Plunging Into and Analyzing the Solution Roadmap at Zycus Horizon

Zycus Horizon

Suite is the word of the day at Zycus Horizon 2015. As Aatish Dedhia, Zycus’ CEO, put it earlier today during his keynote, the “integration of operational and strategic procurement is critical.”

In support of the suite vision, Aatish suggests, “You don’t do functions in a silo – they touch each other and touch other functions, too. Procurement needs to work with accounts payable, with legal and other functions …  a suite of solutions must be fully integrated to move from one application and functional area to the next.”

Zycus’ suite vision is a bit different from competitors that tend to emphasize modular strengths. In contrast, Zycus emphasizes integration over the sum of the parts and the underlying stack-level innovations that tie it together in new ways. (See our post from earlier today to understand why). It’s almost a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) vision, including a focus on architecture over just application and functional layer innovations but without an externalization of the platform – at least yet.

The concept of an integrated suite vision aside, what is coming down the Zycus pike? A few items seem most important to the provider:

  • Creating a front-end interface (code-named “rainbow”) that stands apart from the crowd based on not just the UI but also underlying components, including free text search, navigation and use cases that exist in between modules, such as a “quick source” capability within purchase to pay (P2P). This also includes an all-in strategy to support mobile usage and mobile use cases, which are built into the new interface.
  • Fully building out its P2P capability, including e-invoicing, accounts payable(A/P) automation and travel and expense (T&E). Payments and trade financing were not mentioned in the roadmap discussion.
  • Migrating modules to support use cases and needs versus just providing functionality for functionality’s sake. As an example, this includes delivering project management and savings tracking tools as centerpieces of a new procurement cockpit designed around configurable activities that can interoperate and bridge modular capability.
  • Fleshing out and releasing a supplier portal capability tied to a supplier network that bridges sourcing and transactional connectivity in a many-to-many model.
  • Continuing to build out modular depth in supported areas, such as Microsoft Word authoring for contract management.
  • Insuring the ability to serve both large companies and small – and just about everyone in between.

Zycus clearly has a lot on its development plate, especially given the underlying architectural components of the suite vision that cross modules, use cases and roles. Areas we’d like to learn more about in the next two days – and that customers and prospects should also inquire about – include:

  • What is Zycus’ platform-as-a-service (PaaS) vision (i.e., the externalization of the architecture and delivery of modular capabilities and content by both Zycus and third parties)?
  • How will the partner ecosystem shape up? Said another way: Besides customers, how do technology, implementation and other partners fit into realizing the Zycus vision?
  • What will the role of market intelligence and content in the suite take, aside from what tis generated by users such as data enrichment? A question from the audience this morning centered on supply risk support and data in particular.

We look forward to continuing our coverage of Zycus Horizon and further examining some of these areas in the coming days.

Postscript: Just as this post went live, Zycus began to address some of the questions (e.g., PaaS) in a later morning keynote session. Much to come! 

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