Author Archives: Jason Busch



About Jason Busch

The closest thing to a household name in procurement and supply chain, Jason has led the charge as an advocate, futurist and evangelist since the 1990s. Initially at FreeMarkets and then an adviser to Ariba and other firms, Jason branched out on his own to establish the Spend Matters brand (parent company: Azul Partners), which emerged to become the largest news and information portal covering the sector. Over the years, Azul Partners has expanded this digital portfolio to 12 affiliated properties including leading titles such as Spend Matters UK/Europe, MetalMiner and Public Spend Forum, making it one of the largest independent B2B digital media firms. Jason divides his time between research, speaking, corporate finance advisory and mentoring dozens of firms and procurement organizations in the industry. Prior to Azul Partners and FreeMarkets, Jason worked in consulting and merchant banking. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Personal investment disclosures: Azul Partners, Inc., Public Spend Forum, LLC, Remitia Ltd., RJSL Group LLC, Sigaria Ltd., Spare to Share, LLC, Spendata LLC, SpendLead, Inc., Spend Matters Europe Ltd., Spend Matters Group, LLC.


Capgemini IBX Business Network: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Strengths, Weaknesses and Summary Recommendations

supplier management

Capgemini IBX Business Network is a provider that continues to quietly build momentum with a broad set of procurement capabilities, many of which are not only deeper than its competitors but also offer a nuanced approach to complementing and enabling existing ERP procurement environments in a manner that can bring procurement and IT organizations together. The IBX platform has undergone constant development and improvement with significant enhancements made to the network, mobile support, invoice automation and spot-buy capabilities (with a new version being released in the coming months). In the P2P and network area, IBX has rolled out a new integration workbench for simplified integration to existing ERP, MRP and catalog management/warehouse solutions, as well as deep support for SAP SRM 7 and SAP MM. This two-part Spend Matters PRO brief provides a comprehensive introduction and review of the IBX solution. In the first installment, we provided an introduction to the provider and its modules and capabilities. In Part 2, we conclude with an analysis of the provider’s comparative strengths and weaknesses and offer perspective on “best fit” customers.

Capgemini IBX Business Network: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Integrated S2P With Head-Spend and Tail-Spend in One

Capgemini IBX Business Network

Capgemini, a multinational professional services firm headquartered in Paris, France, is one of the world's largest consulting companies, with more than 180,000 employees in more than 40 countries and almost €12 billion in annual revenue. Buried within this services behemoth is a specialized procurement division, the IBX Business Network, created by IBX Group, in Stockholm, Sweden, and acquired by Capgemini 2010. Since IBX's own acquisitions of Trimondo GmBH and Portum AG in 2005 and 2006, the provider has steadily increased its capabilities, including bringing one of the richest source-to-pay (S2P) platform capabilities that is pre-integrated with a supplier network. While particularly strong in the Nordics, the IBX division of Capgemini has expanded throughout Europe and North America as well. This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to Capgemini IBX, an overview of the provider’s strengths and weaknesses and customer recommendations.

Oracle Acquires Textura — Tackling Payments and the Financial Supply Chain for Construction and More

kritchanut/Adobe Stock

Oracle announced Thursday it agreed to acquire Textura, a cloud-based solution for the construction industry with end-to-end capabilities spanning from initial bid estimation and sourcing through to subcontractor management, communication and collaboration, invoicing and payment. The $633 million transaction values Textura at roughly 8X trailing revenue and represents an over 30% premium to the previous day’s close, a stiff price for a product that will complement one of Oracle's existing solution lines.

FusionOps: Vendor Snapshot — Supply Chain Intelligence in the Cloud

Torchlite

FusionOps is a supply chain intelligence company founded in 2005 in Sunnyvale, California, to automate ERP-based business processes, such as direct materials procurement and supplier collaboration, that could not be accomplished effectively using the standalone sourcing and procurement solutions of the day. However, around 2009, the company switched directions — or “pivoted” in tech speak — and started amalgamating "big data" from ERP, MRP and other supply chain and supply management systems in an effort to extract actionable intelligence for clients. Today, FusionOps delivers "big data as a service" through its supply chain intelligence cloud, which contains more than 50 built-in proprietary supply chain models that run on more than 1,000 KPIs across the inbound, internal and outbound supply chain that can be used for diagnostic, predictive and even prescriptive analytics. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to FusionOps, an overview of the provider’s strengths and weaknesses and customer recommendations.

OpusCapita Acquires jCatalog, Expanding P2P Capabilities in Nordics and Europe

kritchanut/Adobe Stock

The e-invoicing, procure-to-pay (P2P) and trade financing markets in the Nordics just got a lot more interesting. Earlier Tuesday, OpusCapita, which is not well known outside of the Nordics yet has more than €250 million in annual revenue, announced it would acquire catalog management and procurement specialist jCatalog. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, other than that “the agreement has been closed on 25 April 2016.”

The Economist’s Innovation Editor on the Next Tech Megatrends: Procurious Big Ideas Summit 2016

Procurious Big Ideas Summit

Paul Markillie, innovation editor for The Economist, kicked off the second morning session at the Procurious 2016 Big Ideas Summit with a talk centered on technology megatrends that may “transform” the way businesses operate. Theming his talk around “The New Industrial Revolution,” Markillie started the centerpiece of his talk by describing a number of converging themes that are reshaping industry.

