Is this why POOL4TOOL CCO approached me about Jaggaer over a month ago?

Posted on June 2, 2017


A little more than a month ago, I was talking and InMessaging with Roger Blumberg who is the Chief Commercial Officer at POOL4TOOL.

He asked me an interesting question; would I be willing to speak with Jaggaer management which as everyone knows is now leading the former SciQuest organization. The reason he was asking is that he has connections with Jaggaer and he believed that there was an interest on their part to talk to me about the new company. However, he added they are concerned that there may be some bad feelings on my part because of the now-settled lawsuit.

It seemed like a strange question at the time, but I said, of course, I would be willing to talk with them, and that I held no ill will towards them because of the lawsuit. I even went on to tell him that I don’t have any ill will towards the former company and their management. I was just doing my job as a journalist, which is to seek the truth even if doing so is met with resistance.

Blumberg then indicated that he would talk with Jaggaer execs and let them know that I was approachable. He also said that he would be interested in having me speak at an upcoming POOL4TOOL event in June.

I hadn’t given much thought to that discussion until I received word the other day from sources that Jaggaer was going to acquire POOL4TOOL. A light bulb went off.  So I reached out to some people including Blumberg to see if I could find out more.

The following is an exchange with one of the sources regarding their take on the acquisition:

JWH: So what’s this about Jaggaer acquiring Pool4Tool?

Source: Learned about it yesterday.

Thought immediately about the sciquest story you covered and what happened

Still too early to tell but it is about complementing each other market access / presence (EU/US) and sectors

JWH: It now makes sense why Roger Blumberg was trying to gauge my feelings towards Jaggaer given what happened with SciQuest.

Source: Based on what I know he was instrumental in contacts with akkr (many ex ariba he knows)

JWH: As I told him then, I have no ill will towards Jaggaer or for that matter SciQuest. As a journalist, I was doing my job in covering them, and that whatever I write is based on fact and good investigative journalism. Where the truth leads is where it leads.

In short, at least to me, my coverage isn’t personal, it is my job. I don’t make it personal, and I do not take it personal.

Source: True, but what you covered was troubling for the future is sciquest

JWH: What do you mean?

Source: future of sciquest.

CEO, CFO cashing out…

Changes in leadership

Then their attitude re: your coverage

JWH: What attitude?

Source: Lawsuit…

JWH: Oh. The way I see it, different people are now at the helm and I believe in maintaining objectivity. You can’t get caught up in emotion when you are doing a story. You have to focus on one thing; the truth, and then responsibly and diligently report it.

Source: Re different people. Exactly.

JWH: It would not be fair to Jaggaer, if I were to allow what happened with the old SciQuest to color my view of the new Jaggaer. Nor would it be fair to my readers and listeners. Having more than 25,000 followers of my blog and a healthy number of listeners/downloads per month (for my radio show) is a responsibility that I take very seriously.

Their trust in me is the reason why for example, I found out that Ivalua won the Arizona contract from CGI a week before even Ivalua knew.

Source: I know. Same for me. Considering now as now / new page.

JWH: Absolutely.

Source: At same time I know by experience what is said during m&a may be <> than what happens.

JWH: I don’t understand? What do you mean by different?

Source: Presenting it as “nothing changes”, trying to reassure

Some stuff will change. Branding, org…

JWH: This is why M&A’s can be so challenging, and why I would imagine they – being the new company, wants to create some distance between the old in certain areas.

Source: Hope that the acquisition will bring positive changes – be optimistic but not naive

JWH: It is interesting, but after the end of the lawsuit was reported, I cannot tell you how many people reached out to me referring to SciQuest has the “evil empire.”

I have also been told by some fellow media people that they are reluctant to cover the new company because of what the old did to me.

Source: Sorry, gotta go. Appointment.

JWH: They are in a tough and perhaps unfair position.

Source: Looking forward to see how it unfolds.

JWH: Hopefully they will be given a fair chance to show what they can do.

Take care and talk soon.

Source: Sure! You too!

Since the company settled the lawsuit, I have spoken with members of the industry’s media who indicated that they were reluctant to cover Jaggaer because they were concerned that they might be at risk of being sued.

As highlighted in the above source transcript, my response to them was this is a new company with new management. I think that they should be given the opportunity to soar or not based on their merits and not the actions of the previous management.

In short, a new name and a new start.