It is not often that I will write a commentary post in advance of an upcoming interview, however with Deem I am making an exception.
There is a reason for this of course. Outside of an article written over a year ago by Phil Wainewright titled Quietly reinventing B2B commerce, recent coverage has been somewhat pedestrian, being limited by outdated reference points.
Statements such as “Deem Spend is not a new product,” or comparing it to the “rebranding of one of the great names of the past, CommerceOne,” does little to elevate the platform’s true genius, let alone creditability. I mean really, who would consider CommerceOne as being a great name from the past. This is tantamount to suggesting that the Edsel could be a great car today if it were properly re-branded. While we are at it, let’s bring back the Sony Betamax. Just as a side note, if you don’t like these two references, feel free to choose one of your own through the following link; Top 25 Biggest Product Flops of All Time.
In the meantime, my point is quite simple. While Deem’s lineage is long and diverse, based on the Wainewright article “not new” and “re-branded” are not the words that immediately come to my mind. Deem’s solution is not the reworking of an old idea, as much as it is the realization of a long held vision of what might be possible, becoming possible.
“The Deem platform shortcuts the advertising-to-purchase cycle by placing the merchant proposition directly in the user’s workflow. Think of it as in-app purchasing for the real world of your daily routine. In a detailed report published earlier this year, Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard calls the model Syndicated Commerce (PDF)” – Phil Wainewright, Quietly Reinventing B2B Commerce
In talking about Deem’s syndicated commerce platform’s target market, Founder and CEO Patrick Grady indicated that a new mindset might be required. This same sentiment must also be reflected in how the solution is being presented to an up and coming generation of both buyers and sellers. Once again, tie-in references to Ketera and CommerceOne mean little to a new generation of business professionals. Conversely, and for those of us who have been around, they unfortunately conjure up images of unrealized expectations and failure.
Perhaps this is the reason why in my recent interview with him, Dr. Robert Handfield suggested that there is going to be a definite and definitive break separating procurement professionals of the past from today’s procurement professionals.
The same thinking should also apply when talking about the Deem B2B platform.