Top P2P Articles of 2018: Technological Leapfrogs, Market Forecasts and New Frontiers

The procure-to-pay area may seem straightforward. Procurement primers on the subject often segment the P2P process into seven or nine steps, making its components easy to grasp even for the uninitiated. Yet go one layer deeper and numerous complexities emerge — to be followed by still more as one peels the process architecture and technology onion. (Consider, for example, our multiple stories on the intricacies of catalog management.)

This cascading complexity is one reason that P2P-related topics — like e-procurement, invoicing and payments — are consistently some of the most-read articles on Spend Matters. To see why, here are the top five posts that readers sliced, diced and consumed.

Looking Back on a Look Forward

When it comes to e-procurement, we identified several trends that procurement professionals should consider this year when evaluating solutions, as well as general market dynamics that could affect how technology providers plan their next move.

In Part 1 of the January PRO series “E-Procurement 2018 Trends and Forecast (Part 1): Customers Adoption and Priorities,” analysts Jason Busch, Pierre Mitchell and Xavier Olivera outlined eight reasons that 2018 was set to be the Year of the Nimble Persona when it comes to e-procurement. Then in Part 2, the authors dissected specific provider trends, with e-procurement tech-provider sector consolidation and M&A winning out as No. 1. Finally, the series concluded with an extended discussion of artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in e-procurement, as well as our updated market sizing and growth forecast.

Oracle Leapfrogs Ahead in P2P

The P2P market is home to solution providers large and small. Among the large companies in this technology areas, some are better known than others. Oracle was historically not one of the leaders in this space, which is why we surprised our readers when, in March, we published the findings of our Q1 2018 SolutionMap.

As our analysts explained in “A P2P Cloud Surprise: Oracle Leapfrogs Ahead in E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay,” the findings suggest that Oracle’s e-procurement capability is now a top feature contender across multiple personas in our E-Procurement SolutionMap alongside competitors SAP Ariba, Coupa and Ivalua. The brief examines several areas where Oracle has made investments to come up to par in the procurement technology space, as well as reveals where Oracle Cloud Procurement left us genuinely surprised.

E-Invoicing Supply Chain Finance Linkages

The global invoice finance market is massive — and growing. It already tops $3 trillion worldwide, and increased use of e-invoicing by companies and mandates for the technology by tax authorities are creating new opportunities for buyers and suppliers. What’s more, the rise of P2P and S2P systems has brought buyers and suppliers into closer collaboration than ever before, positioning supply chain finance to jump from a fraction of the invoice finance market to a dominant player in this evolving space.

To learn more about these trends and what solutions are available to procurement, suppliers and solution providers, we sat down in March with George Shapiro, CEO and chairman of The Interface Financial Group, to get his take on how the lending and invoice finance markets have changed over time, how suppliers are accessing capital today and how procurement’s increased awareness of early payment options is changing the invoice financing game for companies large and small.

SAP Ariba Targets the E-Procurement Middle Market

SAP Ariba has long participated in the e-procurement market, so it’s no surprise that the provider’s moves in this space are well-watched by readers. This included its recent entry in the markets for small and medium-sized businesses with its new Snap offering, which takes a packaged approach to out-of-the-box capability and deployment.

Snap is bucking convention in two ways: first, by bringing to market a solution for which market demand is not yet established, like it is in the Global 2000 and the upper mid-market; and second, by scripting, bounding and containing all aspects of deployment and configuration in a 12-week rapid implementation model (which many who know SAP Ariba might find hard to believe). To learn more about SAP Ariba’s approach here and how it affects competitors’ strategies, check out the full brief.

Gary Hare Talks Aquiire Acquisition and the Future

When Coupa announced it had purchased e-procurement specialist Aquiire in October, we decided that to really understand the logic behind the deal, we had to go back to Aquiire’s roots, back when it was Vinimaya. To do that, we spoke with Gary Hare, former CEO of Vinimaya when the company got several of the patents that Coupa now plans to integrate into its product roadmap.

In one of our most popular Q&As of the year, Hare provides several keen insights into the e-procurement market, including one bold prediction: that a shift in focus to the supplier side of the equation could ultimately turn the internet in “the world’s largest supplier network.”

"So, sellers are buying e-commerce platforms. A lot of them," Hare says. "Could this new commitment to e-commerce by suppliers drive a new level of benefits to the enterprise procurement market? It absolutely could. Could it help mid-market e-procurement get some traction? Again, absolutely. Does it ultimately turn the internet into the world’s largest supplier network? Maybe. Does everybody, buyers and suppliers, win? I hope so."

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