One of the difficulties that analysts have is moderating their tendency, out of enthusiasm, to exaggerate the claims that vendors make. They want to report exciting things, things that people want to read. It’s all the more difficult because we all know that the vendors use marketing license in spades when they brief analysts. But the implications of the news announced today are difficult to exaggerate.

Tradeshift have got a new investor. Intuit, the engine behind QuickBooks, the people that support 5 million small and mediums sized businesses in the USA, have partnered with Tradeshift. What does this mean? It means that Tradeshift’s network is now the biggest in the world.

Purchasing Insight logoBut what does it really mean? The biggest network in the world is a nice sound bite but it’s really only the headline. The detail behind this new partnership is far more interesting.

First off, the partnership with Intuit comes with a significant strategic investment which was made at an increased valuation relative to Tradeshift’s previous investment round. This reflects the growth and significant progress the company has made over the past year.

Secondly, the strategy. The press release explains it: “The planned integration of Intuit’s accounting and payments products with TRADESHIFT’S electronic trading network will streamline commerce between Intuit’s large SMB customer base and the participants on TRADESHIFT’S electronic trading network.  SMBs using QuickBooks will find it easier and less time consuming to comply with their enterprise customers’ e-invoicing mandates.  Large enterprises will find that more of their suppliers will be willing to participate due to the reduced cost and friction enabled by the planned integrations.”

“At TRADESHIFT we understand the future of business will rely upon open connectivity between companies,” said TRADESHIFT CEO, Christian Lanng. “At the heart of this understanding is realizing companies of all sizes must be provided a level playing field where they have access to the tools needed to operate efficiently and effectively in a digital world.

“Partnering with Intuit will create one of the largest global networks of suppliers the business world has ever witnessed and is an enormous leap forward in achieving our goal of connecting every company on the planet on one, shared, open network,” Lanng continued.

“We chose to partner with TRADESHIFT because of the quality of their software, the size and growth rate of their network, and their demonstrated ability to work with some of the largest corporations in the world,” said Eric Dunn, senior vice president of Intuit’s Commerce Network Solutions group. “Connecting Intuit’s small businesses to enterprises via the TRADESHIFT network addresses a very important pain point for many of our customers.”

The press release also claims that the partnership “marks a watershed moment for TRADESHIFT”. I wouldn’t disagree. If executed properly, this has the potential to put Tradeshift firmly in the top tier. But there’s one more thing that is significant about this announcement. It scotches the rumors that Tradeshift were running out of steam and, according to my very well informed sources, we aint seen nothing yet.

Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin