I’ve had the opportunity to spend the last few days in San Francisco and the South Bay area, my old stomping ground, visiting Gartner clients, attending a few days of Oracle OpenWorld and meeting with several Oracle EBS / PeopleSoft customers. It’s been the perfect place to finish my research for my upcoming Oracle procurement solutions evaluation. In addition to being one of the world’s most beautiful places, “silicon valley” (I know they don’t call it this anymore but for me … well … yeah …) is the cradle of e-procurement civilization. After all, Ariba’s, Commerce One’s, Ketera’s, Coupa’s, PeopleSoft’s and Oracle’s e-procurement solutions were born here. And e-procurement will be pivotal to my assessment of Oracle. My conversations this week affirm that the e-procurement applications are the anchor of both PeopleSoft’s and Oracle’s procurements suites.
My meetings have also reminded me, however, that e-procurement is still a difficult, mine-laden field on which to trod. Organizations continue to struggle, for example, with how to effectively conduct user training, how ot get end users to receive in their orders and how to live with customizations. Others newer to the game ponder whether to take a chance on newer, simpler e-procurement solutions such as Coupa, which founder Dave Stephens described to me this week as “e-procurement for beer drinkers.” In my very recent, brand new hype cycle for procurement technologies (G00159667- requires a Gartner subscription to view) – I’ve shared our best practice advise to Gartner’s treat e-procurement as a compliance tool, which means you must have something in place up front to comply to! I’m really looking forward to diving into this topic over the next several months, in much greater depth.
I’d love additional input on the subject of e-procurement – please consider leaving a comment. Do you agree that e-procurement remains one of the more difficult applications to successfully leverage? Why or why not?