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And How the Code Grows

Last week, we read that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto issued an Executive Order to improve the budget controls and transparency of city funds by employing strategies provided by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP).  It’s a great testimony to the caliber of the NIGP Consulting Program as well as other NIGP offerings.  One key strategic product offering by NIGP is the NIGP Commodity/Services Code (Code), which consistently grows and provides real value.

In 2014, the NIGP Code grew in both new subscribers and in the creation of new master items.  This trend has continued throughout 2015.  In February, NIGP members and current NIGP Code License Holders embarked upon a comprehensive review and update of the NIGP Code.  The project consisted of 52 public procurement professionals who analyzed all 9,138 active 5-digit codes.  Their efforts realized the development of over 1100 comments for potential language/description adjustments, removal of outdated codes, movement of codes into different Classes or potential code consolidations.

And, let’s not forget that the NIGP code is updated monthly for the 3- and 5-digit versions, and daily for the 7- and 11-digit versions.  Standard updates like this and comprehensive reviews like the one above are a few of the many reasons the Code continues to grow, fueling public procurement excellence.


Periscope Acquires BidSync to Form Public Procurement Powerhouse

Austin, TX, December 10, 2014 – Periscope Holdings has acquired BidSync, an industry leader in developing cloud-based procurement and bid notification solutions for the public sector. Periscope’s addition of BidSync creates a true powerhouse in public and higher education procurement. The combined company will retain the name Periscope Holdings. The transaction closed on Monday, December 8, 2014.

BidSync is best known for its eSourcing solutions and for having the largest government bid notification system in North America, enabling suppliers and vendors to identify and respond to more bid opportunities, while Periscope has created a strong reputation in eProcurement, along with being the sole custodian of the NIGP Commodity/Services Code and the NIGP Consulting Program. Both companies are pioneers in the industry and have been instrumental in creating the solutions that have transformed public procurement over the last 15 years.

This acquisition was supported by Periscope’s private equity partner, Parthenon Capital Partners. Through Parthenon Capital Partners, the combined company will have access to strong institutional sponsorship and the growth capital necessary to drive further innovation to ensure it continues to offer the industry’s leading eProcurement and bid notification solutions. Parthenon’s investment recognizes Periscope’s strong history of thought leadership, consistent growth and profitability, and commitment to transforming public procurement. In addition, it will support the combined company’s future operational and product development plans and its drive to remain the leaders in purpose-based procurement.

“Our acquisition of BidSync is incredibly exciting and we are thrilled to bring these two public procurement industry leaders together,” said President and CEO of Periscope Holdings, Brian Utley, who will lead the merged company. “We look forward to continuing to deliver on the promise of purpose-based procurement, which has always been Periscope’s value proposition and reason for existence. I am particularly grateful for our partnership with Parthenon Capital Partners, which allowed us to form a new public procurement powerhouse.“

Periscope Holdings will continue to drive innovation for both the vendor and the agency-side of the business, with a long-term strategy to find efficiencies and new products in the combined company’s offerings. The company’s commitment to innovation and thought leadership will only grow, with a firm resolve to provide the market with the most advanced and comprehensive solutions that transform public and higher education procurement and enhance visibility for the vendor community.

“We are enthusiastic about joining the Periscope team,” said Fred Tillman, BidSync CIO and interim CEO, who becomes the combined company’s CIO. “The combination of these two eProcurement pioneers will have tremendous benefits to our customers and the eProcurement industry as a whole. Not only will this transaction bring together the two industry-leading eProcurement products for the public sector and higher education, but it also will enable BidSync and Periscope to drive further innovations that enable better purchase interactions between agencies and vendors.”

Brian Golson, Managing Partner at Parthenon Capital Partners, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with Brian Utley and the Periscope/BidSync executive team to aggressively grow the company. Periscope is poised to continue to build upon its leadership position in the government and education procurement industry.” Zach Sadek, Principal at the firm, remarked, “We are impressed with the Periscope team and their commitment to their mission of eradicating waste and providing value to every dollar spent. We’re looking forward to assisting the company as it continues to innovate and offer the industry’s leading procurement solutions.”

With the completion of the transaction, BidSync employees join the Periscope Holdings team led by Brian Utley. Periscope is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and BidSync will retain its location in American Fork, Utah.

Stephens Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to Periscope Holdings on the transaction, and Piper Jaffray & Co. served as exclusive financial advisor to BidSync. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to Parthenon Capital Partners in connection with the transaction.

ABOUT PERISCOPE HOLDINGS, INC.
Periscope Holdings, Inc. (http://www.periscopeholdings.com), headquartered in Austin, Texas, is the leader in purpose-based procurement. Periscope eradicates waste and maximizes the value of every dollar spent by our public sector and higher education clients with procurement transformation solutions and services.

Periscope offers an eProcurement software suite, BuySpeed™, holds the exclusive license to maintain, enhance, and market the NIGP Commodity/Services Code, and manages the NIGP Consulting Program, which provides a wide range of procurement transformation services, including procurement strategy development, organizational assessments, relevant benchmarking, process reviews, and strategic sourcing services. Our solutions streamline processes, increase efficiency, decrease expenditures, and create transparency, allowing our clients to focus on achieving their purpose.

