Not that long ago I wrote about Zycus and their proud proclamation that they are independent and free from the reliance on traditional money sources such as VCs and Wall Street.
I have never been a big fan of Wall Street for pretty much the same reasons as most everyone else. If you have seen movies such as Too Big To Fail, you will get my drift.
Let’s face it, and outside of a relatively small group of players that includes analyst firms and exit strategy executives, how many of us in the procurement world really care about a solution provider’s stock price? How many procurement professionals actually own shares in the companies with whom they deal? How many have tuned into a Quarterly Earnings Call?
I would hazard a guess that the number is very, very low.
The fact is, that we are entering a new era in which the plethora of press releases bragging about recent wins as a means of driving up stock prices, is being replaced by a “shut up, and just do it” mindset, in which successful solution providers focus their time and energy on simply getting the job done. Or as one new wave executive so succinctly put it . . . those who do – do, and those who don’t – talk (as in press releases).
Of course Zycus isn’t the only company, with whom I have had the opportunity to talk, regarding this paradigm shift in procurement world sensibility.
Yesterday I spent a good 45 minutes on the phone with Nipendo’s Ed Berger.
Like a Zycus, what is interesting about Nipendo is the fact that they seem to be succeeding in stealth mode. Specifically, and self-sufficiently, they are going about their business in terms of working with major industry players to provide what I once referred to as being the universal operating system for eProcurement solutions.
In short, Nipendo doesn’t care what current cloud-based or otherwise solutions are in place with a client. Like a highly efficient central nervous system that manages solution interchangeability with a minimal need for human intervention, Nipendo delivers a point to many simultaneous capability that establishes a standardized operating platform.
Think of it in terms of a meeting I once had with a VP of Procurement from Duke Energy.
After completing yet another sizable acquisition, the VP lamented the fact that they now had 11 additional legacy systems with which to deal. The question was how to effectively integrate these different solutions into a cohesive “one” without alienating front-line users.
This was back in 2005, a time when bridging the disconnect between competing applications was a painfully costly and time consuming process. Part of the problem of course was the fact that each of these legacy systems cost millions of dollars and were all in various stages of implementation. That’s right, and unlike today’s solutions that can be up and operational within weeks if not days, implementing these bygone monolithic applications took years. No wonder an attempted consolidation of legacy systems was tantamount to abandonment as opposed to advancement.
This is what makes Nipendo’s offering so interesting and yes, even exciting.
A Nipendo client could have Coupa, Ariba and Bob’s Corner Store solutions operating simultaneously within the collective enterprise. Rather then forcing an artificially-induced compression to a single provider, Nipendo’s solution becomes the great melting pot of collective and collaborative data capture and process management that produces a cohesive singlularity.
The technological singularity is a hypothetical event in which artificial general intelligence (constituting, for example, intelligent computers, computer networks, or robots) would be capable of recursive self-improvement (progressively redesigning itself), or of autonomously building ever smarter and more powerful … Wikipedia
Going back to the Wall Street and analyst firm tie-in, you are not likely to read about this in any financial report or for that matter in a chest-pounding, drive up our stock price press release.
The reason is simple . . . with this new and emerging generation of players, the focus is on actually doing something for the industry as a whole, as opposed to making a select few rich.