SciQuest has reached its first milestone in integrating its acquisition of AECsoft USA into its core solution suite. For those who did not follow this original acquisition closely -- or just need a refresher -- you can see our coverage here, here and here. In short, the AECsoft acquisition brought SciQuest a number of modular extensions, including capabilities for supplier information management, supplier diversity management, sourcing, and contract management (with online authoring/negotiations – for sell-side and buy-side). However, Spend Matters' own research suggests that AECsoft (and now SciQuest) is definitely stronger in the first two areas rather than the latter two. Regardless, the integration of SciQuest's own procure-to-settle products requires the ability to manage new suppliers across the two platforms in an integrated, smooth process (i.e., starting with a single supplier identification and user sign-on across the suite).
Eventually, SciQuest suggests that "we'll see an evolution of independent supplier registration linked to sourcing (and a supplier network and search with a single registration for all customers." When this occurs, Spend Matters believes that the SciQuest/AECsoft combination will begin to look like best-of-breed supplier information management capability tied into an offering that looks a bit like Ariba Sourcing + Discovery (although SciQuest's current sourcing capabilities lag behind the general market in areas). Still, even at this point, SciQuest admits that "choices will remain" regarding which platform they ultimately adopt in these "upstream" areas.
As an added challenge, the AECsoft platform is .NET based and SciQuest runs on Java. Yet these platform differences should not hinder certain types of workflow and integration between the different suite components. Already, as part of its most recent release, SciQuest is delivering integration between the two sourcing platforms. Going forward, SciQuest suggests that the AECsoft products "will be tightly integrated into our existing source-to-settle product suite in the following order: 1) Sourcing Director; 2) Supplier Management; 3) Contract Management." The sourcing product, for example, already offers single sign-on (SSO) to SciQuest's own applications (and in the reverse as well). And from the P2P area, users can "move a purchase request to a sourcing process for quote or bid." Moreover, after a bid is awarded, users of solutions from either side of the SciQuest portfolio can move awarded bids to requisition for final approval and financial reconciliation.
Stay tuned as we investigate the broader SciQuest roadmap and other recent solution enhancements.