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James Governor # 1 – Learning from a Pro


I have been looking for an opportunity to use these three pictures I took of James when we both attended SAP Sapphire 07 in Vienna in May 07. James is a cool chap well respected in the software industry for his no-nonsense vendor analysis. So, why am I talking about James now?

I am in the process of re-launching ebdex, capturing everything I am doing and planning to do over the next couple of years with the exception of edocr (and other startups I might incorporate), which is clearly a separate business and legal entity. I plan to model ebdex on RedMonk and Paystream Advisors (as I said before).

RedMonk (I only know James) appeals to me due to number of reasons:

  • They pride themselves on openness and transparency
  • Has a simple model – 3 packages: Supporters, Sponsors and Patrons
  • Controversial: not scared to say how it is

Now, I must admit, I have not followed their activities that closely yet, a situation I clearly need to rectify. James also referred me to his series on “how to become an analyst”. Here are the links:

Am I an analyst? I think so. Am I a great analyst? Perhaps not! Am I going to give it a shot? You betcha!

I got interested in financial analysis of companies when I started my Executive MBA programme at Manchester Business School in Autumn 2002. As part of the MBA, I have done my fair share of analysis of companies both from a strategic as well as a tactical perspective, and always wanted to do it for real some day. ah! then I started to blog, which was in itself a type of analysis, but very much unstructured.

So, how am I developing my thought process with respect to new ebdex? The company will offer services in three areas:

  1. Corporate Advisory
  2. Vendor Advisory (incorporating vendor analysis)
  3. Event Management

Vendor analysis could be paid or unpaid. Paid will ensure a programme of activities with a particular vendor with engaging discussions – a more structured approach, giving accuracy to content. Unpaid, means lot of interpretations, which in some cases, could be damaging to the analysed vendor. There is no way to avoid this, if the vendor analysed does not want to engage in a conversation. In any event, the content (analysis) will be independent.

Vendor advisory on the other hand will be completely different, this could be reviewing their existing strategy, as was the case with Causeway’s Tradex, or anything else, e.g. a US vendor venturing into Europe (been talking to one), or an American predator (he was a nice guy) looking for acquisitions in Europe (ah! that would be telling). Simply, delivering what vendor clients require.

The core competencies, for all three service areas will be on:

  1. P2P – Purchase to Payment lifecycle
  2. S2C – Supply to cash lifecycle
  3. SCF – Supply chain finance

Unfortunately, there is another area that does not quite fit with any of the above, i.e. technology startups and web 2.0 consultancy. Need to find a away to connect them with above.

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