Supplier networks – a lively webinar promised tomorrow!

We probably don’t write as much as we should about the giants of the procurement software world, such as SAP / Ariba or Oracle. That’s partly because we tend to get more excited about exciting, new, innovative firms (not that those mentioned can’t be just as innovative). There’s also an element of those giants  not being quite so concerned about getting a mention here perhaps compared to a start-up that can’t afford to sponsor Formula One or a golf tournament to get some exposure!

But this week we’re covering SAP / Ariba following their recent customer events. And we’re going to focus on supplier networks as well, which is a big issue for both the giants and many other firms. Supplier networks are not exactly “the next big thing” in procurement – they have been around for years and are already a “big thing”. But they’ve probably gone over the tipping point in the last couple of years, and really any procurement professional needs to understand what they are, how they work, the different options and so on.

With that in mind, I wanted to highlight a webinar tomorrow (short notice, I know) from my Spend Matters US colleagues that is covering the topic. At 3pm UK time, 4pm continental western Europe, it features Jason Busch, who runs Spend Matters US, his colleague and procurement tech guru Pierre Mitchell, and Christian Langg, founder and CEO of Tradeshift.

Tradeshift aren’t exactly a start-up but they’re still new kids on the block as far as e-invoicing and networks are concerned, but they are a very interesting firm, and will shortly become a lot more high profile in the UK (he said mysteriously).  Langg himself is – how shall we put this – a controversial character, not afraid to speak his mind to say the least!  He’s not the sort of CEO who says “of course, I have great respect for my competition” for instance...

Here’s what Jason says about the event

The future of supplier networks and platforms is clearly open for debate. Ariba, TradeShift, Hubwoo, GXS, IBM, IBX, Perfect, OB10, InvoiceWare, Basware and many others are competing in a daily changing world. Moreover, the value proposition and capabilities of providers are often quite different, with overlapping and substitute capability being the norm versus true apples-to-apples functional similarity …Users of various solutions also need to contend with “lock-in”, potentially, based on the apps that connect with networks (e.g., Ariba requires cloud users of its P2P applications to use the network).

I promise spirited debate. The fact we’re all participating virtually from different offices is probably a good thing. Christian and I would probably throw chairs at each other if we were in the same room. I promise that hearing the four of us debate will be worth the price of admissions alone (which you can’t complain about – it’s free).

So join us as we debate the intersections, overlap and future of supplier and business networks as they pertain to linkages with:

• Purchase-to-pay (P2P) processes

• e-invoicing tools and connectivity

• Working capital management and treasury strategies

• Supplier management and engagement approaches

• Risk management tactics

• …and more

Register here for “The Great Debate: Will Supplier Networks Thrive, Implode, or Evolve?”

And we’ll have more on networks later this week, maybe tomorrow.

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