The Bandwagon Effect or why Spend Matters coverage of Coupa speaks to the growing creditability gap of “traditional” industry pundits by Jon Hansen

Posted on October 3, 2013


Back on September 18th, 2008 in a post titled “Moving Procurement Practice Beyond Adjunct Complexity” I gave a review of the Coupa solution.  I outlined in detail why I believed that the company would become a major player in the then not too distant future.  Sharing the news of my belief in the company’s inevitable rise to prominence even extended beyond the electronic pages of this blog to include the virtual airwaves of my show on Blog Talk Radio – remember the June 2009 segment Emerging Giants: The New Titans of the SaaS World.  Even industry players such as SAP tuned in to hear that one.

In short, it was clearly evident to me that Coupa and similar discontinuous innovation-type companies were ultimately going to become market changers.  This was something that was desperately needed in an industry that had been struggling to deliver on the promise of eProcurement technologies.

Of course not everyone agreed with me.

This is what makes yesterday’s Spend Matters UK/Europe Post “Coupa Roadshow hits London next week!” most interesting – especially since it came across my desk via the Coupa Forum on LinkedIn.

In trumpeting Coupa’s One Vision road show that is scheduled to hit London on October 10th, Peter Smith extols the virtues of the Coupa offering with “his” assertion that the company has been a major “disruptive” force in the purchase to pay / spend management software world over the last 3 years or so.  He then directs his readers to check out his US colleague Jason Busch’s latest article regarding the release of Coupa’s new sourcing product.

So why is this interesting?

Well it was almost 3 years ago that Jason took offense (in writing I might add) to my assessment that he had missed the mark when he questioned amongst other things, the viability of the Coupa model in his comparison with Ariba.  3 years ago . . . hmmmmmm . . . isn’t that about the same time that Smith suggests that Coupa first became a disruptive force?  Perhaps while offended, Jason was actually listening to what I was saying.

Nothing like picking the winner after the race has been run . . .

Nothing like picking the winner after the race has been run . . .

In the context of my post yesterday (It’s the end of the world as we know it . . . at least for traditional analyst firms and bloggers), what the above stroll down memory lane provides is the verification as to why traditional analysts and bloggers are continuing to lose creditability with a market that is no longer content to simply follow the pay for praise advice of ersatz experts whose objectivity can at times be questionable.

Now if only we could get an answer as to why, in his recent flurry of posts dedicated to the SciQuest acquisition of CombineNet, Jason failed to mention the fact that the vendor just lost major contracts with both Oregon and Colorado.  Perhaps I may be off the mark here but, I kind of think that the market and in particular prospective customers might find this kind of information useful.

Oh well, I guess that no matter how much things change, they stay same, or as my mother used to say . . . a leopard cannot change its spots.


Posted in: Commentary