Ariba Supplier Network Alternatives: Basware (Background — Part 2)

In the first post in this series, we provided a number of background details on Basware's Connectivity service offering. Continuing with the second installment, we'll probe on Basware's capabilities as an alternative to Ariba's supplier network. Today, Basware Connectivity service offers automated format conversion for approximately 50 different e-invoicing formats (Spend Matters analysis suggests this number is among the highest of all providers in the market). In addition, customer specific formats (e.g., cXML) can be added upon request.

For e-invoicing/purchase orders/catalog messages supported invoicing standards today include: TEAPPS XML, Finvoice, OIOXML, e2b, Svefaktura, Papinet, Rosettanet RNIF, EDIFACT, SAP IDOC, Dedip2, LiinosXML, UBL, xCBL, CSV and ASCII. In addition, "Basware supports collecting the invoice data from the invoice image, where the invoice image (i.e. TIFF, GIF, PDF) is used for formulating a structural data file." This is not the preferred approach, however, because most "ERP systems can already generate some type of structural data files" which reduce the chance for OCR, digital scanning or other input transcription errors.

Basware's Connectivity service also provides a toolset to enable smaller and mid-tier suppliers via "virtual printers," suppliers portals, PDF e-mailing, ERP integration for "creating the structural invoices at the supplier side and then automatically covering the invoice format to the one requested by the buyer." From a pricing standpoint, "Basware Connectivity services pricing is based on the actual transactions sent/received on each month." Customers pay only for the transactions that they have sent or received and do not have to pre-pay based on anticipated volume.

Basware told Spend Matters that their "whole model today is based upon making it easy to connect the buyer and the supplier (irrespective of their size, whether you are a small corner shop trader through to a large corporation) while keeping the cost to participate low with the focus being on paying for what you transact. Our view is that if a customer or buyer combines workflow and governance to drive visibility of the Purchase to Pay process with enabling Connectivity Services that are easy to access and based on a per transaction basis then organizations will achieve the ultimate goal of straight through processing."

As a pricing rule, Basware's fee per transaction drops in relation to the total number of invoices that a buyer receives or that a supplier sends on a monthly basis. But all buying clients pay an up-front, one-time fee of between €5k-€10k to access use of the core underlying connectivity platform, Business Transaction Receiver (BTR) and/or Basware's Supplier Portal. In addition to these base fees, buying organizations pay fees between 30-50 euro cents to receive an electronic PO or an electronic invoice (e-invoice) plus "a monthly fee up to €1k to cover any regulatory changes that might be imposed by international government or other regulatory bodies that could affect changes" that Basware may need to make to ensure the process remains compliant.

Additionally, buying organizations may incur what Basware describes as a "nominal fee" to cover multiple ERP or any complex multi-site back end integration Basware does not charge interoperability fees (i.e., there are no fees between inter-operator partners for sending or receiving transactions). From a supplier perspective, the pricing appears straightforward. To this end, supplies pay a "one-time" set-up fee of up to €2k to connect to the Business Transaction Sender as well as a transaction fee of 30-50 euro cents per PO and Invoice "and the same monthly fee to cover any regulatory changes required."

Stay tuned as we continue our analysis of Basware's Connectivity / network capabilities.

Jason Busch

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