ABOUT BIDSYNC
BidSync (www.bidsync.com) offers cloud-based, end-to-end e-procurement solutions that help public sector agencies streamline their procurement process, maintain compliance, reduce costs, enable transparency and save time. The comprehensive solutions deliver cross-functionality through the entire procurement process from request to settle. BidSync also delivers bid notification services to 800,000 vendors nationwide. BidSync has 15 years of experience and its award-winning solutions have been relied on by more than 1,000 public sector agencies nationwide.

ABOUT PARTHENON CAPITAL PARTNERS
Parthenon Capital Partners (www.parthenoncapitalpartners.com) is a leading mid-market private equity firm based in Boston and San Francisco. Parthenon utilizes niche industry expertise and a deep execution team to invest in growth companies in service industries. Parthenon seeks to be an active and aligned partner to management, either through recapitalization transactions or by backing new executives. Parthenon has particular expertise in business services, financial and insurance services and healthcare, but seeks any service, technology or delivery business with a strong value proposition and proprietary know-how. Parthenon’s investment team has deep experience in corporate strategy, human capital, capital markets and operations, thereby enabling the firm to pursue complex, multi-faceted value creation opportunities.

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Digital Services Playbook Blog Series Introduction

Today’s blog was written by Ryan Moore, Periscope’s Director of Product Management. It is the first in a series of blog posts about the Digital Services Playbook created by the U.S. Digital Service, a team focused on improving and simplifying the digital experience that people and businesses have with their government.

In 2013 the Federal government launched one of the cornerstone initiatives under President Obama, HealthCare.gov. The ambitious website was plagued with early technical problems, and it quickly became evident that the old-school practices for expensive development projects were not compatible with building highly technical digital systems in the ever evolving information technology landscape. As a result of these early stumbles, the Administration sought out those in the private sector that had the skills and experience to both turnaround HealthCare.gov, and to proactively lead the public sector in the fast paced digital services environment.

This new group of talented innovators formed what is now the U.S. Digital Service, a team with one core mission, to improve and simplify the digital experience that people and businesses have with their government by:

  • Establishing standards to bring the government’s digital services in line with the best private sector services;
  • Identifying common technology patterns that will help us scale services effectively;
  • Collaborating with agencies to identify and address gaps in their capacity to design, develop, deploy and operate excellent citizen-facing services; and
  • Providing accountability to ensure agencies see results.

In an effort to achieve this mission, in August the Administration released the Digital Services Playbook, a guidebook for agencies and developers that lays out 13 best practices that will help deliver more value from the digital products and services we all heavily rely upon today.

13 Plays in the Digital Services Playbook

  • Understand what people need
  • Address the whole experience, from start to finish
  • Make it simple and intuitive
  • Build the service using agile and iterative practices
  • Structure budgets and contracts to support delivery
  • Assign one leader and hold that person accountable
  • Bring in experienced teams
  • Choose a modern technology stack
  • Deploy in a flexible hosting environment
  • Automate testing and deployments
  • Manage security and privacy through reusable processes
  • Use data to drive decisions
  • Default to open

As thought leaders at the intersection between technology and public procurement, Periscope has been an early adopter in the move towards more agile and lean development practices. We were excited to see this acknowledgement that agile development and the government sector not only can be compatible, but are actually the best practice for building digital services that bring the most value for every dollar spent.

Over the next few months, Periscope will be highlighting some of the key plays in the Digital Services Playbook that help drive our day-to-day decision making. We hope to use this opportunity to educate our clients and partners on how these plays can be used to build better eProcurement solutions. We also want to establish a dialogue with other procurement professionals and to hear your feedback on how these plays are working, so we can continue to improve the products and processes you use every day.

Please check back in two weeks for the next blog in this series which will explore how Periscope is using these plays as we work with our clients and partners to eradicate waste and maximize the value of every dollar spent.


What is Driving the Need for Technology Investment in the Public Sector?

The Center for Digital Government recently released the results of its Improving Government Performance Research Survey. One of the questions this study explored is: What is driving the need for technology investment?

Here are the highlights:

  • 74% ~ The need to do more with fewer resources
  • 70% ~ Rising expectations of the public
  • 60% ~ The demand to deliver more services
  • 49% ~ Budget pressures
  • 34% ~ Rising expectations of employees
  • 19% ~ Impending employee retirement

Click to enlarge

As a company that is focused on eradicating waste and maximizing the value of every dollar spent by our public sector clients, we hear these responses often as agencies explore the purchase of a procurement transformation software and services. The professionals at the cities, counties, states, special districts, and universities we talk with are not thinking about how to make incremental improvements to their procurement operations; they are focused on transforming procurement by implementing technology. In many cases, they are driven by all of the factors listed above.

What is the driving force behind technology investment in your organization? What challenges are you facing as you make the case for innovation?

Read more from the Center for Digital Government’s Improving Government Performance Research Report here.


Join Us at NIGP Forum 2014 for NIGP Code: Maximize Your Utilization

The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) will be holding its annual Forum in Philadelphia on August 23-27, 2014. On Monday, August 25th at 10:00AM, Periscope Holdings, the custodian of the NIGP Code, will conduct a session for active NIGP Code customers.

As data is a key in the development of a high performance, purpose-based procurement operation, the future direction and application of the NIGP Code is expanding to meet the demands. This session will provide a roadmap for the strategic direction of the NIGP Code and an opportunity to share new ideas and techniques currently being deployed that can assist in maximizing your organization’s use of the NIGP Code.

Please mark your calendar for this important session and stop by the Periscope Holdings Booth #506 or the NIGP Services Pavilion #501 during the Products Expo. We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia!


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