Undercurrent of Grumbling Pervading EDI VAN sector – root cause is a total lack of stewardship.

It’s my job to keep an eye on the B2B networked services sector; I keep my ear to the ground, and I’m always available for colleagues to call and sound out issues. I’m not a psychic, I don’t relish prognosticating (ok, I do enjoy prognosticating). and I didn’t anticipate the OpenText deal, even after EasyLink was bagged. I didn’t think there was enough value in GXS, even for a notoriously sharp-penciled OpenText.  However, the consensus from those enmeshed in this B2B services market, is that they (and their clients) are ready for a change.

I’m not a career counselor, I’m a sector advocate; I chose to work in the B2B coverage sandbox (maybe it chose me). I am predisposed to call out trends, baloney, mistakes, blunders, misallocations, misjudgments, and abuses with a capital ‘A’.  It’s all my opinion, and quite a few people vociferously take issue with my POV.

All of the discontent expressed within the EDI communications services sector falls under one rubric – the lack of industry stewardship.

First, let’s get a few things cleared up. I am  pro market, I’m pro PE, ok? These are my public declarations:

  • There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, if the responsible parties take corrective action.
  • I have no bias against Private Equity, I support access to capital;
  • There are many good companies that suffer from non-fatal weaknesses; many of these are prime targets for turnaround.
  • There is nothing wrong with executing a multi-company planned consolidation, in order attain efficiencies of scale.
  • There is nothing evil or improper in harvesting an equity placement via IPO or sale.This could be my own problem of misperception, but I seem to unable to abide the obduracy of our sector’s worst offenders. Call me a network effect moralist.

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