Down The Procurement Pub with CIPS, Xchanging, OB10, Iasta, and Pete Seeger

Here’s a picture from my recent skiing holiday – cold and tasty Austrian lager! Blue sky! And it’s not raining. It is rather depressing here in the UK at the moment with constant rain and greyness. But anyway...


Quite a coup for CIPS  - Cherie Blair is confirmed as the speaker at the CIPS dinner on March 12th. The annual black tie event is at the London Hilton on Park Lane on 12 March.  Blair is a barrister and campaigner in her own right but of course will always to some extent be known as Mrs. Tony. I’m sure that will be a real draw and help sell more tickets, although the first two friends who I spoke to about this were both not as impressed as me! The cynic in me however wonders what CIPS is paying for this. The Blairs have shown a remarkable propensity to make money since the end of Tony’s premiership...


We saw lots of company announcements of various sorts this week.  Xchanging plc, the outsourcing provider, announced that its recently-acquired eSourcing technology business, MarketMaker4 (MM4), has won 11 new customer contracts since the acquisition in late September 2013. We’ve heard independently that MM4 is going very well, and may turn out to be an even better acquisition than our initial analysis suggested.

Meanwhile, software firm Iasta announced a three-year deal with Efficio, the procurement consulting and (at times) outsourcing firm. “Iasta will help Efficio provide its clients with the best technology solutions to support sourcing processes and applications across several areas of procurement and supply chain management”. We need to write something about Efficio really, I’ve been rather remiss as they have become a serious force in the procurement world. And this move emphasises yet again how the software and consulting / services worlds are getting more integrated.

Finally, on the provider side, PNC Bank, who (amongst other activities) provide an invoice automation technology solution for mid-size and large businesses, have teamed up with OB10, the global e-invoicing network that is part of Tungsten Corporation plc. “PNC now offers expanded automation of the procure-to-pay process through electronic invoicing capabilities powered by OB10... PNC is the first commercial bank in the United States to integrate OB10 with its invoice automation platform”. I suspect my US colleagues will cover this in more detail and we’ll report back further anyway.


This week saw the death of Pete Seeger. In this case, I don’t think we should use the word ‘sad’ as we often do with death. Seeger  was 94, had an amazing and full life and was apparently chopping wood until two weeks ago. From writing the standard banjo instruction book, cataloguing thousands of US folk songs, acting as a political, social and environmental activist, making numerous albums and even having a few hit singles, marching with the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, supporting Martin Luther King’s campaign, being blacklisted as a communist,  acting as Dylan’s mentor, playing with Springsteen at Obama’s inauguration ... a life well lived, as they say.  OH, and a happy and fulfilling family life too by the sound of it.  Here he is singing at Farm Aid just 5 months ago. Amazing.

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  1. Peter Kobryn:

    Re Pete Seeger – very well said – hear hear !

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