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.


SirionLabs: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary Analysis & Recommendations

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When our most strategic suppliers truly become embedded in our business and the scope of the relationship involves specialized obligations and commitments centered on measurable outcomes that extend beyond quality and on-time performance alone, traditional indirect materials source-to-pay (S2P) and vendor management system (VMS) SOW capabilities may come up short. This statement holds true not just for managing business process outsourcing (BPO) and other services-centric relationships, but also the most strategic vendor partnerships with manufacturing suppliers as well. SirionLabs, a specialized procurement suite vendor, has built a solution that faces little competition in addressing much (but not yet all) of the lifecycle for managing the most strategic, outcomes- and obligations-based supplier relationships.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering SirionLabs offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other similar or related vendors that companies may wish to shortlist. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider SirionLabs.

SirionLabs: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

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Many procurement organizations looking at SirionLabs for the first time might be surprised at the level of depth the solution goes to around enabling better savings, outcomes and value centered on a single type of spending: highly strategic, highly complex and often highly fluid services relationships. Compared with other source-to-pay (S2P) solutions in which organizations engage and manage categories and spending across dozens, hundreds or even thousands of suppliers, some SirionLabs customers often use it for just a single supplier (although many use it for more than this).

For those that manage truly strategic services suppliers, this should not be a surprise. Just as there is not a one-size-fits-all strategy to achieving savings in procurement, there is not a one-size approach to managing suppliers that procurement can apply across the lifecycle of relationships from pre-contracting to post-contracting. Moreover, by the same token, the value levers that we can pull most effectively vary dramatically by category and spend/supplier characteristics as well.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores SirionLabs’ strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview, a SWOT analysis and a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider SirionLabs. The final installments of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

SirionLabs: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview

contract

As businesses, we are increasingly buying outcomes rather than widgets or labor. Yet in many ways, the general market for procurement technology still reflects a world in which we source, procure, contract and manage supplier relationships based on models that track to underlying SKUs or hourly bill rates rather than partnership-based outcomes. There are a few technology providers working to change this paradigm, including SirionLabs, which has built a suite focused on managing all aspects of complex supplier relationships after a negotiation has taken place, starting with contract authoring and proceeding to steady-state performance, relationship and risk management. Comparing SirionLabs with a traditional source-to-pay (S2P) technology suite or a vendor management system (VMS) provider with an SOW capability is like comparing boats, cars and airplanes. While all three provide transportation, they do so in environments that are foreign to each other and where hybrid approaches to date have amounted to compromises that few want to make.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor profile provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about whether they need a solution like SirionLabs or an alternative for complex services spend. This multi-part research brief includes a SirionLabs company and solution history and overview, company-level SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, competitor analysis, user selection guides and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Reinventing Supplier Data and Intelligence Businesses: The Premise

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The supplier data and information business is broken. The Spend Matters analyst team came up with this premise when we saw that a number of well-known supplier content and enrichment providers had no reason being on the 50 to Know and 50 to Watch lists this year. Our research and discussions suggest that incumbent providers in this sector have lost the confidence of the market, their clients and even members of their organizations in their ability to deliver solutions that hit the mark. Time has stopped for some — they are selling solutions better suited for the year 2005 than 2015.

Analytics8 SpendView: Solution Review & Analysis

Analytics

There’s a new spend analytics vendor in town: Analytics8. The Sydney-based provider recently introduced its SpendView product, an offering designed to bring modern, easy-to-use spend analysis capability to any organization with more than $10 million in annual spend at a reasonable price tag, but with functionality that is sufficiently deep to satisfy many of the needs of larger procurement organizations with unique requirements. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the Analytics8 SpendView solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

Analytics8 SpendView: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary Analysis & Recommendations

Rawpixel.com/Adobe Stock

Procurement organizations have numerous options to enable visibility into spend today. They can engage a provider that provides spend visibility on a managed services basis. They can work with vendors to take the guts (data acquisition, cleansing, classification, analytics, etc.) in-house and take on their own stewardship of the data. Or, they can leverage off-the-shelf business intelligence (BI) components to enable an analytics front-end and then solve the data problem separately (e.g., getting line-level invoice data from suppliers or supplier networks). Analytics8, a new provider on the spend analysis scene, represents a hybrid of these approaches, using a customized version of Qlik as a BI front-end but enabling organizations to take control of the data management process on their own if they desire.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Analytics8 SpendView offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other vendors in the spend analytics market companies may wish to shortlist. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Analytics8 SpendView.

