Spend Matters 50/50: Xchanging/MarketMaker 4 – A Provider to Know in 2015

100 companies - 100 days

We announced here and here our two (not ranked) lists: Spend Matters 50 To Know and 50 To Watch firms for 2015/2016. In the first case, this is our view of the 50 solution provider type organisations in the procurement industry that every senior procurement leader should be aware of and understand. The 50 To Watch are the up-and-coming firms  - those with interesting and relatively new solutions for our market. The 50 To Know are the key organisations in our industry that procurement executives need to have on their radar.

Having announced the lists, our US colleagues are now featuring each of the 100 firms in turn with an article giving an overview of each, with some headline Spend Matters thoughts on them. So on this site we will be giving you a brief extract of the US article, plus adding our own comments where we have anything useful to add from a European perspective. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t!

Here is what our US colleagues had to say about Xchanging/MarketMaker 4:

"Direction changed a couple of years ago with the acquisition of MarketMaker4 (MM4), a sourcing software business founded by the charismatic Chirag Shah. The acquisition of spend analytics firm Spikes Cavell followed, bringing its strength in the UK and US public sector market, and the procurement division has been re-orienting itself more as a software business, pushing more of an "as a service" proposition rather than full-scale outsourcing.

Indeed, MM4 and Spikes, both reasonably strong products in their sectors, seemed to be thriving as products within their new home. But the recent profitability issues, Shah's sidelining within the firm and now the takeover bids all mean that the future is somewhat uncertain. Xchanging still has good software assets, and indeed some good outsourcing clients, such as L'Oreal. We hope that the new owners can develop these further; or indeed, as Jason Busch suggested, find an alternative owner for those assets."

You can read the full article here on our US site. The firm is London-based of course, and many of their larger contracts are European at least in terms of the main activities. But even since the original 50/50 article was published, the situation has moved on further, with US IT services firm CSC now looking almost certain to take over Xchanging. What that means to the procurement businesses, and indeed the London HQ of the firm, we will have to see.

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