Author: Pete Loughlin

I can buy something from amazon in just a few clicks. I feel confident that I’m getting a good price and I feel safe because the product I’ve selected has good reviews. The whole amazon experience has encouraged millions to change the way they shop. The purchasing process (as we like to think of it – it is more accurately a sales process), has been refined and iterated over the years, so what’s gone wrong with the B2B version – e-procurement? The e-procurement vendors’ sales and marketing material will tell a very different story. They'll explain how corporate purchasing could be but it won’t tell you what, in 9 out of 10 cases, it is really like.

Don't tell me your solution is ERP agnostic. I’m a believer in my ERP system and I want to deal with fellow believers. I don’t want to hear that you sit on the fence. It’s a familiar dilemma for vendors. They’d like to please everyone – be all things to all men - or women for that matter. Sales people are always asking product development teams for more functionality, new connectors, compatibility with new standards and so on in order to be compatible with all possible scenarios. So being ERP agnostic – from the vendors point of view – seems like a good thing. Right?

The more I look at the proposed acquisition of Ariba by SAP, the less sense it makes. SAP didn't need the functionality. They didn't need the brand. The Ariba shareholders will clearly be pleased to see this deal go through but what, I wonder, would an SAP sales guy be thinking and what would Ariba's competitors be making of it all?

B is for buying experience

C is for Coupa

D is for déjà vu

I’ve been enjoying reading the Coupa blog recently and especially since SAP’s intention to buy Ariba was  announced. It’s been an excuse for Coupa to really blow its trumpet about cloud and the importance of usability. Coupa’s message is very current although we have heard it before.

The original vision was right. The cost of purchasing as well as the cost of purchases could be dramatically reduced by applying the new technology. And there was a road map – a detailed vision showing how to secure the savings. The costs weren’t even that high – especially in comparison to the potential savings - but in the excitement, we lost the map and now, the vision is lost.

Tradeshift, and Taulia have announced a partnership.  Tradeshift’s enterprise customers can now integrate to SAP® with Taulia’s advanced connector. The press release yesterday announced that Taulia will launch its Dynamic Discounting application on the Tradeshift network for businesses of all sizes, adding value for both buyers and suppliers and easing the invoicing process for all. We spotted the potential of both Taulia and Tradeshift in their early days and we've followed their progress with great interest. Indeed, both have subsequently become sponsors of Purchasing Insight and it's exciting therefore to see them capitalize on the synergy that exists between them.