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.


Spend360: Solution Review & Analysis

data analytics

Although Spend360 is a relatively new entrant to the spend analytics solution space in North America, the company is well established in Europe. It commenced operations in 2011, and its founding team has been through previous startups in the sector. The firm’s experience is not only apparent in Spend360’s spend analytics technology but also in its ability to commercialize its capabilities. Since its North American launch in 2014, it has added 100 new clients in the region and now counts 400+ global customers. Spend360 has processed more than $1 trillion in spend, empowering it with a global category-level benchmarking and analytic capability that is competitively distinguished.

GEP: The Swiss Army Knife of Procurement Providers — Year-End Tech Review

apinan/Adobe Stock

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the sourcing (including e-sourcing) and supplier management spaces.

GEP (formerly Global eProcure) is an integrated procurement solutions and services firm that offers managed services (including full BPO capabilities), transformation services (i.e., consulting) and its own internally developed source-to-pay (S2P) technology suite. The combination of these individual capabilities from a single provider, especially as they become increasingly synergistic, makes GEP truly standalone in the industry.

BravoSolution: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis

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BravoSolution, a procurement technology suite provider, has undergone significant transformation on the product level in recent years. It emerged from a replatforming effort in the source-to-contract area, after which it expanded the breadth of its suite by acquiring procure-to-pay from Puridiom (this followed a time of partnering with providers such as Basware and Verian). While Q1 2017 will see the introduction of BravoSolution’s first integrated source-to-pay suite under its own control, the more important differentiation in capabilities and approach arguably comes not from P2P but rather its core analytics, sourcing and supplier management capabilities (as well as integrated contract management).

This third and final installment of the Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series on BravoSolution provides an objective SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to BravoSolution and offers provider selection guidance. Lastly, this installment provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that may consider the BravoAdvantage suite or individual modules. Part 1 of this Vendor Snapshot gave an in-depth look at BravoSolution as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 provided a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

Keelvar: From Upstart to Tackling Large-Scale Sourcing Optimization — Year-End Tech Review

internet

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the sourcing (including e-sourcing) and supplier management spaces.

Sourcing optimization solutions today have supported some of the largest and most complex sourcing events ever conducted. Yet overall, adoption has lagged the market for general-purpose e-sourcing tools and suites. Keelvar, a four-year-old firm that started as a spinout from a research lab at a university, is hoping to change this.

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

digital

BravoSolution currently delivers a benchmark set of capabilities for procurement organizations in the “upstream” procurement suite area. It is not without weaknesses, (which we will also explore in this analysis), but BravoSolution stands apart in how it has constructed and how it delivers integrated suite components to support real-world procurement needs by country, industry and procurement organizational structure. With an emphasis on analytics, sourcing (core and advanced/optimization) and supplier management, BravoSolution provides one standard by which to measure the market from an upstream suite perspective. The provider also offers P2P capabilities (“downstream”) today and will be releasing its own solution, gained through acquisition, in 2017.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores BravoSolution’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Analytics8 SpendView: A New, Affordable Spend Analysis Solution — Year-End Tech Review

analytics

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the risk management and spend analytics spaces.

There’s a new spend analytics vendor in town: Analytics8. This company 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.

HICX: Solution Review & Analysis

supplier network

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.

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. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the HICX solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

Spend360: The Spend Analysis Classification Vendor to Beat — Year-End Tech Review

Analytics

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the risk management and spend analytics spaces.

Although Spend360 is a relatively new entrant to the spend analytics solution space in North America, the company is well established in Europe. The firm commenced operations in 2011, and its founders have worked at previous start-ups in the sector. The founding team’s experience is apparent in Spend360’s spend analytics technology, as well as its ability to commercialize its capabilities. Beyond simply enabling the visualization of spending and related supply data, Spend360’s solution sets itself apart from the competition with its emphasis on classification through machine learning.

Porter, Five Forces and Procurement Suites

everythingpossible/Adobe Stock

A friend asked me the other day if I had ever written a five forces diagram from the perspective of the procurement technology suite market, spanning product areas including spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract lifecycle management, e-procurement, e-invoicing and supplier connectivity. I had not, but I told him I’d take up the challenge and put something together.

riskmethods: A Unique Risk Management Solution for Manufacturers — Year-End Tech Review

risk

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the risk management and spend analytics spaces.

Riskmethods, which Spend Matters estimates is the fastest-growing supply chain risk management provider, is more than just a cloud-based provider of supply chain risk management software. It is a new type of supply chain intelligence utility. While the provider is still too small to have a solution that is “going viral,” its growth rate is significant relative to all other vendors in the sector and also a bright spot on the broader procurement and supply chain technology market.

Scout RFP: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis

Oracle

The e-sourcing market might have met its Coupa in the form of Scout RFP. But whether Scout can add core functionality and related modules quickly enough to build out its own view of what a next-generation upstream suite needs to look like, as quickly as Coupa has in the P2P area, remains to be seen. There’s also the broader question of how Scout RFP could differentiate through tightly-coupled API, platform or “app” based partnerships in areas such as market intelligence, supply market directories, supplier management, contract lifecycle management, commodity management, analytics, e-procurement, e-invoicing and related areas. In such a fragmented and competitive market, following in Coupa’s growth footsteps won’t be easy. And successfully pulling off a “triple, triple, double, double, double” while maintaining near 100% SaaS renewal rates is a long shot, even for the best cloud products companies. This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Scout RFP provides an objective SWOT analysis of Scout and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Scout RFP and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies consider Scout RFP as a potential vendor. Previous installments provide an in-depth look at Scout RFP as a firm and its specific solutions (PART 1) and a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience (PART 2).

Claritum: How a P2P Specialist Tackles Unmanaged Spend — Year-End Tech Review

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Claritum launched in 2002 with an initial focus on supporting transactional procurement needs for print and marketing services. Today, the company delivers a cloud-based P2P solution that also includes tactical sourcing capability. The provider counts more than 150,000 users in 35 countries across dozens of customers. Here's why we think procurement practitioners should keep an eye on them.