Category Archives: Conferences

SciQuest’s Product and Solution Strategy: A New Leader, A New Philosophy

road

SciQuest’s new Vice President of Product Management and Strategy Deb Woods is not a conventional head of products. While she has a product management background, Woods has also worked in procurement and supply chain as a practitioner and is extremely experienced leading corporate development efforts as well. It’s arguably the perfect combination for what SciQuest needs in the current product leadership role as it finds itself under new (private) ownership with backing for both organic and inorganic investments.

Combine This! An Update on ASO (Part 2): SciQuest Next Level 2016 Dispatch

Global Procurement Tech Summit

While academic research and development for CombineNet dropped off dramatically after its acquisition, SciQuest has continued to make targeted investments in its sourcing optimization solution. These investments have produced continual improvements in several key areas. Yet while we commend these and other recent improvements to the toolset, SciQuest needs to double down on investments to this product line if it wants to remain a leader in the sourcing optimization market.

Combine This! An Update on ASO (Part 1): SciQuest Next Level 2016 Dispatch

apinan/Adobe Stock

We’ve long been fans of sourcing optimization approaches at Spend Matters. A number of years ago, SciQuest acquired the original pioneer in the sector, CombineNet, which had particular expertise in logistics procurement at the time. Since then, SciQuest has invested in two different sourcing product lines: Sourcing Director and Advanced Sourcing Optimizer. This two-part conference dispatch provides an update to ASO.

SciQuest Next Level 2016 Kicks Off: New Attendees, New Ownership and a New Ecosystem

Next Level

Xavier Olivera, Pierre Mitchell and I are down in Nashville this week at SciQuest’s annual Next Level customer conference. This year’s Next Level, the largest one held to date, features a curious mix of attendees from the private sector, higher education and government. It is also host to a mix of exhibitors and sponsors, including a surprising number focused on enabling punch-out catalog models (not to mention Amazon Business, which is also speaking at the event).

Eved: Solution Review & Analysis

Eved

Global 2000 companies often spend as much on conferences and events as they do on advertising — and some spend more. All of this adds up to annual event expenditure easily exceeding more than $500 billion per year, with some estimates putting global spending significantly higher than this. To put this number in perspective, global conference and event spend is larger than the individual GDP of all but roughly the top 20 countries in the world. Yet unlike advertising spend, which is now often tightly managed and controlled through digital platforms — and even benchmarked competitively on an automated basis — event and conference spend is largely unmanaged, at least as we would define the process from a procurement perspective.

But Eved, which provides what amounts to a highly specialized source-to-pay (S2P) — with an emphasis on “pay” — suite, is bringing a closed loop supply management approach to events and conference spend in a manner that has not been done before. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the Eved solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists and competitive alternatives.

Eved: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis

Eved

The market for event management software is saturated — especially in the areas of planning and marketing. From targeting potential delegates to making attendee registration as simple as possible and coordinating disparate activities, traditional event management software can enable the basics operationally. And there is a broad range of providers to choose from. Yet the market for event management technology centered on procurement is nascent. Because of this, procurement has had only a limited ability to influence and manage spend effectively — and close the loop on supplier performance and payment — in targeting a spend category that only grows larger by the year (at least until the next global recession). Eved is hoping to change this, as well as drive seven- or even eight-figure annual savings for individual Global 2000 customers in the process.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Eved offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other similar or related vendors that companies may wish to shortlist. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Eved.

Eved: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

Eved

One procurement technology size does not fit all for specialized and complex services categories. There is no better poster child for this statement than Eved, a technology vendor that has set out to build a closed-loop source-to-pay (S2P) platform for managing corporate events spend, creating value levers and capturing potential savings throughout the buying and management lifecycle. Since launching, the Eved platform has evolved to provide end-to-end event management capabilities that can go beyond simply sourcing and engaging event vendors but can also manage programs, schedules, budgets, purchase orders, services, invoices, receiving and other event-related requirements.

Eved supports the full event procurement process, including sourcing, supplier management, award, contract, change orders, invoices, reconciliation and payment, capturing all of the necessary data for analytics and tax management. The system also handles registration, attendee management and related activities. Expense reconciliation is in real time, budget updates are real time, purchasing policies can be created and enforced and the platform can be integrated with accounts payable (A/P) processes (which enables an especially clever savings lever compared to alternative event payables models).

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Eved’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should invest in a specialized event procurement platform. Part 1 of our analysis included a company and detailed solution overview, a SWOT analysis and a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Eved. The final installments of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

A Compelling Confluence at Infosys and the Best Conference I’ve Ever Attended

Global Procurement Tech Summit

A few months ago, Infosys invited me to attend its Confluence conference in San Francisco, and I’ve been meaning to write it up, but have struggled. The reason why is that I took so much away from it and have been trying to figure out the best way to parse up some of the insights. I have to admit that this conference was perhaps the most thought provoking vendor event I’ve ever been to.

Eved: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview

Eved

Global 2000 companies often spend as much on conferences and events as they do on advertising — and some spend more. All of this adds up to annual event expenditure easily exceeding more than $500 billion per year, with some estimates putting global spending significantly higher than this. To put this number in perspective, global conference and event spend is larger than the individual GDP of all but roughly the top 20 countries in the world. Yet unlike advertising spend, which is now often tightly managed and controlled through digital platforms — and even benchmarked competitively on an automated basis — event and conference spend is largely unmanaged, at least as we would define the process from a procurement perspective.

Conference and event savings opportunities abound not only through better sourcing, contracting and supplier management but also through active compliance and better payment models. Traditional “event” software companies like Cvent focus on helping companies make events better, not minimizing expenditure while maximizing event value across the procurement lifecycle. But Eved, which provides what amounts to a highly specialized source-to-pay (S2P) —with an emphasis on “pay” — suite, is bringing a closed loop supply management approach to events and conference spend in a manner that has not been done before.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor profile provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about whether they need a solution like Eved in addition to the event management, travel and expense (T&E) and related applications their organizations are likely already using. This multi-part research brief includes an Eved company and solution history and overview, company-level SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, competitor analysis, user selection guides and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Procurement Pros to Morph into ‘Business People’

Tradeshift

At Infosys Confluence 2016, I spoke on a panel titled “Reimagining the Procurement Value Chain” with procurement leaders Ben Moreno, from Stanford University, and Oscar Leon Chong, from Honeywell. The session was moderated by Gartner Managing Vice President Ruby Jivan. The conference, recently held in San Francisco, doubled in attendees over last year and featured a huge group of diverse partners, including Tradeshift.

ISM Accelerates Into Indianapolis — Examining Content Tracks at the 2016 Annual Event and the Brewing Knowledge Battle

ISM 2016

Over the past two days, five members of the Spend Matters team descended on Indianapolis for the 2016 ISM Annual Conference. We (Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell) are presenting in various sessions throughout the 3-day event and our team is catching the general vibe of the largest procurement event (roughly 2,500 people this year) in North America, and we’ve been impressed with the track design and much of the content in the sessions we’ve sat in on this year.