The Commentary Category

Jaggaer Again Leads with its Chin in BravoSolution Acquisition

While terms and conditions of the transaction are not public, this is a bigger deal than U.S.-centric market followers may think. Regardless of how much Jaggaer paid, the most important feature of this deal is that the U.S. procurement market’s most prolific hunter-gatherer just bought itself a global footprint. Yes, the solution pieces are all there now. And, as Jaggaer's CEO argues, they’re all best of breed. But what he doesn’t mention, nor does Jim Wetekamp, BravoSolution’s CEO, is the word “integration.”

What Procurement’s Talking About at the Thanksgiving Table This Year

Spend Matters has very special powers.

We were able to travel into the future and become a fly on the dining room wall, joining several procurement practitioners gathered around the Thanksgiving table.

What is Procurement mad about this year? What are their concerns? What do they want to see changed? Here are some highlights of Procurement’s Thanksgiving 2017 discussion.

Trust No One: Is Independence a Solution to the X-Files?

Like the X-Files, the reality of a work environment can often defy explanation. Today’s procurement leaders talk about waging a “war” for talent. If the positions are out there and the inducements are so great, why are some of the best people opting out of corporate roles and into independent careers? I have cycled through both types of roles. For me, my choice to be independent comes down to one factor that happens over and over in corporate environments: people not keeping their word. Why is it so hard for leaders to say what they mean, then do what they say? With Fox Mulder-level skepticism, I don’t trust anyone when they tell me what I can expect in a job.

The truth is out there. But here are three areas where leaders frequently don’t walk the talk.

Behind the Scenes: Interpreting Q4 2017 SolutionMap Results With Jason Busch — Jaggaer (and Jaggaer Direct) [PRO]

Today I’m wrapping up my series of observations on Q4 2017 SolutionMap suite providers with perhaps the most fun vendor of all to opine on beyond the data alone: Jaggaer. (Be sure to check out the previous installments covering SAP Ariba, Basware and CoupaDetermine, GEP and Ivalua; and BravoSolution and Zycus, too.) When I think of potential — using the truest sense of the word — in the procurement technology market, there is no provider more underutilized than Jaggaer, especially in scenarios where it can serve industry segments and geographies that have not previously embraced solutions designed for them. Below I share my thoughts on this opportunity and how Jaggaer did in the Q4 2017 SolutionMaps, with maybe a few Jägerbomb(shells) tossed down the thirsty Friday throat for good measure. Whether your mixer is a Red Bull or Heineken, sit back and enjoy.

The Future of Work is the Gig of Disruption or: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Get Back to Work

You know how some things seem timeless, while others — no matter how annoying — just don’t seem to go away. Or are they both one and the same? That’s the problem: confusion. One of the biggest threats to humankind today may not be nuclear war or climate change — it may very well be confusion, on a scale larger than the world has ever known. The misplacement of a comma or an innocent misspelling could mean the difference between life or death (or at least the flawed delivery of your Zappos shoes to your undeserving, though outwardly affable, neighbor). In any case, confusion seems to have become the bane of our existence and an accepted feature of our everyday life. But not for me. I have chosen to resist. And my first target is buzzwords.

Behind the Scenes: Interpreting Q4 2017 SolutionMap Results With Jason Busch — Determine, GEP and Ivalua [PRO]

We recently published the Q4 2017 SolutionMaps across six different product categories and two integrated suite areas: spend analytics, sourcing (e-sourcing), contract lifecycle management (CLM), supplier management (SxM), e-procurement and invoice-to-pay (plus “strategic procurement technology suites” and “procure-to-pay” suites). Three of the providers that participated in all six core categories and both suites were Determine, GEP and Ivalua (in fact, the only other provider that participated in both suites was SAP Ariba). The full results of each tell three very different stories, but even their individual solution (and customer) narratives do not begin to get at the “whole vendor” — and what’s really happening in the market.

Take it From a Former Road Warrior: User Conferences Have Come of Age

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Having spent more than 30 years in the software game, I thought I had reached my fill of trade shows and all of the related logistical nightmares. For years, user conferences were saddled with similar baggage (sheep in wolves’ clothing). But not anymore — at least not based on my experience of the last few years. Done well, user conferences bring customers and qualified prospects together in increasingly engaging formats. They have become staged, anticipated events, if not exclusive, peer-to-peer gatherings.  

‘Come Over to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies’: On Blending Corporate and Freelance Work

After I wrote passionately about making the change from corporate employee to free agent, a friend asked how I could write that when I had just taken a corporate job. I was going back over to the “Dark Side.” Or was it the going back to the “Light Side”? It hadn’t occurred to me that my perspectives and actions might seem contradictory. Let me correct that. It occurred to me, but I didn’t care. And neither should you.

Risky Business — Our Illogical Attitudes to Risk, Regret and Gambling [Plus+]

supply risk

We've featured aspects of Daniel Kahneman's brilliant book, Thinking Fast and Slow, over a number of articles looking at his concepts such as Priming and Anchoring, and in particular what they (and other ideas he and others in the field have developed) mean for procurement professionals.

Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for Economics, with his collaborator Amos Tverksy — not bad going for two psychologists. And the work that led to the prize was largely around the area of risk, which is what we will look at today.

He and Tversky showed that the assumptions economists made about human behaviour — that we acted rationally in hard economic terms — could be proved false. That meant many of the standard economic models and theories were also flawed, which rather upset many in the economics community!

Kahneman called the strange beings who behaved in this perfectly rationally manner "econs" as opposed to "humans," who behaved — well, like humans do. And his work on risk shows exactly why the assumptions of rationality doesn't hold up. Our decisions aren’t rational — but driven by factors like the “endowment effect,” risk-aversion, and regret.

There is obviously a huge amount of detail that we could look at here — an entire Nobel Prize's worth, we might say. But we will just focus on a few key conclusions and a handful of implications for procurement. As before, we strongly recommend you read the book if this interests you (and, really, it should).

So let’s get into three key Kahneman findings.

Supplier Diversity Success Story: How an MBE Partnership Won a $100M+ Contract

As a procurement professional, I’m primarily tasked with identifying the best ways to utilize our spend and influence to as to create the maximum advantage for my organization. Obviously, this is extremely valuable for the company but can sometimes leave me feeling a bit uninspired. As a purchases manager at a global consumer products company, I was known to say to my closest colleagues, “It’s just soap and toilet paper. We are not changing the world.”

However, several years ago I was presented with a rare chance to make a difference in a way that was highly meaningful for me. I may not have realized it at the time, but I was fortunate to work in an organization that called out supplier diversity as a critical factor in its business strategy. A category plan couldn’t be written that didn’t include a supplier diversity component, and an RFP or business award couldn’t be made without addressing how we will reach our diversity targets.

SciQuest Rebrands Itself as Jaggaer

Earlier today, SciQuest, a source-to-pay technology provider, announced it had rebranded itself as Jaggaer.

The new name is “a derivation of the German word for hunter, and reflects the company’s brand promise of delivering comprehensive, focused spend solutions for a broad range of businesses.”

For us, the name conjures up memories of sticky bar room floors from college.

3 Reasons Why Procurement Needs to Worry About Mexico

President Donald Trump followed through on one of his central campaign promises Monday by officially withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). And while trade with China, Vietnam and other Asian countries is certainly of concern to most procurement groups, our neighbor to the south also needs to be on your radar for 2017.