Monday, July 1, 2013

I deem it important to revisit the 2005 "Rearden Commerce Model"

Because it's summer, and because I am approaching the tenth anniversary of my illustrious blogging career, I'm going to spend some time looking back at business topics I've written about over the years. For today's post, I'm revisiting a September 9, 2005 post in the Ontario Technoblog about the Rearden Commerce Model.

I didn't really analyze the model - I pretty much quoted from the company website. (That's What Bloggers Do.) This ends up serving as a historical record, because those pages are long gone. For example, I quoted from the Rearden Commerce Model Solutions Overview:

Simplify Procurement. Enforce Policies. Drive Savings.

Scheduling and purchasing services represents an interruption in an employee’s busy day. All too often, with manual or even first-generation service procurement technologies, researching and arranging services consume an inordinate amount of time. But with the Rearden Commerce solution, complex transactions can be accomplished without disrupting work schedules. Pervasively accessible, intuitive applications that run on top of the Rearden Commerce Platform—such as Rearden EBS and others in development—are the gateway to a world of services and providers....

End users simply schedule and purchase services from any web browser. Procurement professionals provision services in real-time, analyze consolidated spend data from a single Services Console. In fact, the Rearden Commerce Platform and applications benefit everyone in the organization...

The idea of using a web browser to access an enterprise application wasn't exactly novel in 2005, but it wasn't quite (using a Rearden Commerce word) "pervasive" yet.

Needless to say, the discussion had to include a lot of techno-babble.

Platform Components — From the Infrastructure to APIs to Toolkits

An On-Demand infrastructure comprises the hardware and software required to build scalable, high performing, configurable, extensible platform services. The standards-based infrastructure manages the complexities of dealing with scalability, caching, transaction management, asynchronous communication, monitoring, guaranteed delivery, and other challenges.

So what's happened in the last eight years? If you go to the Rearden Commerce website today, it's impossible to find any mention of a "Rearden Commerce Model." Rearden Commerce has re-branded itself, offering a whole new set of applications called "Deem." The closest thing to the old Rearden Commerce Model appears to be deem@work:

It is essential for businesses to manage their cash flow and expenses. Deem@Work is a suite of advanced spend and expense management applications that uses the latest Cloud and Web Services technology to materially lower costs and increase margins. Deem@Work gives business owners and employees discounted prices on everyday necessities, spending analytics, timesaving automation, and the hyper-productive Deem experience.

And all of this is powered by a platform - but now it's the Deem Platform.

Deem is a robust, extensible platform that supports multiple interoperable applications to facilitate a thriving ecosystem of buyers, sellers, and additional partnered development. The Deem platform architecture is strategically layered from data center infrastructure up to the web and mobile applications tier with a service view at each layer for gained business intelligence. This framework allows partners to easily utilize extensive existing development, integrate once to leverage numerous established capabilities, and ultimately avoid massive costs of building their own solutions from scratch.

However, if I may misuse a technical term, the company has apparently purposely pursued a bidirectional divergent strategic anti-focus. The company is apparently still called Rearden Commerce - all of the quotes above are from the Rearden Commerce website - but the company also has a Deem website with non-identical information. And forget about making sense of their press releases, which alternate mentions of "Deem" and "Rearden Commerce" at whim:

Deem™ (formerly Rearden Commerce) today announced a partnership with Microsoft Corp. where Deem will provide local deals and offers to Microsoft for distribution across their online and mobile surfaces including,, MSN, Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps....

About Deem

Deem™ (formerly Rearden Commerce) is the largest and most diverse syndicated commerce network that enables the syndication of highly relevant transactional commerce experiences across any online or mobile surface within consumer and business markets....

Rearden Commerce is headquartered in San Francisco, California....

© 1999–2013 Rearden Commerce, Inc. All rights reserved.
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