For a minute, think about France, Spain or Germany vs. United States of America. Individually, any European country is no match for the USA, when it comes to trade negotiations. But jointly they are almost an equal, if not a stronger player. Apply the same analogy to the hub alliance, which is currently made up of 5 companies, these being: Causeway Technologies’ Tradex (UK), Burns e-Commerce (UK), Asite (UK), CertiPost (Belgium) and Liaison Technologies (USA). Two other established European players are making positive enquiries to join the alliance. Everyone agrees that the alliance is a positive move, perhaps except for OB10 and Ariba.
Both companies see themselves at a different league to other companies I mentioned above. Why? Because they have more companies in their own supplier networks, perhaps than the others combined. This might not strictly be true as I have not carried out an analysis. So until hub alliance can compete on an equal footing, OB10 and Ariba will continue to operate independently.
In my opinion, the alliance will need at least 10 members to make an impact. It will need a marketing budget, dedicated person or two and run as a separate entity with a clear vision and value proposition. The alliance also has a unique opportunity to get attention at ExPP Summit taking place in September in London, think about it, all five companies presented under single banner of THE HUB ALLIANCE.