$20 Million Ariba Fiasco Gains Crossover Appeal and Market Attention

Posted on September 3, 2010


As the writer/editor for six blogs and counting, there are at times those stories that seem to have a powerful “crossover” appeal in that regardless of a blog’s primary or main topical focus they generate considerable download activity.

For example, posts regarding security in the cloud or cyber war and those on leadership and employment law always seem to garner reader interest on a somewhat universal basis.

That said I must admit that I was a little surprised to see that the Ariba article, and in fact the general market response, to the breaking news that the Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace or “OECM” had decided to drop the vendor and eat $20 million in the process, stimulate such a broad reaction.

While there was no surprise that being the first blog (or publication of any kind for that matter), to report the “Ariba Fiasco” would  generate considerable interest with Procurement Insights readers, the fact that the PI Window on Business Blog’s readers had made it one of the top 3 stories of the day did catch me a bit off guard.

After all, the PI Window on Business Blog had more than 35,000 visits/reads in the month of August alone – more than double the 16,000 total for July.

Add into the mix the expected market reaction, which included a call from institutional research, trading and investment banking firm Craig-Hallum who in an e-mail wrote that we “Would love to get your thoughts around the article you posted this morning about OECM’s trouble implementing Ariba,” and you begin to realize that the siloed sensibilities that were once the hallmark of the modern enterprise are beginning to come down in a flurry of shared or mutual interest.

In short, it is becoming increasingly clear that regardless of what we do in our particular job function, we have both a desire and need to know about the broader topics that impact our bigger world.

Ironically, it is the absence of this expanded view that is at the heart of the OECM and similar-type failures.  The recognition of this fact ultimately represents the means by which we will collectively and successfully address the problem on a go forward basis.

Posted in: Commentary