In earlier posts from this series, we covered background details and context surrounding Pinnacle's recent acquisition of Provade. Continuing on in our analysis today, we'll turn our attention to Provade's core capabilities and how they stack up in the broader VMS market. Starting first with the user experience at log-on, hiring managers and other stakeholders are greeted with a UI and landing page that is configurable and intuitive -- though definitely comes from the 2008/2009 PeopleSoft era. The shopping cart re-skin, faceted navigation and feature pack enhancements in the eProcurement feature pack released in PeopleSoft 9.1 is not yet resident in Provade. Still, while the current UI is outclassed by recent releases of IQNavigator, Fieldglass, Beeline, PeopleFluent and Console, it more than does the job.
However, users who can get past an Ariba-like navigation and look/feel structure -- Ariba is also behind the times in their UI, but in this case we refer to their P2P application, not their VMS, which Spend Matters does not recommend, although their SOW capability is worthy of consideration for basic use cases -- won't have any issue with the power of what's available at their fingertips. Still Provade has some user design work to do in catching up with the latest from Beeline, Consol, PeopleFluent, Fieldglass and IQNavigator (after their recent re-skin) in terms of overall tactile navigation and look/feel (and in some cases, guided recommendations and actions).
The standard management console/login screen for hiring managers greets users with a range of options to drill down further into activities, including approvals alerts (e.g., requisitions, time sheets, expenses, invoices, etc.), bid reviews, requisition management ending work orders and, of course, reports. The page is configurable by location, allowing users to reposition and showcase the most relevant content in the area they desire, including even the more targeted or esoteric reports a hiring manager might value based on their current priorities. However, organizations should investigate the ability, if important for their business requirements, of the application to easily enable the configuration of added user- and MSP-defined fields, workflow and process requirements built around unique hierarchies and reporting needs (e.g., by business unit, functional area, geography, etc.). This is likely to be less important in targeted and category-specific implementations (e.g., IT), but on an enterprise-wide VMS basis, organizations should factor into consideration how Provade compares in this area.
Stay tuned as our analysis of Provade's capabilities continue.
-- Jason Busch