Did Periscope (and the NIGP) sell Parthenon a white elephant? by Jon Hansen

Posted on July 7, 2015


“I am just spitballing here but . . . Hawaii as well as other governments have or are moving away from the NIGP Code. Others have said that it would not be that difficult to switch taxonomies either . . . is the reason why Periscope made the deal with Parthenon and then merged with BidSync, due to the fact that they saw this coming? Specifically, that the license fees had hit or reached the breaking point, and as such was no longer considered to be worth it. I mean, look at the cost of the other taxonomies such as NAICS and the UNSPSC.

If this is the case, and after so many years, Periscope (and the NIGP) had to cash in on the Code stewardship opportunity . . . before it was too late.  The question is, was Parthenon unwittingly stuck with a white elephant?”

Sometimes a thought crosses your mind that is difficult if not impossible, to ignore.

Similar to the “inspiration” behind my first post on what has now become the #CodeGate scandal, the underlying question that keeps popping up is why now?

Why now, after having the stewardship of the NIGP Code for so many years, did Periscope seek Parthenon to spearhead a control recapitalization and merger with BidSync. Note again, the references to control and merger.

For as many answers as I have uncovered through the investigative process, the why now question regarding the above has been the subject of much consideration.

Yes, I am sure that Parthenon saw a tremendous opportunity to gain a dominant hold on the public sector market through the Periscope – NIGP connection. But why did it take Periscope so long to attempt to seek a Parthenon? Was it a deal to fuel growth or a salvage operation?

Think about it for a moment.

What if there is a gradual but steady exodus from the NIGP Code?  Does anyone remember CP/M?

What if, given the pricing models of the other taxonomies, the licensing fees for the NIGP Code have to be dramatically reduced? Especially when you consider the fact that the other taxonomies are more prevalent within the supplier community.

Of course at this point, and without having access to the agreement between Periscope and the NIGP, it is difficult to truly ascertain what the licensing cash flow actually represents to each stakeholder.

All this being said, at the end of the day perhaps the only question that really matters, is the difference in Periscope’s value with and without the Code? Or to put it another way, and setting aside questions regarding licensing fees, would Parthenon have been as interested in Periscope if the company did not have the stewardship of the Code or, did not have the install base?

Cracker Jack2

If Parthenon hasn’t already thought of these questions they should, because as it now stands, all they have is a stake in a remarkably average eProcurement solution provider.

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