Daily Archives: September 16, 2008

Eric Strovink of BIQ: Why I’m Sponsoring SI

Today’s guest post is from Eric Strovink, CEO of BIQ. I asked him if he’d be willing to share why he chose to sponsor Sourcing Innovation (SI), knowing that BIQ, as a small company with a limited marketing budget, has not done very much in the way of advertising in the past.

It’s very simple: I know that BIQ users read and respect Sourcing Innovation, because they tell me so. Our customers and prospects are among the best-informed and most demanding sourcing professionals in the world, and they have no patience for blog posts that provide zero useful information, or just paraphrase the latest corporate press releases. They are looking for information, insight, and education, and they find it here.

Michael Lamoureux is unique in the blogging space — he has a PhD in Computer Science, and he’s a leading thinker on the application of optimization theory to supply chain. He’s not pretending to be an expert on procurement technology — he’s the real deal. That means he’s not fooled by a glitzy new user interface, or a tired old application dressed up in a Marketing tu-tu, or a functionality claim that can’t possibly be true. Even if you don’t agree with Michael’s point of view on a particular subject — Michael and I have many debates whenever he’s in town — you can’t ignore the tasty mix of information and commentary you’ll find on SI. You can also be sure that Michael will post opposing points of view, and conduct a vigorous and informative dialog.

One of the big problems getting to the facts in our space is that a lot of folks tiptoe around the major vendors and the big ERP players — and why shouldn’t they, that’s where most of the marketing money (and therefore their pay check, directly or indirectly) comes from. The major analyst firms (for structural reasons) can’t even consider small vendors in their “quadrants” and “waves,” so it’s very hard for an end user to get a good reading on what’s new and what’s really available. For example, here’s a simple question: Is it possible to go with innovative solutions — and do enormously better on a price-performance basis — rather than simply choosing whoever ends up at the forefront of the “wave” or at the upper-rightmost corner of the “quadrant?” You’ll find some good answers on these pages.

Back in the 1980’s the question when buying a PC was, “Why not IBM?” Funny how the tables turned in the end — “buying IBM” turned into an expensive mistake for procurement organizations that committed to the heavily-marketed and ill-considered PS/2. The “safe” decision was precisely the wrong decision, as it so often is. Instead of paying lip-service to vendor marketing spin, SI proposes real questions that we should ask about procurement strategy, and then answers them with passion and commitment.

SI is the place to go when you need hard information on breakthrough companies like Vinimaya, ┬áCo-eXprise, Coupa, and Trade Extensions. SI is where you’ll be pointed by almost any Google search on our space, because SI maintains over 950 high-content posts online. Michael Lamoureux is a major author of the e-Sourcing Wiki, (co-author and) editor of the e-Sourcing Handbook, and a prolific guest commentator on several other blogs.

So these are some of the many reasons why BIQ is a Sourcing Innovation sponsor. I invite other innovative vendors to join us in supporting SI.

Eric can be reached at strovink <at> busiq <dot> com.