Basware and Lavante: Where Invoicing, Supplier Management and Audit Recovery Meet? (Part 1)

Earlier in the month, Basware and Lavante announced a partnership that promises to more closely link the P2P, invoice management, supplier management and audit recovery areas. Basware, for those who are not familiar with this Finnish-based provider, is one of the largest -- if not the largest -- invoice automation / electronic invoice presentment payment (EIPP) providers in the market. They also happen to have broader P2P capability as well. Not as well known is Lavante, a vendor that I'll profile in detail in the coming weeks on Spend Matters. Lavante is a curious and completely unique hybrid provider whose roots originally emerged from the audit recovery space but now spread into a broader application swath with material overlap in supplier management and aspects of spend analysis.

But why are these two providers -- neither of which would appear to have any track record of pursuing superficial Barney deals (a specialty of the Silicon Valley set, going back to the B2B software heyday) -- making such an announcement and joining forces to market their solutions? The two believe, according to the announcement, that "the combination of Basware's enterprise purchase-to-pay solutions and Lavante's suite of SIM tools will enable Fortune 1000 companies to drive efficiencies throughout the purchase-to-pay process and maximize their return on investment."

Most Spend Matters readers already probably understand the Basware side of this argument. After all, if you have greater oversight and visibility into your payables processes, you can better manage cash, reduce supply risk and create less variability, all of which leads to enhanced levels of control and predictability. However, the Lavante side is less known, since they really offer more than most supplier information management solutions in the market (yet not necessarily the depth in core supplier management as some pure-play providers that focus only on this area or a subset of it, such as supplier diversity).

According to the announcement, Lavante describes its toolset as powering "on-going communications with the vast majority of a company's vendor community to cleanse supplier information while identifying and delivering supplier-validated credits. Its unique communication software drives compliance to maximize supplier participation in the process. This frees up trapped working capital, which delivers millions of dollars back to the customer's bottom line, while proactively maintaining and updating supplier information."

In other words, Lavante can serve as a means to generate the working capital to fund investments in invoice automation solutions such as Basware. Moreover, it can help close the compliance loop from an invoice accuracy perspective, allowing recovery and credit opportunities. In other words, if you read this deal as Basware simply looking to get into supplier information management, think again. There's much greater breadth (and depth, in certain areas) to what Lavante does than meets the press release eye. Even if there is some overlap in OCR capabilities between the two providers, there's a great fit in nearly every other area.

Stay tuned for further analysis on this Lavante and Basware announcement later this week.

Jason Busch

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