Procurious Kicks Off Its Big Ideas Summit: Cognitive Procurement and Thinking the Unthinkable

cognitive computing

I’m in London today, attending Procurious’ Big Ideas Summit. This is the second year for the event, which got off to a great start last year — and this year is looking promising as well. The Summit, which generated “1 million social media impressions in 24 hours” in 2015 and is available streaming online again this year, is actually a small, intimate affair in person. With roughly 50 live attendees, many of whom are speaking, it’s easy to talk to anyone attending or follow-up on the words said on stage. We were even given a pre-reading/homework assignment for group discussion. (No comment from me on whether my own assignment is complete yet!)

Lavante: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Strengths, Weaknesses, Competition and Customer Recommendations

e-procurement market outlook

While not as well known as many other technology providers in the procurement technology ecosystem, Lavante has quietly developed a strong list of Fortune 500 customers, many with diverse sets of supplier information management and audit recovery challenges. (And it has succeeded in linking these initiatives together, we might add.) While Lavante remains North American-centric — it has no offices overseas — the firm can support global clients that want to take audit recovery “in-house” with the flexibility (and option) to self-fund the management of supplier onboarding, master data cleansing and broader compliance initiatives through direct savings capture. As we noted in the first installment in this series, Lavante counts a diverse set of large retail, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, pharmaceutical, hospitality, telecommunications and financial services clients, many with large supplier and transactional datasets. In our initial coverage, we provided an introduction to Lavante and some of the highlights of its solution set and capabilities. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides additional insight into Lavante’s strengths, weaknesses and competition, and offers recommendations to customers and prospective customers that are using or considering the solution.

HICX: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Strengths, Weaknesses, Competition and Customer Fit

supplier network

Those procurement organizations that have already deployed supplier management solutions or are familiar with the details of them are likely aware that they are often as — or more — complicated as purchase-to-pay (P2P) and other related solutions. While some providers targeting this area offer focused solutions (e.g., supplier risk management, supplier performance management, supplier portals), others go broad (and deep) spanning all of these areas and more. One such provider is HICX, which we previously provided a company and solution overview for in the first installment of this series. HICX competes against a range of suite providers (e.g., Ariba/SAP, Emptoris/IBM, Coupa, GEP, Determine, Ivalua, Oracle, SciQuest, Zycus, etc.) as well as vendors that target specific or broader aspects of the supplier management area (e.g., Aravo, Biznet, CVM Solutions/Kroll, ConnXus, DiversePoint, DIR, Hiperos/Opus Global, Lavante, OpenText/GXS/Rollstream, Source Intelligence, SourceMap, etc.). It also competes against “substitute” providers offering supplier management capabilities on a managed services basis (e.g., Achilles, Helios, Global Risk Management Solutions, etc.). This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides insight into HICX’s strengths, weaknesses, competition and ideal customer fit.

Lavante: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview

Lavante

Lavante was arguably the first provider in the audit recovery sector to focus on commercializing technology and selling direct to customers rather than leveraging it as a means to make solution delivery more effective through a consulting or managed services offering. Since introducing its capabilities over a decade ago, the Lavante solution has evolved materially, extending well past its audit recovery roots. But we would be negligent if we did not mention Lavante has continued to expand its capabilities as a technology solution to collect and manage basic supplier details, contract and PO/invoice information to enable invoice and statement auditing scenarios in a more proactive manner than traditional services-oriented solutions (although audit recovery firms like PRGX and Apex Analytix have become significantly more technology centric-in the past decade as well). This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to Lavante’s solution, including an overview of its audit recovery, fraud detection, vendor compliance and supplier management capabilities, as well as its supplier networked-based approach to managing information.

Colman’s Mustard, TA National Trading and Amazon Business: Juxtaposing Questionable Merchant Practices With Awesome Customer Service

mustardsmall

A recent purchase of Colman’s mustard via Amazon Business (using our corporate account) was a reminder that there are some unsavory merchant practices lurking in the shadows of the digital commerce world. And TA National Trading, the merchant in question in this case, either made a bad mistake or intentionally attempted an old trading company trick that is more common in the third world (unfortunately) than something we usually see in developed countries.

HICX: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Company and Solution Overview

SpendLead

Companies looking for supplier management solutions have a broad range of choices, ranging from independent solution providers to ERP modules of varying degrees of sophistication and depth. There are numerous challenges that come with identifying the right solutions in the market for an individual procurement organization. These include the fact that consultants and analysts generally have limited experience with the in-the-trenches capabilities of these solutions compared with sourcing and purchase-to-pay suites. Further, the individual capabilities of solutions can vary dramatically, and independent solution providers generally invest far less in sales and marketing in educating the market and building awareness than providers delivering suites or serving other areas of procurement. One provider that warrants consideration in the market is HICX, a London-based firm founded in 2004. It is essentially a supply chain master data management (MDM) solution with a configurable workflow that allows an organization to use it as the supplier (and associated product) MDM system. Even though the company now focuses heavily on supplier information management (SIM), supplier performance management (SPM), supplier risk management (SRM) and supplier compliance management (SCM), it enables end-to-end supplier data management as a result of its strong MDM foundation. It has also recently expanded its capabilities into the contract management area, with a new module that both can complete and complement contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions. This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to HICX, including insight into solution capabilities, product strengths and weaknesses, perspectives on how it stacks up against supplier management competitors and recommendations to potential customers.