“e pluribus unum”


While I’m certainly not one for unbridled patriotism, I’ve always had a soft spot for the motto “e pluribus unum.” It could be that it takes me back to my days of high school Latin but that does not fully account for the sentimental impact of the words.

The translation, like most from Latin, allows for a bit of nuanced interpretation. The range of translations typically include “One out of many” or “One from many,” and the one favored in the States, “Out of many, one.”

This motto was originally in reference to the unification of states into a single country. Over time it has come to also epitomize the coming together of many “peoples.” The latter association has become a powerful, enabling force in the ongoing experiment that is the USA; and, from my perspective, a strong reminder of the struggles and foresight of the U.S. Founding Fathers.

Enough of the sentimentality and history lesson and onto the “so what?” The events of the past couple of months in my business life, culminating in the ringing of the opening bell at the NASDAQ for the newly named Determine, have given a new resonance to “e pluribus unum”. Determine is the unification of three organizations: Selectica, Iasta and b-pack. Unlike most M&A scenarios, there was no dominant organizational force in the unification. Due to the relative size and established presence of each organization, no one culture came to dominate the process, the leadership team or the going forward values. Instead, the resulting organization is truly a combination of common goals and leadership. We are quite proud of how this was accomplished and hope the market and our customers feel the difference in our renewed energy and global focus.

Many of the outcomes of the unification fall into soft, difficult-to-measure categories such as culture, brand, vision, etc.; but there are also tangible aspects of the process. Chief among the tangible outcomes is our go-forward technology, now named the Determine platform. We at Determine are  excited about this platform.

The integration of b-pack into the Selectica / Iasta fold was initiated with the goal of extending our leading enterprise contracting, sourcing and supplier management capabilities with the addition of a robust procure-to-pay solution. Through the course of our discussions with b-pack, we came to understand that not only did b-pack have industry-leading P2P capabilities, it possessed a technology platform poised for the future. This made the decision to move forward with b-pack an easy one.

So what does it mean to have a platform poised for the future? It means that the technology is built for the next generation of modern inter-operable enterprise solutions. It means rapid development of new capabilities that can be employed and configured by users, requiring no IT resources. It means being able to support the nuances of each of our customers via configuration built atop a cloud-based, process management technology.

Determine is migrating all of its combined capabilities onto this platform and will be launching this solution to the market in weeks. With this launch, Determine will have market leading capabilities across all of its core solutions. And as we continue this migration and look to the next versions of this platform, we consider the migration process itself to be a competitive differentiator. Why?

  • Delivering capabilities on the new platform is much more efficient when building on a modern architecture and migrating tried and true capabilities that have been vetted over a decade plus of use and user feedback. These are not version 1 features that are being developed and deployed for the first time!
  • Features are not being simply moved. Rather, as part of the migration process, our product management, UI and development teams are revisiting and refining usage scenarios to optimize the user experience.
  • All of the capabilities inherit the latest and greatest look and feel as well as the other extras that come with the core of the new platform, including collaboration and big data analytics.

In short, we didn’t just consolidate the three companies; we are a new company formed with the best from each. Please reach out if you’d like to learn more.

* Learn about the the value of an enterprise approach to strategic sourcing and contract management in this newsletter featuring Gartner Research.

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