Thursday, February 25, 2010

More on Bloomberg & BGov, take 4

This story gets more interesting every day. has a couple interesting posts regarding Bloomberg's foray into the B2G marketplace

"Ex-CQ CEO on Bloomberg BGov Board

The buzz is true and painful. Bob Merry, former CQ CEO, has accepted a position on the board of advisors for Bloomberg's BGov enterprise, FishbowlDC has learned."

This post is from Feb 2, and predates my first post by over 2 weeks. If I had been reading my daily emails from Mediabistro/fishbowl every day, I'd have been on this sooner! I knew Bloomberg was interested in B2G late last fall, but didn't think much of it. With the addition of Bob Merry to the advisory board of BGov, we know there is now some adult supervision. It would be interesting to know who else they have for this board.

"CQ-Roll Call Group Freezing Out Bloomberg -
Relations are getting icy between Bloomberg News and CQ-Roll Call Group.
A source at Bloomberg is saying that the CQ-Roll Call Group has refused to renew Bloomberg's subscriptions to CQ's congressional reporting services because, according to the source, "they now consider us a competitor."

Now this is more interesting, as it indicates more of the breadth and depth that Bloomberg may be interested in pursuing, or at least the paranoia they are causing by entering the market.

The paranoia is legitimate. It is not yet known how broad a net Bloomberg/BGov will cast over the market, so anyone providing government information may have cause for some alarm.

Upside: If Bloomberg makes the market more popular, more companies may be interested in entering the market and investors will may find it a more attractive market segment. Bloomberg would not be the only beneficiary from this.

What is known is that budgets are tight, information sources abound on the web for much of this data (often in raw form, but it is there), and that the true value comes from the added value current information providers bring to the table. The value-add comes from the ability to make sense from the data, make it usable, then useful. This comes from being a proactive student of the market over a long period of time. You have to know what is important to the market and be able to bring those tiny nuggets to the surface and delveier them to the right audience.

There is a major difference between making data usable and making it useful. Technically, FPDS (Federal Procurement Data Service) data is usable, but it has not been made useful (actionable). In the more raw form, it requires analysis from someone familiar with the nuances of the market to add true value. Top flight talent with B2G contracting experience on this is not readily available. It is a small club.

It will be interesting to see

- if Bloomberg/BGov will make more purchases,
- what kind of products and services they roll out,
- who will drive the BGov group,
- how the BGov group will be populated
- who Bloomberg will add to the BGov Board,
- how the competitors respond.

This is a long-term market. Companies entering with visions of near-term market domination predicated on a "brand" name are not only disappointed, but often end up as chalk outlines on the sidewalk. Bloomberg and BGov may have a real play, but if they enter with attitude and visions of near-term radical growth, it will be interesting to see if BGov becomes BGone.

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