In his latest "Alert Highlight," (it might as well be called a blog), AMR’s Bruce Richardson muses over the "Google Economy," a subject not suffering from any lack of coverage these days. His final of five points stood out and deserves some attention:
No. 5: Google should buy Rearden Commerce
Why should Google buy it? Today, Rearden sells its product for a modest per-user price. This requires building an expensive salesforce. Google, on the other hand, could eliminate the salesforce, give the software away, and make money from advertising and transaction fees. Rearden’s network includes 130,536 suppliers, including 80,000 hotels, 50,000 restaurants, and 530 airlines.
Rearden Commerce, covered both by Dan Farber and Britton Manasco earlier this year, is a promising company that has put together a services grid for a category they coined, Employee Business Services (EBS), which revolutionizes the way businesses procure services such as travel, small package delivery, conferencing, and so on. As Richardson proposes, if Google decided to roll up the procurement business and leverage its infrastructure to support it as a free service to end-users, this could be a great way to go about doing so.
It is good to see analysts at AMR getting more and more original in their views and sounding more like the RedMonk crew, or Charlene Li at Forrester, for example. Let's see how IDC's new blog, IDC eXchange, fares.
By the way, Richardson also wrote about predatory supply chains, which I covered recently.