Last week, Jaggaer (formerly SciQuest) announced they were buying BravoSolution. This creates a very large player in the market, but there’s a lot of smoke that has to clear before the real implications of this deal become apparent.
Not just for the companies themselves, but their customers and prospects.
These days, it seems like everybody is fantasizing about buying their way into having a fully-integrated seamless, easy-to-use multi-tenant SaaS platform with a unified database. Even Coupa is acquiring companies in an effort to cobble together what Determine already has in place. Clearly, with so many totally disparate systems to integrate, Jaggaer/Bravo could be the farthest behind. As a customer, you suddenly have six or eight systems to figure out. Even Spend Matters is wondering what’s up!
There has to be a method to any merger.
I feel very strongly that this acquisition is yet another validation of the strategic model we’ve been executing at Determine over the last few years. When Determine was created through the combination of Selectica, Iasta and b-pack, we collated the domain expertise necessary to build a true technology platform. It was a deliberate strategy based on market and customer need. Three years ago we could see that end-to-end source-to-pay built on a single cloud platform using a single code stack is what companies of all sizes needed to become and stay more agile and competitive. No one else had done this.
That is, delivering cloud platform with fully-integrated modular solutions that provide a seamless experience through dynamic workflow and integrated single database. The difference is, our acquisition methodology was predicated on a precise, step-by-step approach of build, test, verify, and only then bring in the next piece. You can’t design a car while you’re building or driving it.
In other words, the Determine Cloud Platform was created as a customer-driven solution from the start, not a technology land-grab with no clear post-merger focus.
Change is inevitable, but it’s NEVER easy.
Market consolidation is not new in our industry, but it seems like companies want to be big at all cost, to go after the biggest customers. BravoSolution will likely soon disappear into the Enterprise Market; Ariba is now focused on fighting for mega-million-dollar deals; Coupa has been reaching for more big deals in an attempt to scale up and meet Wall Street expectations.
In the age of “buy it, don’t build it”, ambitious players do a lot of continuous prowling around for just the right companies to complete their technology portfolios. Just six months ago Jaggaer also bought Pool4Tool to gain Direct P2P capability and try and up their competitive positioning. Now with the addition of BravoSolution, Jaggaer has to contend with integrating a growing myriad of disparate platforms they must integrate to be competitive.
As a clear authority on the industry, Spend Matters has been straightforward in their assessment of Jaggaer’s struggle to integrate previous acquisitions — Pool4Tool, CombineNet, Spend Radar, Upside Software, compounded by BravoSolution acquiring Puridium. In fact, according to Spend Matters’ initial report on the merger, “These are two big suites, and each suite was formed from acquisitions that are not 100% integrated yet (individually) to a common code base and data model.”
The Harvard Business Review describes “postmerger integration” as typically a period of tension, uncertainty, and even chaos. While they were specifically referring to internal issues, the same can easily be applied to what customers might experience.
Company transitions are a great time to consider customer transitions.
While market deals play themselves out, a hole is opening up in the choice of procure-to-pay, supplier management and contract management vendors for customers of all sizes. In their recommendations to current Jaggaer / BravoSolution customers, Spend Matters recommends building a short list of alternate providers. This is to ostensibly to gain leverage for negotiating a renewal or expansion, but maybe also to educate themselves on the possibilities. We encourage that. So, if you find yourself in the position of wanting to learn more, please know that Determine is right here, innovating technology, fine tuning our proven strategy, and consistently bringing new offerings to our customers.
To companies who are using this period of uncertainty to explore their options, we invite you to consider: Determine is ideally suited to serve the mid-market and above; we offer a true, multi-tenant cloud platform that you can leverage in an agile, modular approach; and you will immediately benefit from deep vertical industry expertise that provides day-one best practice processes and capabilities. As retail impresario and businessman Sy Syms would say, “An educated consumer is our best customer.”
If you’re ready to educate yourself on just how well an end-to-end, source-to-pay cloud platform is supposed to work, please contact us to schedule a personalized demonstration of the Determine Cloud Platform.