Yesterday at Zycus Horizon, founder and CEO Aatish Dedhia mentioned that Zycus is focusing on four different goals as it aims to become the top “alternative” suite vendor to ERP providers in the procurement market. In short, these four items (with our definitions) are:
- Comprehensiveness – broad and deep
- Ease of use – technology that you can walk up to
- Responsiveness – to customers, partners, etc.
- Sustainability – (i.e, being there for the long term and not getting acquired and marginalized)
Aatish believes that among these different areas, the first and the fourth are typically ERP strengths. But the middle two are the Achilles heels of ERP providers. When it comes to delivering a comprehensive solution, Aatish noted that his R&D (development) team consists of 170 individuals with the singular goal that each product they focus on “has to be best in class” with “seamless” integration into the rest of the application components.
Zycus believes it must be able to match best of breed providers in key areas (e.g., spend analysis, sourcing, contract management, supplier performance management, P2P, etc.). In Aatish’s words, Zycus can’t be a “pseudo suite” that comes up short in key areas due to uneven product sets with “filler modules” or acquisition-based approaches.
In terms of ease of use, Aatish said that Zycus continues to focus on building consumerized applications that have a closer interaction and user experience heritage to Facebook, eBay, Amazon, and other leading consumer Internet brands than business applications of old. This effort includes a significant focus on mobile (among other areas) starting at first with analytics this November and then featuring approvals and suite workflow for other components (e.g., eProcurement, sourcing) later.
From a responsiveness standpoint, Aatish suggested the importance of serving the middle market to Zycus (not just large companies) and various components of solution deployment and customer support including their 120-day customer success plan, ROI workshops, Zycus university and adoption- and success-based incentive programs based on the value realized by customers.
When it comes to sustainability, Aatish is not referring to corporate social responsibility (CSR) but rather vendor sustainability. He noted that earlier in its trajectory, Zycus had once received venture capital funding, but had since bought back all the shares, which “leaves us with no pressure to exit and no inclination to get acquired” in contrast to other firms backed by investors. Aatish also noted that Zycus has made a 4x investment in R&D in the past four years funded entirely by “internal cash flow.”
As our coverage of Horizon continues, we’ll report the product roadmap information that Aatish shared during his keynote.
For deeper analysis of Zycus and its competitive position and relative solution capabilities in the market, see Spend Matters PRO coverage from Horizon: Zycus: Singing from the Ariba Hymn Book for Source-to-Pay Suite Leadership