Author Archives: Spend Matters Analyst Team



SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 3): How can the SAP spend platform ‘Run Simple’?

supplier network

The integration of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur into a single operating entity within SAP, the “Intelligent Spend Group,” will be far more straightforward from a commercial and go-to-market perspective than a technology architecture and platform vantage point. This Spend Matters research brief, the third in our series analyzing integration considerations for the Intelligent Spend Group, explores network and platform considerations and offers key takeaways for the company and SAP customers. Part 1 centered on specific integration models that SAP is likely to take (e.g., the SAP Cloud Integration Gateway) and what these approaches would mean for customers of multiple solutions. Part 2 asked the hard questions surrounding core integration considerations.

SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 2): Hard Questions on Integration

integration

In late April, SAP announced its “Intelligent Spend Group,” a combination of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur. As the new operating unit eventually becomes “one” from a product perspective as well, it is important to realize the level of complexity that SAP will confront along the way. For example, SAP Ariba product managers have to deal with their individual platforms/ecosystems (SAP Ariba, Fieldglass, and Concur), but also with integrating to the Ariba Network, relevant SAP applications (e.g., Integrated Business Planning), with partner apps in each of those ecosystems, and the move toward an SAP-centric application stack and platform stack.

For example, SAP has its own journey from ECC to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud via S/4HANA Cloud Foundation, S/4HANA Cross Engineering, S/4HANA Enterprise Architecture, and other toolsets. S/4HANA then needs to integrate to the SAP Cloud Platform applications that will themselves need to integrate with each other as they slowly migrate to an underlying SAP Cloud Platform that includes a range of areas described in this second of three briefs in Spend Matters' PRO research series.

It’s not simple to run — unlike SAP’s old slogan of “Run Simple” used to say.

SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 1): Customer Analysis, Solution Integration, Roadmap

Late in April, SAP announced that it was bringing its procurement assets under a single operating umbrella. The announcement of the new business unit, tucked into the body of a press release with the headline of a leadership promotion, notes that the “SAP Intelligent Spend Group” will be “comprised of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur.” The group, according to the announcement, would be headed by SAP Ariba and Concur veteran Barry Padgett, but this week we learned that Padgett left SAP. Regardless of leadership, the Intelligent Spend Group will move forward. This Spend Matters PRO brief provides an analysis of what the creation of a single organization within SAP for these solutions may mean for each individual solution line and customers.

Comparing Coupa to Exari: Piecing Together a Top Tier Jigsaw Puzzle for CLM (SolutionMap Analysis)

With its announced intent to purchase Exari, Coupa has completed a full circle of acquisitions to bring best-of-breed applications to each area of the Strategic Procurement Technology (SPT) category of Spend Matters’ SolutionMap as Coupa expands beyond its original P2P roots.

Earlier acquisitions of Trade Extensions, Spend360 and Hiperos helped Coupa assemble an SPT jigsaw puzzle for sourcing, spend analytics and supplier management, and Exari, with its AI-based approach to deep contract modeling and analytics, represents yet another piece of an emerging tableau. And a critical one at that: In many ways, CLM forms the critical link within Coupa’s source-to-pay suite between upstream sourcing activities and downstream P2P, meaning there are significant opportunities to mine here for Coupa users in areas such as risk management, strategic supplier relationship management and, of course, savings generation.

Yet in addition to the question of how Exari fits into the larger Coupa strategy puzzle, there is also a relevant one about how the vendor fits into Coupa’s current CLM product strategy (and current contracts application), from a feature-function angle as well as a technical (integration) perspective.

As the Spend Matters Contract Lifecycle Management scoring in SolutionMap illustrates, Coupa’s current CLM capabilities are stronger in some areas than others, whereas Exari’s help set the benchmark in many areas.

When brought into Coupa, Exari would theoretically help close some of the gaps in Coupa’s offering relative to best-of-breed pacesetters, as well as suite competitors that have made investments in strong CLM capability.

The technical reality, however, is not quite as simple. Exari itself is a vendor built somewhat from acquired solutions, and while its CLM capabilities are best-in-class, its three main components (contract parsing, template creation and core CLM features) are all built on different technology stacks.

So where do Coupa and Exari fit together, and what are their areas of comparative strengths and weaknesses at the time of the acquisition?

This Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis provides an overview of the two providers’ capabilities, their comparative rankings in the CLM category and what combining the solutions into one offering could look like. It uses as the basis of comparison the Q1 2019 SolutionMap for Contract Lifecycle Management, which analyzes 13 vendors across dozens of functional categories, including contract creation and authoring, core contract modeling, analytics, expiry and renewal management, and compliance.

