To better understand how Taulia users are deploying the system in the field -- and their experience with the application -- Spend Matters spoke with one of the vendor's larger users. The customer sponsor came out of the AP organization (but had a deep technical background in ERP, payroll and related areas), providing a combination of invaluable insight. This organization decided to put its discounting program out to bid to replace an existing legacy system in the area (now controlled by a bank). In part, they had an aversion to the business model of their incumbent provider, who charged suppliers, suggesting that basic connectivity (outside of the discount itself) should be free to suppliers.
But more important, the previous system did not allow the organization to dynamically enable discounts for suppliers wanting to get paid earlier than discount date of a standard term (e.g., earlier than day 10 on 2/10, net 30), although Taulia would soon enable this capability upon deployment. In terms of selecting Taulia, the organization viewed the tight integration with SAP as a key benefit. Moreover, the ability to support dynamic discounting across the entire set of available PO spend would provide a greatly expanded set of opportunities to capture discounts on. In this organization's words, "dynamic discounting embedded in SAP offers advantages...the ability to operate on the 'upper portion of the curve' and to significantly increase the number of 'pay-me-early' type of transactions" provides significant benefit.
Looking at the rollout itself, the organization deployed Taulia (both the portal and invoicing component) in a "3-4 month" period. The initial implementation prior to enabling all of the capabilities took 5 weeks. Based on their experience, the project sponsor suggested of Taulia that "if you're running a single instance of SAP" the product is "hard to beat." Ironically, the Taulia portal component proved the easiest piece to deploy.
In reality, what the organization thought would be the most straightforward area, an AP automation project including the buyer-side entry for non-PO items (check requests), was more challenging. In this area, the validation, real-time look-ups and integration with third-party document management and workflow/automation capability proved more complicated because of integration requirements with third-party solutions besides SAP. Taulia notes that "85% of its current deals " already include this capability as part of SAP-based workflows simplifying and speeding implementations. Still, Since deploying Taulia, the organization has realized in the millions of dollars of annual benefit from capturing early payment discounts that went unrealized previously.
We conclude our analysis of Taulia, including recommendations to potential Taulia customers and prospects in light of the recent SAP/Ariba acquisition, in the Premium Content section of Spend Matters PRO in a research brief published earlier today.