After the drumming and roaring of the acquisition announcement I haven’t seen or heard anything significant so far. True is that the companies are now working out the hard task of integrating cultures and objectives. However something more substantial should
be made clear by now. While waiting for things to happen I want to share a few thoughts on the matter.
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 (but for how long since they are acquiring a bank license?), 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 (again, for how long?) 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 that tungsten will make part of its portfolio 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.