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.


The Billion Dollar Baby — Amazon Business Celebrates Its First Birthday

Amazon Business

Amazon Business just hit its first year anniversary since officially launching under its current name (formerly Amazon Supply), and my, how baby has grown!

We caught up with Amazon Business Vice President and General Manager Prentis Wilson a few days ago, and he briefed us on his team’s progress, which has been nothing short of remarkable. But perhaps this should not be surprising for those who’ve added Amazon Business as a supplier and, in certain cases, a strategic tail spend supplier.

Transcepta: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background, Solution and Strengths

e-invoicing

Transcepta, a closely held business, was founded over a decade ago. Throughout this time, the provider has focused on building and expanding its global supplier network capabilities to support vendor onboarding and e-invoicing efforts, including most recently in the invoice discounting and trade financing areas. Transcepta compares favorably on a functional basis with other e-invoicing providers, including and supplier network providers such as Ariba/SAP, Basware, Coupa, Taulia, Tungsten and Tradeshift. It also serves as an e-invoicing partner to Oracle and SciQuest. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to supplier network enablement and e-invoicing approaches, Trancepta’s capabilities in these areas and the provider’s overall strengths, including a new PO/document matching approach that leverages technology often used in the spend analysis world to achieve significantly higher matching rates than what we typically observe. The second installment of this research brief covers Transcepta’s weaknesses, competition and our recommendations for customer fit.

Reimagining the Future of The Vendor Management System

VMS

Andrew Karpie and I have spent the past two days at Beeline’s customer event, speaking with dozens of people from all sides of the market — consultants, MSPs, customers and, of course, Beeline’s team, including a number of product managers. Andrew also attended IQNavigator’s customer conference the week before. At both events, a number of people we spoke with suggested how much they’d like to see greater coverage around the vendor management system (VMS) market.

Self Sourcing, Services Procurement and More: Beeline Conference 2016 Dispatch

Beeline Conference 2016

At the 2016 Beeline Conference, I’ve now spent a couple of hours in and around Beeline’s Tech Expo (demo floor) between last night and today. Two of the product areas that I wanted to investigate further stand at two opposite ends of the services buying spectrum: complex services procurement (MSA/SOW/project-based) and the freelancer management system (FMS) area.

Beeline Conference 2016 Kicks Off: A VMS Grows Up

2016 Beeline Conference

Andrew Karpie and I are down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the 2016 Beeline Conference, an event that has grown up considerably over the years. There are 137 people in attendance this year, including, as Beeline shared, more than 60 customer organizations and more than 40 partners. The last time I attended a Beeline event, in 2014, it was nearly half the size. But the numbers alone only tell part of the story.

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!)