Daily Archives: September 18, 2010

Empower? Or Incitement?

It’s that time of year when Emptoris holds their annual conference, invites all the bloggers (but me) to their peace pipe pow-wow, and somehow stirs them into a blogging frenzy which results in the temporary flooding of the bitstream with post after post about Emptoris. It wouldn’t be so bad if we got good information out of it. However, possibly due to the “selective reporting” favored by members of the previous management team, this hasn’t been the case historically.

And while it does look like the new team is working harder at being open and communicating (except where financials are concerned, but it’s certainly better to share nothing at all then inflate the numbers by 20M), despite the flurry of activity over the last few days (which likely isn’t the end), we haven’t received much in the way of useful information yet, and, more importantly, it looks like most of the bloggers (except Bob) have missed the only point that matters. But first, a recap of the stories to date:

Spend Matters

Procurement Leaders

Gartner (Debbie Wilson)

  • Dispatch From Emptoris Empower 2010

    $2 million investment in its data center infrastructure. Some procurement friends expressed frustration with gaps in functionality that aren’t being addresses quickly enough.

Supply Chain Matters

That last point is key, if you happened to catch one of Wednesday’s press releases, you’ll see that Emptoris added three new senior executives. Add this to the number of new executives the new CEO has brought in since his arrival, and you’ll see that the current management team is almost entirely new. At this point, he’s only a few executives away from an entirely new management team (and I will be thrilled the day it’s entirely new). This will be the key to their success (or failure) in the future.

In my view, Emptoris’ biggest problem historically has been their management team, which appeared to be hand-picked by the former CEO to mirror his corporate philosophy (and never challenge his way of doing things) — which obviously wasn’t the right one for Emptoris (because, if it was, why did they never truly make profitability and need yet another funding round last year just to stay afloat, almost 9 years after formation?). I hope the new team maintains the “get close to the customer and figure out what they need” strategy. In this economy, I think that’s your only chance of success.