E-invoicing network OB10 is set to be paired with the UK arm of First International Bank of Israel under plans hatched by a new investment vehicle created specifically to shake up the supply chain finance industry.
Eventually this validates one of the findings I posted on a Finextra blog http://www.finextra.com/Community/FullBlog.aspx?blogid=6148 some time ago.
Tungsten has the right ingredients. But is Tungsten a good cook? Using another metaphor, they have key orchestra players, but is the director as good? I will like to see how Tungsten will blend the various ingredients to build a solid value proposition.
So far they certainly enjoy not being a bank, therefore not being subject to regulatory restrictions and limitations. At least until shadow-banking will not be put under the scrupulous lens of the regulator. This gives them quite some room to operate. As in
any supply chain finance program the issue is not to have a good lineup of technology and products, but to create value to the corporate user. That is something that technology cannot buy.
The fact they are not bankers also gives them additional edge, as a bank-centric strategy has never helped these initiatives to succeed. Just see what happened to JPM/XIGN, and, very recently, to USBancorp/VISA. Banks tend to buy/develop software and then
use it for internal purposes before extending it out to clients. So the resulting solution (i.e, the "platform") is very effective at optimizing bank operations and STP at the expense of the end user who has to duplicate data and re-key information before
enjoying the benefits.
The spend analytics component is indeed intriguing and shows a good vision. Again, only time will show how successful their approach of adding this component to the puzzle will be. In its own, spend analysis is not new. Certainly not for players of the likes
of Ariba or Basware.
So I will carefully watch how Tungsten will make it a competitive differentiator.
to £85k base + CommissionLondon, UK
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