It’s been a bit tough to carve out time for the “blog” these past few weeks due to the usual pre-holiday uptick in inquiries and the push to get large 2010 projects wrapped up. I’ve seen a pair of really interesting trends in those many user inquiries I’ve had over these last several busy days. The first is what appears to be a shift from discussing point projects and incremental investments to much more broadly scoped initiatives driven by IT and procurement. These intiatives are taking a wholesale, fresh and strategic look at people, process and tools. I think it may be a sign of economic recovery — organizations with little money to spare need to watch every penny and so they often shy away from big projects. Wholesale reviews mean there is money available.
Speaking of money, the other thing I’m hearing A LOT about is what should organizations be paying for multienterprise integration. Traditional EDI type infrastructure providers often charged by the kilocharacter. Now we see horizontal integration vendors using other metrics such as number of trading partners and number of documents to calculate pricing. Ladies and gentlemen, shift your attention to the applications world and you often find a completely different approach to pricing. Some vendors charge a percentage uplift of PO value to suppliers (i.e. many public sector procurement programs); others embed integration charges in maintenance fees. The resulting “chaos” clearly provides opportunities for vendors to avoid head-to-head comparison with alternative solutions. The downside is that this situation is leading to increasing end-user consternation over what is an appropriate fee to pay.
Now that my presentations for our IT Financial Procurement & Asset Management conference are ready for me to present next week in San Diego, I’ve spent my writing time working on predictions for our annual Gartner Predicts special reports. Looking ahead, I’m speculating on SaaS adoption levels, pricing models for embedded multienterprise integration and on the rate of procurement transformation projects worldwide. Next week I’ll be turning my focus to writing up research notes on best practices in e-sourcing and procurement technology benchmarking.
Soooo Happy Veterans Day — and here’s a special thanks to my nephew Saxon who is bravely serving in the Marines.
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