Daily Archives: December 21, 2006

On the Ninth Day of X-Mas (Emptoris vs. BIQ)

On the ninth day of X-Mas
my blogger gave to me
spend vendors lancing,
thoughts for a shilling,
strategies for winning,
tactics for saving,
five golden rings,
four little words,
tri-focal lens,
two boxing gloves,
and a lesson in strategy.

In this corner, hailing from Burlington, at a whopping 800 lbs, the heavyweight champion of the space, Emptoris and in this corner, hailing from Southborough, at a lean and mean 200 lbs, the lightweight contender, BIQ.

Amidst a flurry of Much-Ado-About-Something, all started by a few innocuous postings over on Spend Matters in the month of Shimo tsuki, the spend visibility debate has been kicked into sixth speed maximum overdrive as the result of an all-out-melee sure to satisfy even the most staunch of Stephen King fans. Even my declarative proclamation that Spend Matters Not!, as a rebuttal to my inquiry as to whether or not Spend Matters Most? has been lost in the virtual mortar fire between Emptoris and BIQ‘s legal quests to prove that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.

Emptoris, the apparent Victor Von Doom of the Spend-Analysis-Driven-Intelligent-Savings-Targets mindset, or S.A.D.I.S.T, has the most extensive offering of any contender on the playing field, with its various spend data manager, real time classifier, spend analyzer, data enrichment, and reporting engines which combined appear to provide more raw power than the Human Torch, the Thing, the Invisible Woman, and Mr. Fantastic put together. In comparison, BIQ, your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, is clinging to the field with its single Veg-O-Matic offering (It Slices! It Dices!) and its unique Meta-aggregation-Shifting-of-Classification-Hierarchies-in-Subsecond-Time capability, or M.a.S.o.C.H.i.S.T., which has me singing the praises of Mr. Popeil.

Both have their virtues. Emptoris is probably the only solution that can allow you to analyze not only your relative spend internally, but relative spend against the rest of the market – and maybe help you break through the curse of those rose colored glasses normally worn by your executives. In comparison, BIQ is probably the only solution that can allow a buyer to look at her data any way she wants to, at any time, allowing her to find and exploit hidden relationships with its transmutative engine, helping her break out of The Metamorphosis she will someday awake to find herself in without it.

Both have their failings. The S.A.D.I.S.T. view of the world is a single view from within the walls of a single, but complete, cube, boxing you in to one vision of the world. In comparison, the M.a.S.o.C.H.i.S.T. view, borrowing a piece of technology from The Guide, Mark II permits you an infinite number of views of the world, with the caveat that they are all potentially incomplete. In short, if you asked mirror-mirror-on-the-wall, who’s the fairest of them all, I would be tempted to say that even he would not be able to answer you. The fact of the matter is, for all you techies out there, (and maybe even a few of you Trekkies), that while Emptoris wins on breadth of solution, BIQ wins on depth, and the best single solution for you depends on your view of the world and the best solution overall is probably the adoption of both types of solution. The single world view to please your executives who like to stare into space with their rose coloured glass intact and the changing world view for your sourcerers to gain the insight they need to make better buys.

But all I can say, is when it comes to legal sparring between two obviously different solutions, even though they both exist on the same coin, is the offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil water-way leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky. For if the fight continues, only Wolfram and Hart will win in the end.

For those of you who want to review the debate-to-date, here is a brief history in time:
Spend Management and M&A (Nov 3, 2006)
It’s Only the Beginning for Spend Visibility and Analytics Growth (Nov 17, 2006)
Emptoris: Readying the Spend Visibility Armaments for Battle (Nov 28, 2006)
A Spend Visibility Smack-Down (Nov 30, 2006)
Ariba: Not Sitting Still in the Spend Visibility Arms Race (Dec 1, 2006)
Spend Visibility Gets Legal: Emptoris vs. BIQ (Dec 5, 2006)
BIQ Respond to Emptoris’ Lawsuit (Dec 6, 2006)
Sourcing Innovation Adds to the Spend Visibility Controversy (Dec 11, 2006)
Emptoris: Blurring the Legal and Marketing Line (Dec 12, 2006)
What is the ROI of Spend Visibility and Analysis Solutions? (Dec 13, 2006)

Merry Christmas Spend Fool!