Author Archives: Thomas Kase

Spend Matters 50/50: HICX Solutions – A Provider to Watch in 2015

- July 31, 2015 3:04 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

HICX Solutions is one of our 50 Providers to Watch. We will be highlighting 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) from our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. Practitioners are encouraged to browse the categories listed in our Almanac to find the provider that best fits their needs. Since this British company was founded in 2004, it has expanded into a relatively global presence, with offices in London, Chicago and Dubai. It is by no means a large firm but is active in most verticals, with clients that are at the top of the list in their respective industries – whether in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, financials or in consulting services, to mention a few.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 6 – The Standard Contract Management Platform

Man looking at tablet Today we continue our Plus series on contract lifecycle management, an uninspired acronym that sometimes encapsulates, sometimes complements, the source-to-settle or source-to-pay process, which when properly implemented can generate quite attractive results. Today, we discuss the “should-have” features of a contract management platform. While not absolutely required, usability and performance will be significantly affected by the absence of any of these features, and most industry leading contract management solutions will support the majority of these capabilities to some extent. Of course, practitioner priorities will always determine “must-have” versus “should-have” weightings, but we simply break it out for convenience based on how we see organizations prioritize and sequence solution functionality selection and implementation. For most organizations, it’s okay if a few features here are missing, but if too many of these features are missing, then the organization should consider very carefully whether such a contract management solution is right for it, unless the capability is present in another platform currently in use by supply management or the solution is essentially free. In this post, we highlight our list of should-have capabilities.

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Spend Matters 50/50: Hiperos – A Provider to Know in 2015

- July 23, 2015 2:51 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

Hiperos is one of our 50 Providers to Know. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. Practitioners are encouraged to browse the categories listed in our Almanac to find the provider that best fits their needs. Massachusetts-originated Hiperos has made a name for itself in the supplier management field – first through its supplier performance management (SPM) solutions and later with information management more broadly – until recently creating the label third party management (3PM) and focusing primarily on risk management across all external parties that a company engages with.

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Airbnb Revamps Business Travel Program

plane From a luxury penthouse in Tokyo to a modern loft in Amsterdam – bike included – the number of places for business travelers to stay during corporate trips continues to grow. And, Airbnb is making it easier for corporate travelers to avoid stuffy hotel rooms and opt for alternative spaces like these while traveling for work. This week, the hospitality company announced the global expansion of its Business Travel program, adding a number of tools to the suite to increase visibility into employees' travel plans and spending. Since Airbnb’s Business Travel program launched in July 2014, it has seen 700% growth and now has more than 250 companies as customers, including big names like Google and Facebook. Currently about 10% of all rentals on Airbnb are used by business customers. Other data show business travelers enjoy Airbnb rentals more than hotel rooms and tend to stay longer in the rentals compared with hotels. Read on to find out what we think makes Airbnb so attractive to business travelers.

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Coupa Buys TripScanner – Extending Open Procurement Model To Travel

- July 23, 2015 6:12 AM | Categories: Industry News, M&A, Solution Providers, Technology

airport On July 20, the iconoclastic solutions provider Coupa announced it is acquiring TripScanner for an undisclosed amount. Like Coupa, TripScanner is built on an open network principle, except it is focused on business travel. Owing to its small size, TripScanner has not had any prior coverage on Spend Matters. But from what I have read about the company, its business concept appears similar to that of the travel portion of industry-leading travel and expense management provider Concur. Now part of SAP’s cloud portfolio, Concur’s approach lets travelers – in a user-friendly fashion – address their travel needs first and sort out policy consequences afterward. It’s a “spend-visibility-above-all” approach that aligns well with Coupa’s procure-to-pay (P2P) philosophy. Read on to find out how else TripScanner will bring value the Coupa's suite.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 5 – The Core CM Solution

businessman hand pushing on a touch screen interface Today we continue our multi-part Plus series on contract lifecycle management (CLM), an uninspired acronym that sometimes encapsulates, sometimes complements, the source-to-settle (S2S) or source-to-Pay (S2P) process, which when properly implemented can generate quite attractive results. So far, we have introduced CLM in depth, defined the “CLM wheel” and reviewed the solution space to try and understand which solutions were typically required to support the full CLM process from an end-to-end procurement perspective, as no current solution supports the full buy-side process, in our view. We also followed this solution space review with a detailed review of the core solutions that were historically used to implement a full end-to-end solution, when strategically sourcing a high-value category. Now that we understand where traditional procurement solutions have been used with respect to full CLM and a number of the capabilities a true CLM platform is required to possess, we can discuss the core must-have level 1 requirements. In this post, we point out these must-have capabilities that every contract management platform needs to bring at least some value to your organization and where they fit on the CLM wheel.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 4 – The Traditional Solutions

