Spend Matters View: Realizing Accenture’s New PaaS Applications (Part 2)

PaaS

As a follow-up to the first installment in this series highlighting future supplier network-based applications made possible through platform-as-a-service (PaaS) architectures and business models, this second post shares additional business application-type apps that future networks might deliver.

  • First up we come to network-based contract lifecycle management (CLM) capabilities, which will enable the sharing of contract terms for additional levels of compliance and analytics between trading partners on a one-to-one basis and even trading ecosystems, such as consortia and group purchasing models.
  • Sales results linkages into various point of sale (POS) systems and credit card processing tools, which might also include linkages with kiosks on the factory floor, card providers and the like.
  • Contractor-related information and what we might term “onsite readiness” assessments, which will let individual contractors and freelancers manage profile information and individual compliance-type information before and when going onsite, including background checks, credentials for system access based on statement of work (SOW) information, services requisitions and time-sheets. Under this scenario, networks will act as real-time clearing houses for whether a non-employee is granted access to buildings or systems, with smartphone-based apps tied into this network information replacing actual badges and credentialing systems.
  • Virtualized environment health safety (EHS) and safety health environment (SHE) management. Think about how networks will manage and share material safety data sheets, for example, for restricted or hazardous substances and, based on feeds from local new sources, push such information to first responders and others in the event of a natural or man-made disaster or man-man disaster. In a chemical spill, for example, the network will intelligently push all information to those tagged as relevant to managing an incident or supply risk and create checklists for situational evaluation as well as contingency planning and execution efforts.
  • Reporting and visualization tool flexibility – said another way, pick your own analytics front end. This may include front-end tools that dynamically build infographic interfaces on top of supply networks for a truly visual type front dashboard as well as the ability to cleanse and classify information on the fly in the manner that original enterprise master patient index (EMPI) and customer data integration (CDI) packages have done in other industries.
  • Tools that allow currency conversion and the management of cross border/FOREX transactions. The potential for bank disintermediation here is significant.
  • Treasury management services and applications built into networks themselves with integration into network-based working capital management and related tools.
  • Traditional survey tools, like the type contained with supplier management solutions, as well as new crowdsourcing and gamification-based knowledge capture models like network-based prediction markets.
  • Project, portfolio and initiative management solutions to enable not just virtual collaboration among network participants but also the ability to collaboratively manage and execute specific projects together in an ad-hoc manner. A true network-based project management office, if you will.

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