Ariba and Commerce One have each enhanced their buyer-wide products with
analytic capabilities. Commerce One and Sagent Technology, Inc. have announced
the immediate availability of the BuySite Business Intelligence Kit.
This add-on to Commerce One's BuySite provides corporate buyers with information
about key metrics that define the corporate spending behavior, including
enterprise-spending habits for individual commodities and suppliers and
on-contract vs. off-contract spending.
Inc. and Informatica Corp. have announced Informatica CommerceAnalytics
(ICA) for Ariba. Available to all customers of the Ariba Buyer product,
the ICA similarly extracts information from the Ariba system to feed an
analytic application that can be accessed by a variety of decision makers
across the enterprise.
It is a measure of how youthful this industry is that the leaders are
just now getting around to providing a robust set of metrics and analytical
tools with their enterprise applications. It's a sure bet that similar
capabilities will soon be available from most of the first and second
tier providers of e-purchasing systems.
analytics become a significant feature in this market, the sky's the limit
for additional applications. We'll be very surprised if similar products
are not announced before too long for market operators and suppliers.
A bit further down the line we'd also expect to see predictive tools added
to purchasing applications. The data-mining experts can probably predict
when an employee is about to increase her rate of rogue purchases, or
detect when a commodity is about to be purchased in large enough volume
to warrant renegotiating the volume discount. Undoubtedly such CRM analysis
will appear before the end of the year in a purchasing application near
Commerce One BuySite users and Ariba Buyer users will certainly be interested
in acquiring the appropriate package. For others who are interested in
making e-purchasing acquisitions this announcement raises the bar for
all products, but we expect others to follow suit with announcements in
fairly short order. It's also worth noting that if another application
that rates much higher in your evaluation cannot commit to a similar feature,
you may be able to get similar analytic capabilities from a third party
package at the cost of more integration on your own part.