Traditional tools So far in our contract lifecycle management (CLM) series, we have discussed how the process can generate truly exceptional results when implemented correctly, and we have introduced a “wheel” framework that defined the processes and requirements for a core platform needed to support the end-to-end contract lifecycle in a modern supply management organization. In our last post, we provided a review of the solution space in an effort to understand what types of solutions were historically required in support of the CLM process. This understanding is important because no current solution supports the full CLM process well – as defined in our framework – on the buy-side and within a broader enterprise context. In this post, we will map each of the relevant components included in core buy-side technologies to the CLM framework because it helps one understand not only how these solutions support CLM, but how a specific CLM tool often needs to hook into this technology.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 3 – Mapping the Upstream and Downstream Contract Phases

Map So far in this series, we have introduced contract lifecycle management (CLM) – a process that is not only the key to procurement success, but the key to organizational success. We also have introduced the CLM platform model that provides the foundation for end-to-end CLM, which we will be discussing in more depth in this series. At a high-level, this consisted of the contract information management (CIM) repository, the core contract process/workflow management capabilities and 4 key aspects of (commercial) performance management that the CLM platform must support. This is a great start toward a definition of CLM, and the platform to support it, but we find that in order to fully understand what a CLM solution is in our context, we first have to map the solution space by defining the relevant process areas (i.e., pre-contract upstream and post-contract downstream) and then map them to the applicable software functionality areas that make sense for those processes.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 2 – Understanding the CLM Platform Model

model In this second part of our 10-part series on contract lifecycle management (CLM), we describe our CLM framework first in business terms to set the right context before we start describing solution requirements that will lead to solution approaches and providers. The term “CLM” itself is actually somewhat limiting because it describes the workflow surrounding the contract lifecycle rather than how contracts can be used to support broader enterprise initiatives and relationships. We’ll cover this in the “commercial performance management” layer of the framework (e.g., diving into obligation management as a key multi-faceted competency) and also how CLM connects to 7 key buy-side process areas and 10 enterprise areas. We'll also examine core CLM requirements, covering 11 contract lifecycle processes and 6 contract information management areas, as well as do some initial discussion of underlying technical platform components. Let’s dive in.

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Spend Matters 50/50: Pool4Tool – A Provider to Watch in 2015

- June 29, 2015 3:05 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

Pool4Tool is one of our 50 Providers to Watch. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. Practitioners are encouraged to browse the categories listed in our Almanac to find the provider that best fits their needs. Pool4Tool is an Austrian-based powerhouse of an e-sourcing and e-procurement platform that aims to please the direct side. And we mean all of the direct side, whether a company needs to engage their customer relationship management (CRM), aka sell-side, with the product management (quality), to a supplier network and managing its own suppliers via full supplier lifecycle management (SLM) and, of course, sourcing projects, contracting and post-contract follow up, ongoing supplier development, etc.

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What the Pending Acquisition of Hubwoo Means for Perfect Commerce

- June 18, 2015 2:35 AM | Categories: Analysis, Industry News, M&A, P2P, Technology

Considering Hubwoo's finacials Last week, Perfect Commerce LLC made an offer to buy all shares in Hubwoo SA, a Paris-based procure-to-pay software company. Virginia-based Perfect Commerce is getting a relative bargain-basement price in the deal, but there will be some serious issues to work through if the transaction is finalized. This Spend Matters PRO article takes an in-depth look at what the deal could mean and opportunities it presents for Perfect Commerce.

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Sustainable Procurement – Is ‘Right-to-Work’ the Preferred Sustainable Sourcing Criterion?

- June 12, 2015 6:31 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Sourcing, Sustainability

Welder-in-a-factory-011314122B7F0BA8 By the very nature of the word "sustainable" we can hear that it refers to the longer term – to what can be continued over time. Many companies want to support this approach (or at least be seen as doing so), but what can tangibly be done? I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that whether a company or a supplier is in a right-to-work state or not (i.e. not unionized, or unionized) can make a big difference in local economic conditions over the longer haul.

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