Earlier this year, Spend Matters published a Compass Research Brief: "Surround Strategies" to Get More From Existing eProcurement and P2P Investments. It's proved a popular download from our Research Library and we've already presented some of the highlights of the paper on two webinars. Our concept of following a "surround strategy" is simple: leverage what you already have, augment, and improve (don't necessarily rip out). In other words, if you've made an investment in tools like Ariba Buyer, Ariba P2P, Basware (P2P), Oracle eBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft SRM, SAP SRM, homegrown P2P tools, and even core financials and direct procurement, it's possible to take what you have and deliver in incremental return on top of it.
And it's possible to doing his without throwing away what you have. Moreover, such a surround approach can provide gain leverage in managing your incumbent vendor in the future (for negotiating maintenance fees, network fees, etc.) But perhaps most important of all, well executed surround strategies can enable procurement organizations to rapidly deliver next-level results and savings -- often significantly quicker than starting in P2P anew, creating a new chapter vs. extending the old.
Surround strategies are appropriate in many situations, but should not form the basis of a P2P systems strategy without some upfront homework. Procurement and IT organizations also need to realize that:
- One size never fits all for figuring out what should come second (initial programs are much easier to fit into a standard box)
- It's possible to build on what you've done/implemented already, often more quickly (and easily) than you might imagine; surrounding "P2P concrete" can often rapidly create a more flexible and adaptable layer
- Learning from initial programs is often essential to identify and prioritize the next wave of initiatives
- ERP providers and large specialist vendors are getting stronger at delivering core capabilities but often require augmentation to achieve the types of results that companies envisioned with initial deployments
The full research brief, "Surround Strategies" to Get More From Existing eProcurement and P2P Investments, can be downloaded (qualified practitioners qualify for free access) from the Spend Matters Research Library.