Category Archives: Conferences

Lessons From the HfS Blueprint Session Applied to Procurement Services Delivery

- November 20, 2014 10:14 AM | Categories: BPO, Conferences

1349825389jvnca Earlier this week, I stopped by the HfS Blueprint event in Chicago, which brought together similar numbers of practitioners and providers in an intellectually-focused exchange. During one of the presentations, Lee Coulter, CEO of shared services at Ascension Health, and Charles Sutherland, EVP of research at HfS, explored a number of areas driving the future of cost reduction in services delivery. While the presentation covered various topics, one part I found particularly interesting is knowing when a particular function is ready to move to a lower cost labor approach.

more ▸
 

The HfS Blueprint Session Lands in Chicago

- November 18, 2014 1:18 PM | Categories: Analysis, BPO, Conferences

I had the chance to catch up with my old friend (and longtime raider of my scotch cabinet) Phil Fersht over the weekend. After stints in the analyst, consulting and BPO worlds, Phil started HfS Research, which is now among the top — if not the preeminent — firm covering the business process outsourcing (BPO) and services industries. In addition, HfS covers related matters that impact service delivery, including the rise of robotic process automation. Phil was in Chicago to host the latest HfS Blueprint session taking place through Wednesday this week — an event that is bringing together more than 50 senior shared services, BPO and IT practitioners, many of whom are speaking during the event.

more ▸
 

Zycus Horizon Dispatch 7 – What We Can Do About CPOs Getting Fired

- November 12, 2014 7:09 AM | Categories: Conferences, Procurement Strategy & Planning

Continuing our coverage of Bill Michael’s keynote at the Zycus event exploring why chief procurement officers (CPO) get fired, we come to arguably the most important part – what procurement executives can do about it. Bill suggests that CPOs should prioritize a number of areas to not only keep their jobs, but grow within the organization. Read on to see what areas CPOs should focus on.

more ▸
 

Zycus Horizon Dispatch 7 – Why CPOs Get Fired (Part 1)

- November 12, 2014 2:26 AM | Categories: Conferences, Procurement, Vendor Snapshots

file0001153963332 At Zycus Horizon yesterday, our old friend Bill Michaels (currently running the consulting arm of ISM) gave a great main stage talk centered on the often short-lived tenure of chief procurement officers (CPOs), why they get fired and what they can do about. He began the chat by noting that the average tenure of a CPO is 4.6 years (according to CAPs data), and that in 2013 alone, there were 9 firings of high-profile CPOs.

more ▸
 

Zycus Horizon Dispatch 6 – Dawn Evans on Social Media and Procurement

- November 11, 2014 1:23 PM | Categories: Conferences, Technology

At Zycus Horizon this morning, Dawn Evans woke everyone up (literally) by making us stand up, stretch and then, ironically, turn over or off our smartphones before she started her presentation on social media and procurement. Dawn does a great job relating procurement to the everyday – something I’ve aspired to do personally, but always come up short. By drawing analogies between the rise of Facebook, greater choice in healthcare delivery and other examples, she attempted to shake up the audience that disruptive change is real and we need to be ready.

more ▸
 

Zycus Horizon Dispatch 5 – Shuffle This! A New “Card” User Interface

- November 11, 2014 11:13 AM | Categories: Conferences, eProcurement / Procurement, Vendor Snapshots

holding-man-nokia-lumia-1035-825x550 Zycus has big ambitions to become one of the top broader suite vendors in the procurement market. In fact, its marketing “coverage” of product areas today would put it (at least on paper) just about complete as any vendor today – financing savings management, spend analysis, strategic sourcing, contact management, supplier management, requisition processing, catalog management, purchase order management, invoice management, etc. The reality, of course, is that Zycus is deeper in certain areas than others. But one spot Zycus is hoping that really unites the suite beyond its individual components is a new user interface that is due out in Q2/Q3 2015.

more ▸
 

Zycus Horizon Dispatch 4 – A Conservative Source-To-Pay Growth Path

- November 11, 2014 9:26 AM | Categories: Conferences, eProcurement / Procurement, P2P, Vendor Snapshots

Zycus Horizon kicked off its second day earlier this morning. Pierre Mitchell and I will continue to cover the activities live from the event today, and offer a more distilled – or shall we say barrel aged – view of things to come out of the show, including our customer and product observations on Spend Matters PRO later this week. As we look back on some of the highlights from the keynote yesterday, one element that keeps coming back to mind is how conservative Zycus has been on rolling out its P2P solution set.

more ▸
 

Securing the Future of Procurement – Peter Smith at the Zycus CPO Connect Dinner

- November 11, 2014 2:28 AM | Categories: Analysis, Conferences, Procurement, Procurement Commentary

Procurement has been a great success story over the last 20 years or so. Most of us in that function would agree, and even our colleagues in other areas might grudgingly accept that the profile of procurement is higher than when those of us of a certain age first come into the profession. Is that down to our own brilliance though? Or the sterling efforts of ISM, CIPS and other professional bodies, academics and writers on the topic?

more ▸
 

Zycus Horizon Dispatch 3 – Aatish’s Competitive Suite Perspective (Ariba vs. Zycus and More)

- November 10, 2014 2:26 PM | Categories: Conferences, Vendor Snapshots

Aatish Dedhia, Zycus’ exceptionally competitive founder and CEO, has always cared about the competition and measuring the success (and failure) of his firm’s initiatives based on how Zycus stacks up to others. You can tell the guy loses sleep over this stuff. Yet Aatish is not defensive of criticism. I’ve always found him receptive to nearly all criticism and input (one of the best qualities of Zycus), but the firm’s competitive rhetoric always makes me smile because it’s really not necessary.

more ▸
 

Zycus Horizon Dispatch 2 – The Challenges of Suite Perfection

There are very few true “suite” vendors in the procurement solutions marketplace today with significant cloud traction. Coupa is no doubt one – and has even expanded past traditional procurement suite components into peripheral ones like inventory management (albeit like others, with varying degrees of depth). There are a few more names to add to this list of what we like to call in the office “sweet suites” as opposed to Frankenstein’s suite monsters – we include Ariba/SAP/Fieldglass/Concur, SciQuest, Selectica/Iasta and many others loosely in this latter definition, although some of these larger providers are moving to integrate around new integrated suite models, at least across core components.

more ▸
 

Zycus Horizon 2014 – First Dispatch: Taking off For Amelia Island

- November 10, 2014 10:24 AM | Categories: Conferences, P2P, Spend Analysis, Vendor Snapshots

beach-dune-ocean-1253-838x550 Zycus is holding its annual customer and sales event at what is probably my favorite vacation destination in the US – Amelia Island, Florida. Pierre Mitchell and I will be covering things this week. Zycus is a rather curious vendor in the space to us on so many levels – it grew up as truly the best-in-class provider for auto-classification for spend analysis but has since seen competition for this moniker while at the same time building out a full source-to-pay suite on its own terms. It is one of the few true “suites” in the market today.

more ▸
 

Marketing Management in Singapore, APAC and Elsewhere

- November 7, 2014 2:32 AM | Categories: Analysis, Conferences

SONY DSC The recent Procurement Leaders event in Singapore had the procurement and marketing relationship as its starting act, with speakers from AIG, Estée Lauder, MediaCom, P&G, Qatar Airways, tag:, and Williams Lea addressing this topic. If any activity is localized, it’s marketing – infamously complicated (to the point of subjectivity – at least in the eyes of outsiders) in the ways it slices market segments, how to reach and how to influence them. This, of course, results in highly varied approaches depending on products and markets – where creativity, flexibility, execution quality and similar qualitative factors are critical.

more ▸