In his talk at Zycus Horizon, Forrester’s Duncan Jones shared a number of procurement technology trends that are useful in framing how companies will maximize adoption of what he terms “ePurchasing” technologies. The catch-all term includes a range of solutions in the area, such as eProcurement, e-invoicing, and broader sourcing/spend/contract/supplier management suites. During his presentation, Duncan offered up three distinct trends that are critical for understanding the evolution of the tools market and general adoption.
The first of these is the rise of “integrated ePurchasing” suites. We all have different ways of describing and segmenting the different elements of purchasing suites, but the way Duncan describes them makes more sense (at least to me) than the Ariba version of “up-stream / down-stream.” In contrast, Duncan suggests we look at “strategic, skill-based suite components” as well as “transactional, tasked-based” elements – which aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, as there can be some overlap here.
In Forrester’s view, the specific modular areas include “strategic, skills-based” ones like sourcing and contract lifecycle management (CLM), as well as those that begin to overlap with “transactional, tasked-based” areas such as supplier discovery and eProcurement.
Modular areas most centered on “transactional, tasked-based” functions include supplier relationship and performance management (SRPM in Forrester parlance), services procurement, electronic invoice, presentment and payment (EIPP), and aspects of eProcurement. And sitting in the middle of all of this activity is a supplier master that feeds other suite elements with relevant and accurate data.
Next up I’ll share more highlights of Duncan’s talk, including the value of integrated suites and his next two trend observations: “buy- and sell-side eCommerce convergence” and the way “mobility transforms purchasing processes.”