Procurement tools – the future direction for e-Sourcing

Jason has published the second in his series of fearless predictions for the future of key procurement technology solutions with a piece here on Sourcing and related products.

It's thought provoking as you would expect. He sees Ariba as a consolidator and even stronger player in the market.

..Ariba has a track record of playing consolidator in this market. It originally purchased Trading Dynamics (a waste of money), FreeMarkets (don't get me started) and later Procuri (a smart purchase). ..... it would be logical to see Ariba step up to the plate and expand their basic capability in this area with the purchase of an optimization/advanced sourcing specialist like Trade Extensions or CombineNet (with which it has currently partnered because its own internal capabilities limit its ability to compete against Emptoris, BravoSolution, Iasta and others).

But he also sees scope for niche players in commodity management and related spaces, and for 'multi-tier demand aggregation for direct materials'.  He also sees opportunities for traditional sourcing offerings to expand to encompass more in the way of analytics, savings implementation and even supplier information management incorporated into the 'basic' sourcing capability.

I'm not sure there's a particularly separate 'European' angle to his argument - a number of the firms he mentions are from this side of the Atlantic anyway (Trade Extensions, Achilles and BravoSolution amonst them)  whilst being highly international in outlook. Indeed, this sector has perhaps fewer truly 'local' players than we see in the P2P space.

But do read the piece if you have any interest in sourcing technology, and of course comment here or on the US site if you disagree with Jason's analysis!

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