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IBM, Emptoris Sizing Up Federal Market Opportunity

IBM, Emptoris Sizing Up Federal Market Opportunity - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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IBM, Emptoris Sizing Up Federal Market Opportunity - top government contractors - best government contracting eventIBM announced late last week its intent to acquire Emptoris Inc., which it describes as a cloud and on-premise analytics software provider.

The company indicated that the acquisition is part of its smarter commerce initiative, but after speaking with IBM and Emptoris executives, the implications of this acquisition span more than one initiative. 

Emptoris’ claim to fame is software that streamlines the procurement and supply chain process for supplier and contract management. According to Patrick Quirk, CEO of Emptoris, the company’s sourcing and contract applications have led to contract work with the British government including the treasury and justice ministries. He indicated the company has been successful there.

Quirk indicated that Emptoris tries to streamline the procurement process with its software and apps and “shape sourcing so that technology bids are received first, then go to the commercial and open bids at the same time in order to eliminate favoritism” for certain U.K. customers.

While Emptoris has been eyeing government business in the U.S, Quirk said that the sales team had not focused there before.

“This takes away inhibitors we had,” said Quirk.

John Mesberg, IBM vice president for B2B and commerce solutions, indicated that IBM actually uses Emptoris’ sourcing technology and has used it for the company“™s contracting activity. Mesberg sees the acquisition as an opportunity across all 20 industries the company dabbles in, but “government is high on that list.”

To Mesberg, this acquisition gives IBM “one more arrow in a quiver” and adds to what IBM “can bring to solve municipal issues more effectively.”

In terms of what the future holds for this acquisition, which is subject to approval, Mesberg and Quirk cite healthcare and government as key areas. Emptoris brings with it a healthcare sector contract system that involves setting up healthcare plans and managing those processes. 

Mesberg indicated that there are many contracts in need of updates and that Emptoris product and services, which Quirk says have been instrumental in the U.K., could make an appearance in the U.S. federal market. 

While the acquisition shows promise for IBM’s smarter cities and smarter commerce initiatives, it also shows promise for analytics, which was recently cited as a growth area by Deloitte in federal agencies“™ officials“™ decision-making. 

“Analytics is an enormous area of focus for IBM,” said Mesberg. “We’re building up that area. There’s been a take-up of public sector clients.”

The appeal is that those who put analytics solutions in place see immediate benefits, according to Mesberg. 

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