Author Archives: Xavier Olivera



Oracle’s P2P Strengths and Weaknesses for Procurement Cloud

As we noted in an earlier research brief, Oracle has leapfrogged ahead of competitors in the cloud procurement area. Its latest offering took us by surprise and will no doubt surprise others, as well. But what are Oracle’s most apparent strengths and weaknesses within Procurement Cloud relative to Coupa, SAP Ariba and other top-performing providers?

This Spend Matters PRO analysis, based on our latest SolutionMap review of Oracle’s capability in Q1 2018 and the vendor's recent Modern Supply Chain Experience event, explores Oracle Procurement Cloud’s comparative strengths and weaknesses within the e-procurement and invoice-to-pay areas.

Spend Matters also recently published a Vendor Snapshot series on Oracle’s overall Procurement Cloud suite (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). The review provides an end-to-end perspective, including a listing of modules, competitive alternatives, suite strengths and weaknesses, best fit recommendations and a SWOT analysis.

A P2P Cloud Surprise: Oracle Leapfrogs Ahead in E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay

While it may surprise many procurement organizations, systems integrators and competitive vendors in the market today, Spend Matters’ Q1 2018 SolutionMap findings suggest that Oracle’s e-procurement capability is a top feature/capability contender alongside rivals SAP Ariba, Coupa, Ivalua and others. (Our latest SolutionMap is based on an analysis of 19 e-procurement vendors.) But where specifically has Oracle made investments to come up to par in this multifaceted and disciplined segment of procurement technology, and how does its capability stack up today?

In a series of two Spend Matters PRO research briefs, both based on SolutionMap analysis and time spent at Oracle’s 2018 Modern Supply Chain Experience event, we will explore Oracle’s latest e-procurement and invoice-to-pay capabilities. Today’s analysis provides an introduction to Oracle’s core capabilities in these areas and offers a perspective on where Oracle will likely surprise potential customers. The second analysis explores specific Oracle Cloud P2P strengths and weaknesses and provides comparative insight for those considering Oracle’s e-procurement and invoice-to-pay capabilities.

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

Better known in Europe than in North America, SynerTrade is ramping up its U.S. presence in 2018. We see a bright future for the provider on a global basis, provided it makes adequate sales, marketing and channel investments that call attention to what it is capable of enabling through its broad, cloud-based procurement platform.

SynerTrade is one of the few vendors capable of delivering a comprehensive, fully integrated and rapidly deployable source-to-pay suite that also provides organizations the ability to rapidly configure heavy internationalization and systems integration requirements. This makes it a particularly interesting shortlist candidate for procurement organizations with global requirements and complex systems environments. Although not without weaknesses, it is nevertheless unique in its approach and is likely to appeal to many organizations that today have no idea who it is, owing to its previous regional focus in Europe.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about SynerTrade’s source-to-pay capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider SynerTrade in the procurement and finance technology areas. Part 2 of this research brief covered product strengths and weaknesses, and this final installment offers competitor and SWOT analyses, as well as evaluation and selection considerations.

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

Even though the procurement technology suite market is less than two decades old, we're still in an era where there are only a handful of end-to-end source-to-pay providers that are well established and reasonably mature. These providers are not equal by a long shot, each bringing different strengths and weaknesses. And there are some gaps that have not yet been filled (e.g., a “Nimble” buying persona suite).

SynerTrade, a procurement technology suite provider, is an example of a firm contributing to the breakneck pace of recent innovation in the source-to-pay suite market — and one that may yet fill the “Nimble” suite need. Providers in this formerly slow-moving technology market are now developing solutions more quickly than ever before, introducing and fully fleshing out new capabilities and technologies over quarters, not multiple years or decades.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores SynerTrade’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview, as well as a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering SynerTrade. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

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The market for cloud-based procure-to-pay technologies continues to get busier. Differentiating between all of the options available can become a full-time job for a P2P process lead. Within this mix, OpusCapita, a Nordics-based firm that includes the acquired and integrated JCatalog solution set, offerings a compelling set of capabilities that, while not widely known outside of Northern Europe, are worthy of shortlist contention in a variety of scenarios, especially when complex indirect procurement, including advanced catalog and product information management, is required.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about OpusCapita’s solution offering in the supplier management and supplier diversity markets. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider OpusCapita in the procurement and finance technology areas. Part 2 covered product strengths and weaknesses, and this final installment offers a competitor and SWOT analysis, along with evaluation and selection considerations.

