At IBM’s recent SmarterCommerce conference, the spotlight shone on one of the firm’s latest acquisitions: Emptoris. Emptoris software handles the process spanning the sourcing of supplies to contract compliance. Joel Reed, executive director of product line management at IBM, called the acquisition “a really good match.” He added that Emptoris complements IBM’s collection of products which make commerce easier and more intelligent. IBM’s ‘smarter commerce’ initiative is made up of four components: buy, market, sell and service. Emptoris “fills out the ‘buy’ side of smarter commerce,” said Reed.
Before acquiring Emptoris, IBM had a product which handled the process of executing and settling contracts, Reed explained. However, it did not have a product like Emptoris, which helps companies find suppliers, analyze how much they are spending on contracts and determine whether the contractor is complying with the business’ policies and the law.
IBM’s acquisition of Emptoris also benefitted the procurement software developer. Reed remarked that IBM’s execute-to-settle capabilities mean that it can add supplier information to Emptoris to help companies better track compliance to contracts. IBM also had a program which helped businesses manage their purchase orders for transportation providers, and that capability is now available in Emptoris.
Emptoris’ recent release of version 9.5 of its procurement management software also bears the hallmark of IBM technology. Reed explained that in previous versions of Emptoris, a user needed to enter supplier information into each module of the program, such as spending analysis, sourcing and contract management. Thanks to IBM technology, users now enter supplier details into what Reed called “a virtual supply master,” which represents the contractor’s information across all modules. Reed commented that the virtual supply master saves users time they otherwise would spend entering the same data over and over again. One user interface controls which employees can edit entries in the virtual supply master. IBM also integrated its business analytics software Cognos into Emptoris. Within Emptoris, Cognos analyzes whether or not choosing a particular supplier is a sound business decision.