Down the Procurement Pub with Ariba, Wax Digital, Optimum, Science Warehouse, Andrew Manley and Kitten Pyramid

My US based colleague, Jason Busch, has been in town this week- very briefly, and even more briefly than planned  because of the big Chicago freeze. But we did fit in a dinner with some procurement friends at the highly recommended RSJ restaurant near Waterloo.  Apologies we weren’t more sociable and able to see more people, but hopefully Jason will have more time on the next visit. Our snippets this week are very solution provider dominated.. and some will be followed up at greater length shortly!    


Bob Calderoni and Kevin Costello, former head honchos at Ariba pre SAP acquisition, are leaving SAP, according to my colleagues at Spend Matters US. Read more here...!


Wax Digital (procurement /sourcing software) and Optimum Procurement Services (mainly procurement outsourcing services) have announced a strategic partnership. This is the latest in a whole series of events that show how the previously distinct markets for procurement related software and outsourcing services are coming together.  We’ve covered Wax a number of times, with some good user stories (like this), whilst Optimum, with ex CIPS President Peter Rushton as one of their founders, are a ‘local’ UK player in the outsourcing market, but are growing steadily. This looks like a good move for both firms, and we’ll have more detail on this next week anyway.


Andrew Manley,  the head of the Ministry of Defence Infrastructure Organisation, has been suspended on full pay whilst investigations into his expense claims take place. The Evening Standard (hard copy) yesterday suggested that certain other people might be questioned about their involvement, but that is not on their website so I suspect they may have over-stepped the mark in reporting that!  You may remember Manley signed the Alix Partners consulting contract that we exposed some time ago, where MOD paid £5k + a day to consultants to tell them how to negotiate better contracts...


Science Warehouse, the Leeds-based eProcurement firm, announced a high profile customer win this week – Trinity College Dublin. TCD is Ireland’s oldest university and one of the most famous and venerable in the world, being founded in 1592. Jonathan  Swift, Bram Stoker, Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde, Edmund Burke, Samuel Beckett ..  the list of alumni, particularly in literature and politics, is highly impressive.  And now their current day equivalents will be using eProcurement!  Trinity will now “enjoy a best-in-class solution that can deliver real benefit for its staff; our intuitive Amazon-like user interface makes procurement for University staff as easy as ordering online at home” according to the firm. The system will provide spend analysis as well as P2P capability, and emphasises Science Warehouse’s strength in the science and education market.


Phew! After all that company stuff, we need a bit of music. How about a really rather strange ‘new’ band (they don’t exactly look like a bunch of 16 year-olds so we might assume they have individually been around a bit) from Burton on Trent, Kitten Pyramid (love the name). Are they prog-folk? Experimental  - metal? Rock - psychedelic?  Who knows or cares. It just sounds absolutely bonkers (particularly after about 4 minutes) and suitable for a gloomy January day.

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