Today we continue with our Spend Matters 50/50 list (see Providers to Know and Providers to Watch) with Iasta, an early e-sourcing pioneer and now one of only a handful of larger players in the e-sourcing market. Iasta’s current solution footprint is a good example of the general evolution path in the sourcing marketplace. What started out 14 years ago as largely a one-trick spend pony (i.e., RFI, RFx, and reverse auctions) has become a full-fledged sourcing suite with a particular emphasis on certain areas (more on this in a minute).
Today, Iasta continues to differentiate itself with a sourcing toolset that (while a bit dated on the interface side – as are all the veteran solution players in this sector, mind you!) is as powerful and configurable as ever. The core Iasta sourcing-driven UI is a bit like a Porsche 911 – some love it, others not so much, but it simply does not go out of style and it has a lot of fans that don’t want to see it change.
But more than sourcing alone, Iasta has invested significantly in an entirely new analytics front end (to call it “spend visibility” is not a fair statement because it spans general procurement data structures) that ties various activities and information in the suite and the broader business together. Iasta has also built out substantial features for advanced sourcing optimization, contract lifecycle management, general supplier management, and supplier performance management – not to mention adding a broad range of professional services on top of the core offering.
The ability to deliver not only the technology, but also the professional services to support an organization beyond the implementation phase can be critical. Most organizations embarking on the strategic sourcing journey will run into adoption challenges as well as issues with how best to go about sourcing new categories or otherwise bring more spend under strategic management.
The breadth and depth of the suite alone does not really tell the full story though. It’s how Iasta approaches sourcing and really the entire non-transactional side of procurement in a manner that can serve the least as well as the most advanced procurement organizations. It’s also how Iasta has made the transition from enabling just sourcing strategy to general procurement data management as both a capability and a service (see related coverage here and here).
Overall, Iasta’s inclusion in the 50/50 as a Provider to Know is important not just to provide a hat-tip to one of the original (and still top) sourcing providers. It’s a wink to a provider whose progress and focus has mirrored that of the profession – from originally a singular focus on sourcing events to helping procurement become masters of their own data and process universe. Outside of P2P transactions, that is.