The Contract Management Category

Outcome-Oriented Contracts for Services: Should You Dangle the Carrot or Wave the Stick? (Part 2)

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In Part 1 of this series, we provided an overview of services and outcome-oriented contracts, as well as introduced specific research on that subject. Today in part 2 of this series, we cover key findings of the research and explore some of the more practical implications and potential guidance for practitioners. Below we summarize the research findings published in the working paper “Using outcome-oriented contracts to foster performance improvements in logistics outsourcing relationships” and conclude with a set of takeaways from the series as a whole.

Outcome-Oriented Contracts for Services: Should You Dangle the Carrot or Wave the Stick? (Part 1)

In this two-part series, we dip into the topical subject of outcome-oriented (i.e., outcome-based, performance-based) contracts for managing service delivery and outcomes. Part 1 provides an overview of services and outcome-oriented contracts and introduces some specific research on that subject. Part 2 addresses the key findings of that research and provides a set of takeaways from the series as a whole. 

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Infographic: How to Lead Your Procurement Organization to Analytics Mastery

spend analytics

The expert use of enterprise analytics is a key component of any modern business strategy. But while leading companies have adopted analytics systems across functions — from operations to sales and HR — many procurement organizations have had to wait their turn to start their own analytics journeys. As procurement climbs the ranks of strategic importance to the business, practitioners will need to begin to quickly find the data, insights and strategies that will take them from backroom processing to strategic advisor in the boardroom — and there’s no better place to start that journey than by getting a handle on your contracts. Check out the infographic within to learn how to start your journey!

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

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.

Counselytics: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

Counselytics is one of a number of upstart providers specializing in the application of semantic artificial intelligence (AI) technology to contract data, including both internal and third-party paper. While limited in its ability to build out a broad-based suite of capabilities based on its size and the amount of capital it has raised to date, Counselytics has spent its limited R&D budget on its core algorithms and reporting capabilities to build a highly targeted solution that complements existing contract lifecycle management (CLM) and source-to-pay technologies.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Counselytics provides a SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as substitute providers to Counselytics and provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that can best take advantage of Counselytics’ capabilities. Part 1 of this series provided an in-depth look at Counselytics as a company and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses, as well as a review its user experience.

Counselytics: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

Within the procurement technology sector, early artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have primarily been applied against structured data needs. Yet the class of AI techniques that these providers have deployed is actually quite different from the semantic AI analysis that is starting to gain traction in the contract search and analysis area. Within this new market, Counselytics is one of more than half a dozen upstart competitors that are collectively targeting an opportunity that is fundamentally different from — yet complements — contract lifecycle management (CLM).

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Counselytics’ 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 Counselytics. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Counselytics: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

The burgeoning contract search, discovery and analytics sector is distinct from established source-to-pay and contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution areas. This separate sector, pioneered by incumbent Seal Software, among others, is becoming increasingly validated as a standalone market as alternative providers — including recently funded upstarts such as LawGeex, LegalSifter and others — enter the mix.

Within this list of new entrants, we can also include upstart Counselytics. Like its peers, Counselytics applies semantic-based artificial intelligence (AI) approaches to contract data after ingesting third-party (or internal) contract paper to help organizations understand previously unknown contract exposure and ensure that contract clause requirements are in line with internal requirements. In addition, these providers offer varying degrees of contract search, discovery, analytics, and associated managed services capabilities and partnerships to create additional business value from the core extraction, structuring and reporting capabilities they provide.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to Counselytics, a specialized provider in this market, offering facts and expert analysis to help procurement and legal organizations make informed decisions about whether they should explore either (or both) Counselytics and semantic AI technology further. 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 Counselytics as a complement to other contract lifecycle management (CLM) investments. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Comparing Jaggaer and BravoSolution: Contract Lifecycle Management [PRO]

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Within the procurement technology suite market, acquired contract management solutions have a history of aging more like a Zinfandel or Beaujolais and less like a Cabernet or Merlot. But the greater problem is not how well the grape (or clause library) can stand the test of time; it’s that the best elements of CLM modules do not necessarily “blend” as well as other capabilities in a procurement suite that are easier to integrate or replatform.

One of the challenges is that the requirements to effectively tackle specialized CLM components from a development and innovation standpoint are specific to CLM. Said another way, the economies of scale in development are not the same as say delivering an integrated sourcing and supplier management capability. Another major challenge is that best-of-breed CLM vendors have innovated far more rapidly in recent years by introducing new capabilities.

