The Procurement Analysts’ Reel Episode 3 – An Interview with Jason Busch

As we explained in our post recently, we are running a series of podcasts we have named The Procurement Analysts' Reel – in them we speak to each of our analysts about their areas of expertise, their thoughts on current market trends within their procurement domains, and find out a little bit more about them generally.

We thought it was about time our readers got to know our analysts better to understand who is behind our vendor and tech research and analysis and contributes to the famous SolutionMap vendor and platform benchmark rankings. The analysts have a deep understanding of the procurement market which can help procurement practitioners and leaders with their business challenges.

Here's Jason:

In a nutshell:

Jason is the founder and Managing Director of Spend Matters. A true procurement tech expert he is the creator of the quarterly tech vendor ranking benchmark SolutionMap, the in-depth subscription service PRO and the recently launched Spend Matters Nexus, Spend Matters’ research, advisory and networking organisation.

What is Jason’s background, and how did he come to found Spend Matters?

Jason majored in History and English at college, he then went into consulting and spent two years at a firm where he covered topics touching on the periphery of procurement and supply chain. Finding these areas fascinating he spent time on the side immersed in writing posts which ended up in Information Week. He then joined Free Markets, which operated in the technology sphere of procurement - a very nascent field at the time – and spent five years in various roles, finding that he functioned best as a sort of “universal translator” between people within technology, business and procurement. He went on to found Spend Matters’ parent company, Azul Partners, which initially provided custom research and consulting within procurement, and then Spend Matters as a procurement publishing platform.

Why did Spend Matters become so successful?

Jason believes Spend Matters’ success lies in giving people “an honest and candid perspective.” Before Spend Matters, Jason saw a lack of real technology knowledge within the market, with only a few good analysts providing resources. Spend Matters filled that void, though it was initially a blog tied to a consulting firm and not a research firm at the time. As the largest industry trade publication went out of business, consumers turned towards Spend Matters to learn about the space. Analyst Michael Lamoureux (listen to his podcast in the coming weeks) joined Spend Matters and they published three to four articles a day. The sheer amount of content Spend Matters was able to produce gained a large amount of traffic owing to the combined source of industry knowledge.

What is Jason’s role at Spend Matters now?

Jason considers himself very much a founder, someone “who likes to create things, develop them quickly and evangelize.” Having steered the platform and accompanying services to where they are today, he has recently turned his attention to developing Spend Matters Nexus. Whereas Spend Matters is largely focused on practitioner content and software selection, Jason works towards bringing investors and corporate development together through the Spend Matters Nexus membership group, using market analysis to carry out projects with due diligence at a high level.

What makes Jason passionate about the procurement industry?

Jason has always loved the concept of procurement -- “life in general is about negotiation.” He is fascinated with arriving at negotiated outcomes that benefit everyone. In the same vein, Jason believes “really good procurement is realising what is good for those buying and what is good for those selling,” and he is constantly shaping buying and selling strategy around that. Intellectually, Jason is obsessed with sourcing and finds large complex negotiations captivating.

How has he seen procurement technology evolve and what does the future hold?

In the mid ’90s, procurement technology was still a hobbyist pursuit. There were no guarantees that the technologies would work as promised and it was not the best time to be a buyer. So he calls today “the golden age to buy technology,” as there are dozens of great choices that work with different levels of capabilities. Jason has seen the sector grow into so many different markets. “It’s a complicated, big, messy market with so much opportunity for people to build products,” he says.

What does Jason think people do not know about Spend Matters but should?

Jason hopes Spend Matters’ entire audience is aware of the capabilities of Spend Matters beyond functioning as trade media. If you are in the market to buy technology, evaluate what you currently have, or to explore adjacent areas, Spend Matters has “what I think is not only the best, but the only research in the area.” Jason has a great amount of respect for other analysts within the market, but does not believe any other firm fully covers the market. SolutionMap, the data-driven benchmark of solution capability and customer satisfaction, updated on a real-time basis, is fundamentally different from anything else in the market. He hopes the Spend Matters European audiences will come to find Spend Matters as their “one-stop shop.”

What is Spend Matters’ biggest opportunity and where does he see the company heading? 

Jason hopes Spend Matters’ PRO will become the ubiquitous research source in the industry and believes SolutionMap should become the defacto solution methodology for all of the areas it covers. Moving forwards, Spend Matters will continue to work directly with procurement organisations and the great channel partners in the consulting and membership organisation space.

Listen to the full podcast to get to know Jason better.

Tune in next week for our interview with more of our analysts!

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