BirchStreet: What Makes It Great (Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

BlueCart

Invoice-to-pay requirements in the hospitality industry are unique. Not only do organizations require full visibility at the invoice line level and the ability to manage traditional matching and approval flows, solutions also must support decentralized environments (e.g., franchise models) while still enabling control and visibility — including support for category-specific (e.g., ingredient/food) requirements.

Moreover, global hospitality organizations need solutions that can meet global invoicing requirements, especially country-specific compliance.

BirchStreet, a procure-to-pay solution provider specializing in the hospitality industry and adjacent sectors, stands out in its ability to meet a range of invoice-to-pay capability requirements, both purpose-built for the markets it targets and standardized capabilities. This shows in Spend Matters’ Q1 2019 SolutionMap Invoice-to-Pay benchmark, where BirchStreet is an e-invoicing and payment leader based on demonstrated capabilities and real-world customer experiences.

SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 providers within the procurement technology landscape. But where does BirchStreet deliver best-in-class capabilities and top customer reference scores that help “set the bar” in invoice-to-pay, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where BirchStreet is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Shortlist: What Makes It Great (Independent Contract Workers Analysis)

Shortlist is a provider of an enterprise technology solution that enables organizations to source, on-board, manage, directly engage and pay their independent contract workers (ICWs).

Its offering was recently evaluated in Spend Matters’ SolutionMap framework with the Independent Contract Workers (ICW) enterprise solution category. That segment is the most dynamic part of the contingent and workforce and services (CW/S) procurement technology market, which also includes SolutionMap’s Temp Staffing (Vendor Management Systems/VMS) and Contract Services/Statement of Work solution segments.

Most ICW enterprise solutions have emerged over the past five years within the context of the so-called gig, freelance and peer-to-peer “economies” — a world of innovative platforms like Uber and Airbnb versus the establishment world of enterprise software applications inhabited for decades by providers like SAP and Oracle.

While some new providers have stood up external platforms like online marketplaces that function effectively as third-party suppliers of talent, others have stood up enterprise software solutions that organizations can use to source and manage talent in ways that VMS, ATS and HRIS systems cannot. Shortlist falls within this latter category.

Shortlist provides a comprehensive, fit-for-purpose software solution that can be used by organizations to manage their independent contract workers (ICWs) and small-scale service providers (SSPs). The solution provides support in almost every aspect of the ICW/SSP source-to-pay lifecycle.

Q1 2019 SolutionMap E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay Release Notes

Q1 2019 Spend Matters SolutionMap procurement software company rankings

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider Release Note provides insight into the Q1 2019 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P), reviewing the process that we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release. The Q1 2019 SolutionMap release sees very few changes from the Q4 2018 release. Mainly, the Procure-to-Pay customer reference set added 14 new individual customer references in Q1. No new providers were added for Q1, but will be added for the Q2 2019 cycle. This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into these and additional changes in the Q1 2019 SolutionMap release.

Q1 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) Enterprise Technology Solutions — Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW), Independent Contract Workers (ICW)

Q1 2019 Spend Matters SolutionMap procurement software company rankings

Q1 2019 marks the third research cycle for Spend Matters’ Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) “enterprise technology” SolutionMap, the sourcing and management of three underlying spend categories:Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work and Independent Contract Workers (ICW).

The providers in the Q1 2019 CW/S SolutionMap include Beeline, Coupa-DCR Workforce, Field Nation, Shortlist, SirionLabs, TalentNet, Talmix, TalonFMS, Upwork Enterprise, Vndly and WorkMarket (ADP).

Given Spend Matters’ procurement orientation, we evaluate “enterprise technology” vendors within a source-to-pay (S2P) reference model. In other words, we look at vendors in terms of their capabilities that address some or all enterprise requirements that arise within an S2P lifecycle (i.e., from supplier sourcing to worker or supplier payment).

In this third CW/S research cycle, there was again limited participation in the Temp Staffing and Contract Services/SOW SolutionMap categories. However, a good number of key vendors have expressed interest in participating in upcoming cycles.

There continues to be vibrant interest in participation by vendors in the emergent Independent Contract Workers (ICW) SolutionMap category.

We have gathered extensive business profile information, received well over 30 client reference surveys and have assigned scores to specific solution capabilities (RFI line items) ranging from well over 100 to about 300, depending upon how many SolutionMap categories a particular vendor participated in.

Q1 2019 SolutionMap Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management and Strategic Procurement Technology Suite Release Notes

Q1 2019 Spend Matters SolutionMap procurement software company rankings

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q1 2019 SolutionMap release for Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Strategic Procurement Technologies Suite SolutionMaps, reviewing the process we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release. Mainly, 56 new or refreshed customer references were added in the Strategic Procurement Technology areas for Q1. No new providers were added for Q1, but will be added for the Q2 2019 cycle. This SolutionMap Insider release note explores these and additional changes in the Q1 2019 SolutionMap release.

