Mickey North Rizza v. Thomas Kase

Posted on May 3, 2017


Some of the people who have been following the #coupakase story had observed that while Thomas Kase’s move to Coupa isn’t as noteworthy as when Mickey North Rizza jumped to Bravo, they are in agreement that the optics are an issue.

I would agree with this assessment from the standpoint of poor optics. However, for me, the road to that conclusion is much different. I believe that the Kase move is actually more notable because of the make-up of today’s audience.

When I wrote about Mickey North Rizza’s departure to Bravo, it did not generate the level of interest associated with the Kase story. By the way, here is the link to that old article; https://procureinsights.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/why-mickey-north-rizza-cant-go-home-again-or-can-she/

The reason for the broader interest in Kase is that my readership today is predominantly from within the practitioner community. No disrespect intended towards Mickey, but they couldn’t give two hoots about North Rizza. In fact, I am not even sure that most know who she is.

Bravo’s struggles to gain meaningful traction, especially with their Ontario Government beachhead account speaks volumes.

Of course, the optics gate swings both ways; NIGP CodeGate’s Deep Throat reveals troubling conflicts of interest at the “non-profit” association. (Be sure to read the post’s 20 comments, including the one by Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell.)

NIGP Jean Clark Portrait -1-11-2011

Jean Clark (2011) Past NIGP President joined Periscope

Regarding landing (or keeping) business, Arizona’s ousting of Periscope provides proof that the movement from the practitioner to service provider world is not necessarily a slam dunk either. Despite their hiring Jean Clark, the past NIGP president, who retired as Arizona state purchasing director and joined Periscope clearly demonstrates that a perceived “in” does not always produce the expected wins.

This is because unlike years past, it is now the practitioners who are driving the industry as opposed to the analysts and service providers. As a result, service providers would be far better off bringing in the people who are capable of helping them to demonstrate their ability to deliver positive outcomes beyond the technology, without having to deal with the distraction of poor optics.

Do you have an opinion on this post? Please share it in the comment section below.

In the meantime, you can follow this story on Twitter using the hashtag #coupakase


Posted in: Commentary