Category Archives: Saas / Cloud

Saas / Cloud

The Legend of Sourcing Hollow: The Headless CPO

The Headless Horsemen is one of the most famous paranormal figures from American literature. In celebration of Halloween today, I’ve decided to put a sourcing spin on this folk tale. Enjoy! One evening, a buyer was working late in the office of Sourcing Hollow. The air was cold and crisp. “The heater is probably going out again,” The Buyer said as he shivered and reached for his sweater. The Buyer was frantically flipping and searching through spreadsheets, supplier emails, and … More

Open Letter from IASTA on SAP/Ariba & Procurement Industry Changes

 Dear Procurement Colleagues, As many of you are aware, the Procurement applications industry experienced a tectonic shift last week on May 22, 2012 when SAP agreed to acquire Ariba. On behalf of IASTA, I congratulate Ariba and its shareholders on their well-earned, well-deserved success. Now I want to take a moment to address what I believe the acquisition means for you and the broader marketplace. While not entirely unexpected, the acquisition has ushered in extreme uncertainty within the sourcing practitioner … More

10 Ways to Drive Procurement Influence Using Advanced Technology: Part 2

In Part 1, I covered Spend Matter’s first idea to enhance procurement’s value to the business. Click here to read Part 1. The second idea to deliver new value to the business is to connect sourcing activity to contracts- implement savings faster and manage compliance. “Contact management is one of these things in the past five years that’s hung outside of procurement,” Busch said. “But we are seeing a newfound focus to use contract management to drive implemented savings.” Procurement … More

The Trouble with Visibility

The quest for greater visibility drives procurement teams to implement new technologies and revamp existing processes. We look for spend visibility, supply base visibility, and visibility into the inventory planning process. Beyond visibility for its own sake, there are a number of initiatives procurement can’t start without having more information. We can’t plan the waves of a sourcing opportunity assessment or define governance guidelines for setting spend authorization limits.  Even once we have gotten visibility into a company’s spend activity, … More

Upcoming Webcast: 10 Ways to Drive Procurement Value Using Advanced Technology

Procurement professionals like you have indicated two main roadblocks hindering them from becoming a best in class procurement organization include: 41% a lack of culture that accepts procurement as strategic 38% a lack of technology to automate the strategic sourcing process Join us for a Webcast on  May 2 at 11 AM EST, “10 Ways to Drive Procurement Influence Using Advanced Technology.” Jason Busch from Spend Matters and Joanna Martinez from Cushman & Wakefield will discuss tips on how you can … More

Be “Sourcing Minded” With Your Spend Analysis Approach

Andrew Bartolini emphasized the importance of building and maintaining a sourcing pipeline in his recent blog post titled The State of Spend Analysis in 2012. We often hear our prospective clients and clients mention building a sourcing pipeline as a strategic objective. Bartolini suggests that a “critical factor” in a healthy sourcing pipeline is having spend visibility. I could not agree more. Often, you are a step behind being “sourcing ready” if you don’t know what you are buying, from … More

Cloud and the Global Sourcing Market: Results from the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum

 When I travel, I like to get out and see the city I’m visiting — especially when the city has more than 20 million people in it. On my most recent trip to Mumbai for the 20th successive NASSCOM India Leadership Forum, I decided to use an open morning to take a city tour. This was no ordinary tour however; it’s known as “Mumbai Local,” and the key selling point is that you get to experience Mumbai like someone who … More

Computing in the Corporate Environment: Is Your Purchasing Team Prepared?

It is very rare that I walk into a meeting with a team of executives and one of them doesn’t have an IPad or some sort of Tablet computer. Apple and others have provided the world with some of the most amazing personal devices. It is only natural that more and more people bring those devices to work and using them for business purposes. A recent article by Steve Hall from Procurement Leaders provides some great insights into the every … More

Are You the Customer or the Product? (Part 2)

In Part 1, I covered the model and value of free tools. Click here to read Part 1. In Part 2, I will cover another important component of free tools, support. Another hard truth about free eSourcing tools is that many of them do not come with much support. Perhaps you get some online manuals or a video tutorial, but don’t expect live, experienced user support to help guide you during critical events. The onset of an eSourcing program is … More

Cloud Security: Peeling the Onion

Discussions around cloud security tend to be framed in terms of lonely ships sailing into uncharted waters: “You don’t know what you’re getting into,” we’re routinely warned. Actually, we do. The fact is, the fundamental security challenges confronting a company seeking to source IT infrastructure services in the cloud are essentially the same as those faced in traditional outsourcing.  Various potential risks – data center vulnerability, network intrusion, unauthorized system access, data privacy, natural disasters, etc. – must be assessed … More

Being Clear on the Virtual Private Cloud

The National Institute of Standards and Technology defines a hybrid cloud as a “composition of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability.” That definition raises a key question: what does “bound together” mean? The unsatisfying answer: “It depends.” An increasingly popular form of hybrid cloud, commonly called a “virtual private” cloud, has certain infrastructure elements, such as servers and storage, … More

Iasta COO to Speak at 2011 Finance Transformation Conference Next Week

The next generation of strategic sourcing solutions has enhanced greatly over the past few years, allowing purchasing teams to become more strategic within their company. By following best practices to drive user adoption of these tools, these teams are quickly gaining traction and increasing their sourcing credibility. Jason Treida, Chief Operating Officer of Iasta, will participate on a panel discussion about this topic at the 2011 Finance Transformation Conference in Dallas, Texas on September 22. The panel is titled, “Expanding … More

Cloud-Washed Contracts: You Could Be at Risk

As my colleague Bobby Neil and I wrote earlier this year, if you’re looking to buy Software as a Service (SaaS), it takes diligence. It’s important to understand whether you’re buying a true SaaS solution or simply a repackaged, “on-demand” version of the software. The same can be said for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). A true IaaS service can, at times, be difficult to discern from a more traditional managed service. Unfortunately, many vendors continue to market and sell … More

Thinking About the Cloud? Don’t Forget These Financial Considerations

Much is made of the importance of Cloud Computing, the endless options for what can be sourced to the Cloud, and the vast dollars that can be saved by moving services to the Cloud. But very little is said about what consideration should be given to specific financial structures and terms of a Cloud-based services agreement.  Here are the TPI Top 5 financial considerations not to be overlooked when making Cloud-related decisions: 1.  Current contractual agreements should include commercial terms … More

Which Came First, The Chicken or The Egg… The Heart of Procurement

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? From Wikipedia, “To ancient philosophers, the question about the first chicken or egg also evoked the questions of how life and the universe in general began.  Cultural references to the chicken and egg intend to point out the futility of identifying the first case of a circular cause and consequence.” For me, this question is so procurement. You might think the last thing I would consider when I am talking to my … More