Daily Archives: March 9, 2007

Innovate Your Marketing with Sourcing Innovation Sponsorships

You can spend foolishly or you can spend wisely. You can take out banner ads and placements on various websites, or you can take out targeted sponsorships on sites where you can reach thousands of highly qualified readers each month – including influential analysts, media, consultants, and end users. Furthermore, you can choose sites where readers come back monthly, or weekly at best, or you can choose sites where readers come back daily. And if you’re really lucky, you can find a site with daily readers focused on your target audience.

But if you’re in the supply management or spend management space … your options are limited. Yes, there is Spend Matters, but it has restricted the number of lead sponsors to four, and all slots are currently full. That’s why I’m pleased to provide you more details on the Sourcing Innovation blog sponsorships that will be available next month!

Not only will a sponsorship of Sourcing Innovation provide you with great value (and valuable advisory services if you commit to a year), but the value will increase over time. Sourcing Innovation is now the second most trafficked (independent) blog in the space (by a considerable margin), and growing in readership every week. Furthermore, I would not be surprised if Jason’s Spend Matters prediction that the leading blogs overtake the more traditional media publication sites (like Purchasing and Supply and Demand Chain Executive) this year comes true. At the very least we should come close!

Moreover, as I hinted last Friday, you will be associated with the only blog with the number one goal of end-user education. Over the last decade, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, or how good you market it, if your target audience does not understand what it is and how it helps them. This is where Sourcing Innovation will help you with its relentless goal of user education.

But for those of you taught to Spend Wisely by Spend Matters, annual sponsors will get even more than a good feeling in their investment. Annual sponsors will also get:

  • a linked company logo on the topmost section of the right-hand side of the sourcing innovation blog
  • a “sponsor welcome” post describing your organization and offerings, and then one “interview”, (blogger) “commentary”, or sponsor “update” post each quarter (subject matter at blogger’s discretion)
  • unlimited permission to reproduce blog content, with citation, for marketing initiatives during the sponsorship period
  • attendance, and blog coverage, of one sponsor event per year in Canada or the US
  • assistance with two webcasts or podcasts
  • access to the sponsor advisory program which includes:
    • virtually unlimited off-site advisory services:

      (availability for four calls of up to one hour each per month to discuss anything related to your technology, business, strategy, or market is guaranteed)

    • one free day of on-site advisory services per year
    • invitation to any private event sponsored or co-sponsored by Sourcing Innovation
    • one affiliate content link
    • one original vendor-independent technology, process, or solution white paper at half off (up to 10 pages)

If you are interested, please drop a line to thedoctor<at>sourcinginnovation<dot>com. Please note that Sourcing Innovation will only be accepting four sponsorships this year.

Procurement Outsourcing V.V: Provade, Take II

During my most recent Silicon Valley foray, I had a chance to catch up with Provade again and talk about how they seamlessly enable services procurement for companies with and without a PeopleSoft stack. If you remember, one of the three points I covered in my last post was how they built their solution on a PeopleTools foundation on the Oracle Stack. This is a tremendous advantage for customers with existing Oracle or PeopleSoft implementations since they can tie their solution in directly to your systems with almost no effort and set-up the bi-directional data flows in record time.

However, their solution is also a tremendous advantage for customers without (extensive) Oracle or PeopleSoft implementations – espcially those with large, involved services spend, especially in the legal, financial, contract labour, and marketing categories. They have done a significant amount of work extending their Java/J2EE technology stack to be SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) compatible. This allows them to easily integrate with other systems and enabled them to support rapidly configurable punchouts so that you can tie into your suppliers existing systems. Furthermore, it also allows them to develop Web 2.0 interfaces that are significantly easier to use than traditional PeopleSoft or Oracle (forms-based) interfaces – so current users can expect usability of the platform to only increase as time goes on.

I had a great conversation with these guys because my experience has been that:

  • there is not a lot of recognition for the importance of services spend management, which can consume up to 70% of spend in some verticals (financial, healthcare, etc.)
  • most solution providers are not offering specific solutions (with the notable exception of Servigistics, whose service parts, service price, and workforce management solutions I recently discussed, but they have a different spin)
  • most solution providers are not offering an on-demand solution with a low initial implementation cost

Furthermore, they understand that certain types of services are very complex and your offering, especially on the supplier side, needs to be customized if you want suppliers to rapidly adopt the system. One example, and one of their current strengths, is legal services. Law firms don’t bill for “services” or “tasks”, but “matters”. Most services are not fixed quote, but line item services where every line item is at a different rate (para-legal, associate, partner, fixed expense, variable expense, etc.). And they’re not always the most technical of people. (Even the majority of firms that are LEDES capable would rather log into a simple user-friendly web-based system to create a bill.)

In summary, I think they are on the ball with respect to some of the major services procurement challenges in some under-serviced verticals and that their current solution is a good solution for many firms with the challenges they are tackling. I look forward to talking with them again and diving into their process model and technology architecture in a later post.