OpusCapita: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Platform Strengths and Weaknesses

The procure-to-pay (P2P) solution market continues to heat up in North America. Choices abound for new customers, as well as for those looking to upgrade or take legacy solutions into the cloud. The same is true in Europe, too, as both the same set and an additional group of providers battle it out for e-procurement, invoice-to-pay and trade financing solution dominance, giving procurement and finance organizations an unprecedented amount of choice. Within this mix, OpusCapita, which includes the acquired and now integrated jCatalog solution, offers a compelling mix of capabilities whose strengths are actually quite different from many of the better-known names in the sector.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores OpusCapita’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering OpusCapita. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

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When most procurement and AP organizations think of the Nordics and procurement and accounts payable technology, they think of Basware. But there’s a new, re-emerging provider out of Finland (and the broader Nordics) with surprising scale behind it. This provider, OpusCapita, combined organically developed technology assets with the e-procurement and invoice-to-pay capabilities of jCatalog, which it acquired in 2016, and Itella. Today, OpusCapita’s solutions span the gamut of source-to-pay, order-to-cash, cash management, supplier network connectivity and product information management. As a component of its solutions, regulatory and payment integration and compliance is a strength.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot offers an introduction to OpusCapita, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations make informed decisions about whether they should explore this lesser-known solution provider. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider OpusCapita as a complement to other procurement and finance solutions. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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

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Thanks to Spend Matters SolutionMaps, readers are likely familiar with six of the larger source-to-pay providers: SAP Ariba, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Jaggaer and Zycus. (Coupa, we should note, competes only selectively as an end-to-end suite provider.) But they might not be familiar with SynerTrade, an S2P provider we most recently reviewed in 2016.

Two years ago, SynerTrade offered a sprawling set of platform-based procurement applications, not so dissimilar in approach from what Pool4Tool (now Jaggaer Direct) offered at the time. But since then, SynerTrade has developed a globally competitive set of capabilities, creating an integrated suite model built on a common platform — with 34 individual apps available on top of it.

How SynerTrade compares with other providers will become clearer when we release our Q1 2018 SolutionMaps in March. For now, this Spend Matters PRO series offers an updated primer on SynerTrade, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should include it on their shortlists.

Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider SynerTrade. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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

Oracle

For many years, Zycus’ self-proclaimed corporate objective was to become a “top three” procurement technology solutions provider. The irony of this goal was that it would ultimately — at least until Q2 2018 — prove elusive, not because of a failure to execute on objectives but rather how the market (e.g., Jaggaer’s strategy of combining multiple larger vendors and niche specialists under a single roof) moved against Zycus through unexpected actions. But more important than this is what Zycus’ initiatives actually mean for customers, based on the underlying current capabilities of the provider’s modules, suite and ecosystem today — and its planned enhancements for tomorrow. In these areas, fortunately, Zycus’ approach to meeting its business goals proved more important than the initial objective itself.

The third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series covering Zycus offers a SWOT analysis of the provider and a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Zycus and offers provider selection guidance. Previous installments provided an in-depth look at Zycus as a firm and its specific solutions (Part 1) and a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses, as well as a review of the product’s user experience (Part 2).

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

Zycus is one of roughly half-a-dozen true source-to-pay (S2P) platform providers that offer more than lip service across all of the elements that comprise this solution area. In some modular areas, however, its technology is deeper than others.

For example, while Zycus has the RFX and auction functionality found in just about every sourcing platform, it also brings sourcing project management, spend analysis, a supplier network with supplier relationship management functionality and contract lifecycle management. Zycus also brings significant support for downstream procurement with its own native catalog management, requisition management, purchase order management, e-invoicing, payment support and dynamic discounting capability. And threaded throughout the platform is S2P project management support, organizational “ask procurement” support, integrated search and suggest functionality, and the capability to run end-to-end performance metrics.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot continues our exploration of Zycus’ source-to-pay offering by diving into the platform’s strengths, weaknesses and user interface. In Part 1 of this series, we provided an overview of Zycus as an organization, its primary platform modules and key considerations that will help an organization decide whether or not it should be investigating Zycus to meet its source-to-pay needs. In Part 3, we will conclude our coverage with a SWOT assessment, a detailed user selection guide, competition overview and our expert analysis.

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

procurement software

Aatish Dedhia, Zycus’s founder, has long preached the benefits of technology provider self-sufficiency, including management-driven investment, profitable growth and organic, suite-based product development. It is based on these principles that Zycus “grew up” from a razor-focused pioneer in the spend classification sector nearly 20 years ago into a strategic procurement technologies suite and, eventually, a full end-to-end source-to-pay (S2P) suite provider. While Zycus has strong comparative solutions depth and capability in certain areas, part of its broader market appeal has been often comparatively low pricing, which we view as a value-based feather in its cap.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations make informed decisions about whether a provider like Zycus, either on a modular or source-to-pay suite basis, is likely to be a strong shortlist candidate for their needs. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Zycus for their S2P needs. The remainder of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Oracle Emphasizes Cloud Procurement at Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018

Two members of the Spend Matters analyst team attended Oracle’s Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018 event in San Jose this week. Procurement received its own track at the event, and various Oracle procurement solutions — with an emphasis on the source-to-pay cloud offerings — were on display in the solution pavilion. We also had a chance to speak both informally and formally with different members of the Oracle procurement product, marketing and development teams.