Emptoris Empower kicks off this week in Boston. I’ll be on a flight to my old stomping grounds later today (I lived and worked in the city during my first job out of college/graduate school). Regarding the event itself, I’ve got quite a lot on my mind, much of which I’m looking forward to probing into and investigating. Even though P.J. Jakovljevic recently penned a comprehensive piece on Emptoris’ history and opportunities (you can also read our relatively recent Emptoris analysis here and here), I still think there are a lot of questions that remained unanswered when it comes to understanding Emptoris’ current and potential role in the broader sourcing and procurement market. Without any further delay, here are seven questions/subjects on my mind that I’m curious to learn more about:
- Emptoris has spent a good deal of time in the past eighteen months getting closer to existing customers, building out its advisory group, etc. I’m curious whether or not this trend towards customer intimacy will continue or whether we’ll see a newfound focus on engineering and production innovation (going back to the company’s roots) — or both.
- New solution innovation specific to the sourcing area — where Emptoris excelled in the past — has tapered off in recent years relative to upstarts such as CoExprise and Pool4Tool. Granted, Emptoris has improved its self-service optimization capability to a level that positions it above broader suite rivals, but not quite at the level of best-of-breed optimization specialists like CombineNet and Trade Extensions. I want to see what is new and/or in the planning phases in the sourcing area.
- Partnership and channel activity — much of Emptoris’ customer success in recent years has owed to strong channel relationships. In a world where traditional channels (e.g., SIs, management consultants) still matter yet procurement BPO is picking up steam, it will be interesting to note how Emptoris’ channel approaches are evolving.
- Making up its mind — SaaS, installed or both. Emptoris has claimed strong revenue growth in recent quarters, significantly higher than rival Ariba and just about everyone else in the market…