Over the past few months, AMR's Mickey North Rizza and I have been trading thoughts on the spend visibility sector -- among other areas -- quite a bit. Because Mickey recently came from a practitioner role, I think she is in a unique position as both an analyst and user "insider" to discuss what is valuable in the real-world. Her recent brief Great News for Procurement: Spend Analytics Capabilities Are Improving (registration and subscription required) is a useful take on the progress that vendors are making to providing solutions which can create sustainable and measurable impact.
In Mickey's words, until recently, spend analytics vendors had "not yet delivered on their collective promise of actionable and execution-oriented information ... while first-generation products streamlined procurement data gathering from disparate systems, they did little to address the process flow of supplier rationalization, commodity and category classification, and opportunity assessments." It goes without saying that Mickey and I generally see eye-to-eye when it comes to the need to enable spend visibility to create actionable outcomes. But there is one statement in the piece -- see if you can pick it out -- which I take issue with (also, Mickey did not mention BIQ or SAS, two vendors who are realizing significant traction of late in the sector as well).