Author: Pete Loughlin

It is depressing that whenever there is conflict brewing  somewhere in the world – a political or diplomatic tension that escalates to point where otherwise peaceful countries contemplate military action - there’s always someone, somewhere who says “Nuke ‘em”. The Nuke option – the answer proposed by the person that doesn’t understand the question. Instead of solving the problem, they want to destroy the problem – that way, they don’t have to worry about how to solve it. It’s not just war of course. There are circumstances in business that present hugely complex issues when it can be tempting to reach for the red button. A few years ago I provided some consultancy support to a construction company. When I began working for this particular client, they were just recovering from the consequences of pressing the red button. They had implemented a Purchasing Card program.

Jason Busch wrote recently about a piece that Phil Fersht wrote about Forbes magazine. Although I'd encourage you to read both pieces in summary, they both lamented the lowering standards of Forbes magazine for, apparently, allowing their sponsors, such as SAP and Oracle, to write advertorial content in the guise of objective journalistic commentary. Pro bloggers would never do that would they?

I'm old enough to remember the pioneering days of the internet and the growth in the use of internet technologies in the B2B landscape and about 18 months ago, I caught up with an old friend and erstwhile colleague, Mike Zealley, who I worked with during those exciting times. We spent a lunch time recalling the predictions we made in the late 1990s about what could be done, what was possible and how different the world would be. The disillusionment of the dot com crash may have taken the sparkle off but today, many of the things that we predicted have come to fruition - some in an uncannily accurate way. So it was it was uncanny last week when I went to visit Oxygen Finance in London that the first thing Roberto Moretti, their European CEO, said to me was “Mike Zealley sends his regards.” The second thing he said to me was “Pete, let me introduce you to Mark Hoffman”.

This is an important piece of research. For the first time, independent evidence points to a rapid growth in the adoption of e-invoicing and a significant change in the motivation for implementation. A wide range of organizations, from SMEs to large global businesses were surveyed in 2012 to understand their experiences and aspirations for payment technologies. Some of the results of the research  are, to be frank, predictable, while others were a surprise. Overall, the research paints an optimistic picture for technology vendors and their clients who are benefiting from their solutions.

Taulia, the only SAP-certified SaaS platform for dynamic discounting, today announced Hallmark will provide its global supply base with Taulia’s comprehensive suite of services, including e-invoicing, dynamic discounting and supplier self-services. The largest and most successful greeting card brand in the world, Hallmark has long been a technology leader in bringing innovative products to consumers. The company wanted to extend that leadership by providing its suppliers a unique value proposition - comprehensive e-invoicing and self-services, delivered by a dedicated on-board team at no cost to suppliers.

Hipsters look cool. But that’s all. They’re good at it. That’s why they’re hipsters. Hipsters know how to look, how to walk, what shoes to wear, places to be seen, habits to adopt, coffee to drink, names to drop. They have a kind of fetish for image – they look cool even if they’re not cool but that’s what floats their boat and I’m cool with that. Real cool people on the other hand, don’t try to look cool, they just are cool. And there are people who aren’t cool and don’t want to be cool. I’m cool with that too. What I’m not cool with is the people who are not cool, who think it’s easy to look cool. They try but they fail. They’re like a teacher that challenges their students to a dance battle. That's not cool.