Daily Archives: December 30, 2008

The Sourcing Maniacs 2008 Vendor Tour Part 21: Vinimaya

Today’s post has been broken down into vacuity, vindication, and veil.


Wakko I never imagined a Stampede could be so much fun!
Editor’s note: the maniacs took a little detour through Calgary after finishing their visit with Upside Software in Edmonton
Yakko It sure is! But we should probably be getting back to our tour. After all, we still haven’t been offered a job!
Dot We’re not done yet?
Yakko We’re only at U!
Dot Precisely. Who uses V, W, X, Y, and Z anyway?
Yakko Well, I’ll admit that a lot of companies start with the early letters of the alphabet, presumably to come first in the listing or to take advantage of common power words, that usually start with M, N, R, S, T and other Wheel-of-Fortune favorite letters, but there are still a few companies left. I’m sure there are at least ten companies in the space that start with V.
Dot Precisely. Who uses V, W, X, Y, and Z anyway.
Yakko Verian Technologies, Vertical Net, and Viewlocity.
Dot Vertical Net is Bravo Solution now.
Yakko Okay, Vendormate.
Dot Touche! So who next. Any recommended by the doctor?
Yakko Let me check.
more flipping through the handy dandy notebook
the doctor mentioned a company called Vinimaya when we asked him who the innovative companies were.
Dot What do they do?
Yakko Catalog Management.
Dot Sounds so Web 1.0. What else?
Yakko Looks like they’re billing themselves as the B2B Search Engine now.
Dot B2B Google?
Anything else?
Yakko Looks like that’s it.
Dot Are you sure?
Yakko I think so.
Dot So what are we missing? the doctor says they’re innovative, but catalogs and search have existed for over a decade.
Yakko I don’t know. I guess we’ll have to go find out!
  the maniacs take off for Shelton, CT


Dot Are we here?
Yakko Uhmm, I think so.
Dot I’ll knock.
tap tap-tap tap tap … tap tap
Smiling Man a smiling man opens the door
Howdy! How can I help you!
Yakko We’re a little confused. the doc said you were innovative, but we understand that you do catalogs and search.
Smiling Man That’s right!
Dot And how’s that innovative?
Smiling Man You need to understand, it’s not what we do, but how we do it.
Dot What do you mean?
Smiling Man To use the doctor‘s terminology, we’re B2B 3.0 all the way.
Yakko B2B 3.0?
Smiling Man Business-to-Business 3.0. We provide enterprise software technology that puts business users on the same footing as consumers who have had “3.0” technologies at their fingertips for years. B2B 3.0 is about connectivity that is open and free to all, content that is managed once in a non-redundant fashion by the content owner, and an open community where buyers and sellers can come together for short periods of time through virtual networks that allow them to conduct the business they need to conduct — when, and how, they need to conduct it. We provide the technology platform that, using the open connectivity of the internet, enables innovative content management that allows buyers and suppliers to engage in productive e-commerce.
Dot And how do you do that?
Smiling Man Through content unification. If you go back to the beginning, B2B 1.0 if you will, you had the catalog, which was different in every ERP, procurement, and sourcing application, and which had to be maintained by the buyer — who had to collect data from the supplier to populate their application. This led to stale data, and an inability to find new products in a timely fashion. Then the punch-out came along and helped to usher in B2B 2.0. This was a slight improvement, as the supplier was able to maintain their own catalog, which the buyer could connect to, but there were still issues. The catalog was only as fresh as the last supplier update, which could be months in the past as the supplier had to maintain a different puchout with different pricing for each buyer, and the buyer could only connect to, and search, one punchout at a time.
Dot So?
Smiling Man How do you get the best price?
Dot You review and evaluate all the options.
Smiling Man And how do you do that if you can only search one catalog at at time?
Dot You build a spreadsheet …
Smiling Man Don’t you buy a technology solution to help you with your job? Doesn’t having to build a spreadsheet hinder you? Why not just use Google and search each vendor site individually. It would be just as effective and save you money.
Dot True.
Smiling Man So buyer hosted catalogs don’t work, as they are always stale and don’t have the right prices, or products, and punch-outs don’t work as they restrict a buyer to one site at a time. Plus, both solutions often cost way more money than they’re worth. Sure you can get a catalog solution cheap, but how much is it going to cost you in salaries to keep it up to date? If you’re a large company, millions. And you might think punchouts are cheap, but a supplier has to pay someone to create a separate punchout with distinct pricing for each buyer, and then has to pay someone else to maintain that data. And who do you think pays for that overhead? That’s right, you!
Yakko So what’s the solution?
Smiling Man Our platform.
Yakko And how’s that work?
Smiling Man It’s a web-services enabled agent-based meta-search technology that can plug into any electronic product listing a supplier has at its disposal — be it punch-out, e-Catalog, a web-enabled database, or a plain old ASCII flat file — and integrate the listings into one consistent, coherent view for the buyer.
Wakko So it’s e-Bay for enterprises? A single view into all available products and services that you can search — by product name, characteristic, or price range — to find the best product to meet your need at the best price, right now?
Smiling Man That’s right Wakko! We enable buyers and suppliers to conduct commerce the way it was meant to be — simple, easy, and cost effective.
Yakko That’s it?
Smiling Man That’s it. We’re the first company to utilize the full power of the internet to let buyers and suppliers to conduct business using the technology they have available; we add the ability for both parties to define pricing and presentation rules that are applied in real-time on every search; and our powerful interconnectivity platform allows us to integrate seamlessly with all of the major platforms. What else would we need to do?
Yakko I can’t think of anything else.
Smiling Man Precisely! Sometimes you just have to keep it simple.


  we join the maniacs an hour or so later at a diner
Dot So, are we done?
Yakko We’ve done WhyAbe, and the only other W company I know of is WeSupply, but they’re on the other side of the Atlantic.
Dot And the only X company I know of is Xign, but since they’re owned by a bank, we know they’re just payments, which isn’t that exciting.
Yakko I don’t know of a single company in the space that starts with Y!
Dot I guess that brings us to …
Yakko, Wakko, & Dot Zycus!
Wakko Aren’t they based in India?
Dot They are. But don’t they have US locations?
Yakko They do, but they’re mainly sales offices, and the doctor says he hasn’t had any luck getting a response from them locally.
Dot I guess we’re done for now, then.
Yakko It’s probably for the best. I’m feeling a chill in the air, and I don’t like the cold as much as I used too.
Dot We did get awfully used to the wonderful year-round weather in the valley, didn’t we?
Yakko We did. Let’s go home for the winter. We can start a new tour next year … and maybe, armed with our superior knowledge from this tour, we’ll even find a job!
Wakko And in the mean time, I can be Califorina Dreamin’.
Yakko, Wakko, & Dot All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I’ve been for a walk
On a winters day
I’d be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin’ …
  the maniacs fade into the distance

I don’t know about you, but I think they deserve a 21-gun salute for their efforts. Twenty-one posts and one hundred and thirty pages of amazing content that is so rich that you have to read it multiple times to thoroughly extract all of the nuances is more than some blogs give you in an entire year (or lifetime)! Rest up maniacs, you deserve it!