Q1 2019 SolutionMap Source-to-Pay Release Notes

Q1 2019 Spend Matters SolutionMap procurement software company rankings

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q1 2019 SolutionMap release for Source-to-Pay, reviewing the process that we followed for this quarter’s release.

The providers in the Q1 2019 Source-to-Pay SolutionMap include Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, SAP Ariba, SynerTrade and Zycus. All of these providers were required to participate in SolutionMap for each underlying module, as well. These individual areas include Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay. All of these providers are also included in the individual Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) suite views.

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into these and additional considerations in the Q1 2019 SolutionMap release. The Source-to-Pay customer data set is composed of a subset of the 600+ individual organization references included in the overall SolutionMap scoring as of Q1 2019*.

*Customers using more than one module that a vendor provides can opt to fill out a single survey within each individual suite area (e.g., a customer using two modules for P2P and four modules for SPT would need to fill out only two surveys).

Zycus: A Comparative Analysis of the S2P Suite (Source-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

Zycus is part of an exclusive club.

It is one of the few source-to-pay suite vendors on the market that can offer at least adequate functional support across all six modular areas that Spend Matters tracks for S2P using only its internally developed capabilities. This stands in contrast to several of its biggest competitors, which have to varying degrees of success acquired and integrated best-in-class vendors or other suites to bolster their own capabilities.

And while Zycus cannot today claim its technology runs its suite of applications on a single data model, more than 95% of the solution is unified, and when compared against the market, it generally presents broad-based and out-of-the-box capability. Its solutions not only provide strong baseline (sometimes above-the-benchmark) functionality but they come from a single provider that is responsible for making it all work together.

This Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis examines Zycus’ solutions by modular and suite view to help interested parties understand the best components that make up the vendor’s end-to-end offering. It provides insight into which areas Zycus is strong in (and where it lags), how competitive individual modules are compared with best-in-class alternatives, and how combinations in the form of procure-to-pay (P2P), strategic procurement technology (SPT) and source-to-pay (S2P) suites stack up in comparison to Zycus’ broader peer group, including Coupa, Jaggaer, SAP Ariba, Ivalua and SynerTrade.

For this analysis, our report uses the aggregate results of nine SolutionMaps from Q4 2018 (the most recent in our quarterly update cycle), comparing a total of 58 solution providers across more than 600 granular functional benchmarks, which are aggregated into more manageable, tiered buckets for the purpose of this analysis. (Those procurement organizations leveraging SolutionMap for a software selection process gain insight into comparative performance at a significantly more granular level of detail that maps business requirements to functional performance.) The SolutionMap analyst ratings, also called the Solution scoring, used in this analysis are based on more than 3,000 hours of live product demonstrations and validated vendor RFI responses.

In subsequent briefs exploring SynerTrade and others, we will take a similar approach to analyzing source-to-pay providers, breaking down where end-to-end platforms excel (or fall below the functional benchmark) on module and suite bases. Previously, we covered the suite performances of Jaggaer, SAP Ariba, Ivalua and Coupa.

After EcoVadis’ Sustain 2019: Company Update, Solution Overview and Technology Enhancements (Part 1)

sustainable

This week, Spend Matters founder and analyst team member Jason Busch represented the Spend Matters team at the EcoVadis Sustain 2019 customer conference in Paris, where about 500 attendees gathered.

EcoVadis, a sustainability/CSR solutions provider that combines ratings content (CSR focused) and a technology platform, is not so dissimilar from providers such as Avetta and ISNetworld, albeit that it focuses on vendor sustainability practices and metrics rather than general compliance/credentialing (e.g., insurance validation) or “pre-qualification” for health and safety.

But like these related firms, EcoVadis is able to take advantage of platform economics (network-based economics) in its business model by qualifying and rating suppliers a single time — with yearly updates — and then leveraging this information across the procurement community. What is special about all of these models is that unlike pure-play technology solutions (e.g., supplier information management) or even general risk management offerings, they tend more toward “winner take all” markets because suppliers carry their credentials with them from customer to customer.

This approaches provides value for all parties and makes switching potential solution providers such as EcoVadis more painful (when alternatives even exist), creating an incentive for buyers and suppliers to remain using the system on a permanent basis. But unlike Avetta (which is growing but still must compete with Achilles and ISNetworld), the only material competition that EcoVadis faces — in a single industry/vertical only — is via the highly specialized, not-for-profit Sedex.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO update provides an overview of what is new at EcoVadis. Today, we provide an update on EcoVadis (overall) and explore its recent solution update and overall platform. An introduction to EcoVadis can be found in our PRO Vendor Snapshot coverage: Background & Solution Overview, Product Strengths & Weaknesses, and Competitive & Summary Analysis.