US: Weekly Round-Up

Is it already the end of the week? Is it already almost November? Wow. Well:

Here comes another webinar!

Labor Services Procurement: How to Buy Brains vs. Brawn with Better SOW and Vested Outsourcing Approaches -- This webinar, presented by Spend Matters and sponsored by IQNavigator, will begin with opening statements from Jason Busch, executive editor of Spend Matters. Author, educator and business consultant Kate Vitasek will then offer insights into how shift to buying a service provider's brainpower – or solutions – using better SOW and Vested Outsourcing Approaches, examining the findings of a research study led by the University of Tennessee around the procurement of deliverables-based labor.

Jason spent some time in Boston this week.

Emptoris Empower 2011: Dispatch One – A "New" Emptoris -- Emptoris Empower kicked off yesterday in Boston. I was here with my colleague Thomas Kase, exploring the latest from the venerable sourcing, contract management, spend analysis, telecom expense management and supplier management provider (phew...that's a long and growing list). Earlier this year, our colleague Peter Smith from Spend Matters UK/Europe attended the European version of the same show (you can check out some of Peter's commentary here and here). But on this side of the Atlantic, this Empower is an important show (and year) for Emptoris for a number of reasons. In many ways, Emptoris needs to put a new stake in the ground with customers (and prospects) about what it will stand for in a market that's increasingly seeing new types of competition, inclusive of vast improvements in certain areas of the SAP and Oracle product lines across the procurement solutions arena.

Besides Ariba buying a “French e-invoicing leader with a very dull name”...Oracle snapped up Endeca.

Oracle’s Endeca Acquisition -- An Initial Take -- Earlier this week, Oracle announced it had entered into an agreement to buy Endeca. For those in the procurement, supply chain and manufacturing worlds who don't know Endeca, you should. They represent what Spend Matters believes is a truly next generation toolset for managing not only general ledger, invoice and related spend data, but more important, combining these financials insights with material information, part specification data, warranty claims insight and many forms of third-party structured (and even unstructured) data. Yet because they've been going in so many directions (e.g., fueling lots of consumer sites from a search/faceted/guided navigation/shopping perspective), the manufacturing vertical as well as the emphasis on selling into procurement and supply chain was only given limited focus at Endeca. Here at Spend Matters, we hope Oracle changes this.

We take a look at ePlus.

ePlus -- Exploring a P2P Vendor That Deserves to Be Known For Technology, Not Just Patents (Part 1) -- Over the course of 2011, I've spent a good deal of time getting to know ePlus. The time investment had nothing to do with wanting to dig into anything patent-related -- everyone knows our views on that already (Ariba and ePlus as plaintiffs, in separate cases, both included). No, my focus on looking at ePlus was directed at wanting to better understand exactly what they had under the hood and what they were thinking about the future of the P2P market. What I learned was quite impressive, and dare I say, thought provoking. Unfortunately, ePlus covered some forward-looking items that I can't talk about yet, but it suffices to say that they are anything but an organization resting on their legacy application's laurels.

Nick of Mintec Ltd. visits the Ascot Races.

Ascot Races: Gambling on Commodities -- Whether you are purchasing food, machinery or stationary, there are challenging times ahead for the both the public and the private public sector. These have been made all the more difficult due to speculation in certain key commodities and economic uncertainty. For this reason there is a lot of speculative activity in the markets. Speculation is a financial action that does not promise safety of the initial investment along with the return on the principal sum. I thought I would try some commodity speculation at the Ascot Races, UK this weekend. I chose my horses according to their food-related names!

And two bits of fun this week:

Gigantic XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL slipper delivered to man who ordered a size 14.5 but got a size 1,450 -- NOW that’s what you call putting your foot in it...Tom Boddingham ordered a special slipper to fit his oversized foot but was sent a size 1,450 -- after manufacturers failed to spot a decimal point in his order.

Here is one for people who hate it when other people use “alot” instead of “a lot.” (I actually have a mug at home with an alot on it.)

Have a good weekend!

- Sheena Moore

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