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I have to say that I am not normally one for getting excited very easily, but with our 2014 User Group only a couple of weeks away, I find I am!

We have been operating from our new office in Oxfordshire’s Milton Park for the last 5 months, and it is now fully operational and feels like it’s ours. Our marketing team has done a fantastic job of branding it up and we are really looking forward to showing it off to those clients who haven’t been to visit us already. Our annual User Groups are traditionally very informative and we have no plans to change a formula that works so well. So we will be continuing in the same vein, delivering some market knowledge sessions and welcoming several of our clients to share case studies; with the added exciting highlight this year of the announcement around AWARD 6 - the very latest offering in SaaS evaluation capability.

One thing that always strikes me is how un-technical the sessions are. With AWARD being a software solution I have been surprised to hear our clients and teams talking about process and approach more than widgets, features and functions. Of course there may be more focus on AWARD this year, with the launch of version 6, but over the past few years Commerce Decisions has seen a real shift in focus from our clients – they no longer worry about whether AWARD will work or not; they now know that it does and they don’t need to concern themselves about it. Rather, they are engaging us more and more to support the strategic set up work (the thinking behind the process) - the two key approaches that we are asked about time and again are Structured Criteria Development (SCD) and Relative Value for Money (RVfM). Peter Marshall, our Professional Services Director, will be sharing some more of his latest thinking at this year’s User Group.

We have always taken a client-led approach to developing both our solutions and our approach to the market. At times this is at the expense of a fast buck but I truly believe that this has been key to the longevity of a business that plays within a real niche in the procurement space. So, as ever, we are looking forward to sharing our latest developments and thought-leadership at User Group this year, as well as taking the opportunity to network, educate, learn, develop and celebrate the successes from across our client base – zero successful legal challenges from losing bidders in over 12 years of supporting clients is worth talking about for a start. Make sure you’ve booked your place – we look forward to seeing you here.


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