The consumerisation of enterprise (e-sourcing) software

Hand on heart, what would you say are the most popular e-sourcing technologies amongst buyers? How about:

  • Outlook
  • Google
  • Excel

Sorry Ariba, sorry Emptoris, sorry Procuri, sorry Iasta.

This pattern extends far further than just the world of procurement.

Once I, like many others, used to assume that dragging users by their ears until they saw the light of a new enterprise system was just part of the normal process of deploying a new enterprise software system. They used to call it change management.

But again, like many others, I have been blown away by how fast adoption can kick in for software that is genuinely good and flexible enough that people want to use it.

Imagine enterprise software that didn’t need change management. Imagine users demanding software. Like they do with MS Office, email, Google Maps, etc. Imagine software that doesn’t add new features for the sake of it release after release, but just builds one or two pieces that work well and which people can understand fast.

Now look at Huddle, or Coupa, or 37Signals. These guys are onto something.

Coupa Geek Out Moment

Since my last post on Coupa I’ve checked the open source version of their software and am mightily impressed.

On the functionality side of things it seems to do 80% of what Ariba used to do when I was familiar with that application (admittedly, some years ago now). And the 80% it does is the important 80%.

And on the technology side of things I am blown away now by Ruby on Rails and Amazon EC2. Both are tremendous technologies to use – I can’t remember the last time I found a programming language (Ruby)/system environment (EC2) so exciting.

Time for a sit down I think before I get too carried away. I suspect Coupa will crop up in a few more upcoming postings here.