Within this context, BravoSolution and Jaggaer both present somewhat average CLM capabilities, based on our Q4 2017 SolutionMap results. They are certainly not bad, but neither solution delivers the same capabilities as leading best-of-breed vendors, nor do they stir our enthusiasm the way other areas of each of the providers' suites do.

In this research brief, we answer the following questions:

  • Comparatively, how does each respective CLM module stack up on a capability basis?
  • What are the functional strengths of each supplier management module “under the surface”?
  • What are the “best fit” SolutionMap personas for each CLM module?
  • Who are alternative CLM providers?
  • What are disruptive forces in the CLM market that could affect both providers?
  • Is there a disadvantage to “going non-suite” in the CLM area?
This Spend Matters PRO brief is based on the following inputs: Q4 2017 SolutionMap datasets (analyst scoring) based on our SolutionMap methodology, demonstration notes and Spend Matters PRO research on alternative suppliers (Vendor Snapshots).

Predictive Contract Negotiations: Get Full Value From CLM Tools [Plus+]

Contract management is undergoing a transformation, moving from the back of the procurement kitchen to nearly taking center stage. A good part of the reason is the corporate transition from a more passive "risk viewed as lack of compliance" efforts toward a more dynamic and comprehensive approach to risk management. This approach doesn't just examine legal clauses as such. Nor does it merely ensure that agreed upon prices and SLA deliverables are met, although those reasons are obviously part of the equation. There’s more to it — much more. In this Spend Matters Plus research brief, we begin by reviewing the core components of CLM systems, and then we explore the path to predictive contract negotiations, delving into the intersections of big data, predictive analytics and contract management.

What Makes a CLM Tool Special These Days? [Plus+]

What should you look for if you want to drive a more mature contract lifecycle management (CLM) approach, one that takes you beyond just getting all your contracts in one place? Getting a grip on the final, executed version of all your contracts is no small feat — it’s one reason behind the increasing demand for contract discovery and analytics solutions — but let’s assume you have checked that box already.

If we look at the CLM providers in the market over the years, several companies have been either acquired by or merged with firms originating from either sourcing or e-procurement in the pursuit of a suite offering, and these solutions are now being integrated into the broader offering. Among the remaining, or independent, providers in the space are companies that deliver decent contract repository functionality, which is to say they can take your executed documents and push them into the CLM tool, and they can track numerous data points well — although some need more manual work than others to get that part done — and most CLM providers also do a good job of negotiating contracts (the "check-in, check-out" process with versioning and document history).

Isn’t that good enough? What else might there be to CLM? What can we do to take CLM to the proverbial next level? This Spend Matters Plus brief aims to answer those questions and points out what features and tools ideal CLM solutions should have.

Exari: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis [PRO]

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There is more than meets the product and functional eye when it comes to evaluating independent contract lifecycle management (CLM) providers. Spend Matters research, including our recently published Q4 2017 CLM SolutionMap, suggests this is a technology market where it is easier to define what makes individual vendors different than what makes them similar. This is even the case where just about every best-of-breed (i.e., non-suite) vendor ticks the baseline contract management checklist boxes across all key areas including core modeling, extended contract modeling/analytics, expiration/renewal, creation/authoring, collaboration, and implementation, compliance, obligation and performance management.

Exari is one such provider in this specialized and diverse segment of the procurement technology market that stands out based on its current intellectual property and software development focus. Consider, for example, Exari’s data architecture, built on what the provider describes as a universal contract model (UCM) that can encapsulate all of the elements, relationships and actions in a contract. Exari can use this abstracted contract data structure to guide a user through contract creation, identify potential issues and raise alerts based upon data elements or events or (unexpected) actions. It can even analyze third-party documents and convert external contracts into a document within Exari or into its UCM-based canonical contract data model through other artificial intelligence (AI) and semantic parsing capabilities in its broader solution portfolio.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Exari provides an objective SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Exari and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering the vendor. Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Exari as a technology provider and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

Exari: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

Even among specialist contract lifecycle management (CLM) providers, those that go below the surface in evaluating functional capabilities will discover that there is significant differentiation of both absolute functional capability and focus among vendors. The former point may be obvious, but the latter point is especially nuanced within the best-of-breed CLM market.

Exari is a perfect example. Comparing Exari even with its specialist contract management peers is like comparing apples to oranges. It stands apart from others that appear to tick similar functional boxes for many reasons and is likely a better fit for certain legal and procurement organizations over others, based on both their specific goals in deploying a CLM solution and their overall approach to enterprise contract management.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Exari’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 Exari. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.