Analytics8 SpendView: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses

spend analytics

Since Zycus pioneered spend classification technology less than two decades ago, the spend — and now broader “supply” — analytics market has transformed considerably. It used to be difficult to decouple spend visibility offerings from vendors: all that organizations could purchase was integrated data acquisition, classification, enrichment, visualization and analytics capability from a single vendor. But now it’s possible to get different elements from different providers — and even to work with new vendors like Analytics8 that have built their solutions around existing business intelligence ecosystems such as Qlikview and have designed their capabilities from the ground up to enable “self-service” for classification and visualization. Moreover, these newer-generation solutions often do not come with a high price tag, and they can bet set up in weeks, not months, while allowing frequent data refreshes at little or no additional cost to an organization.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Analytics8 strengths and weaknesses in the spend analysis area, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Analytics8. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Analytics8 SpendView: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview

data analytics

There’s a new spend analytics vendor in town: Analytics8. Analytics8 recently introduced its SpendView product, an offering designed to bring modern, easy-to-use spend analysis capability to any organization with more than $10 million in annual spend at a reasonable price tag, but with functionality that is sufficiently deep to satisfy many of the needs of larger procurement organizations with unique requirements. Incidentally, two members of the senior team at Analytics8 come from Spend Radar (acquired by SciQuest) and the broader organization brings more than a decade of experience in big data analytics.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor profile provides a brief history of the spend analysis market in recent years (and how Analytics8 fits into it) and expert analysis to help organizations determine if the Analytics8 SpendView solution is a fit for their requirements. This multipart research brief comprises a company and solution overview, company-level SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, competitive alternatives, a user selection guide and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

SynerTrade: Solution Review and Analysis

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Sourcing suites are continuing to play a more dominant role in procurement technology, and the choice and diversity of providers to choose from continues to increase globally. SynerTrade, a source-to-pay (S2P) suite provider with a strong customer foundation in Europe, is one of more than a dozen S2P solutions now fighting for share in the North American market (and beyond). This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to SynerTrade for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

5 Reasons Why a Coupa IPO Would be Good for Procurement

NYSE

It appears the rumors of a Coupa IPO are closer than we might think. According to Reuters, Coupa apparently has hired a lead underwriter (Morgan Stanley) and secondary bookrunners. I personally think a Coupa IPO would be a net positive for the procurement industry and its various constituents overall. Here are five reasons why.

Market Dojo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis

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Sourcing suites today compete in a fragmented global marketplace with everyone from large ERPs to well-funded startups to bootstrapped ventures competing for a growing pie, consisting of Global 2000 organizations often going to market for a second or third time (or buying an alternative technology), as well as a growing number of middle market organizations adopting and digitizing strategic sourcing processes for the first time. Market Dojo is one of dozens of providers in this large market, but when you consider how many of its peers represent pure-play sourcing providers versus broader source-to-pay (S2P) and procure-to-pay (P2P) suites, the market thins considerably — and does so even more if you narrow the list of e-sourcing providers to those with a strong middle-market track record and orientation.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Market Dojo offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other vendors that companies may wish to shortlist that compete in the same markets. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Market Dojo.

Market Dojo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

jedi-master/Adobe Stock

For a startup — or any technology company, for that matter — to build out a full-featured procure-to-pay (P2P) capability is something that takes more than funding and scale alone. Yet e-sourcing (and upstream suites) present a different case, and when enough ingenuity, passion and capability come together, success has a much higher probability of happening, at least when it comes to developing standard capabilities. Such is the case of Market Dojo, which has not only developed an e-sourcing suite but also done so in a bootstrapped manner. Market Dojo has grown from a provider of “pay-per-drink” auction events to a full sourcing suite with RFX, document and template management, supplier information management, innovation management and category (analysis and strategy) management. Founded in 2010, Market Dojo is now a viable shortlist candidate in the e-sourcing market and one of the leading vendors centered on capability and delivery/cost models aimed at middle-market procurement organizations. This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Market Dojo’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Market Dojo. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.