The Contract Management Category

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

Tradeshift is a cloud platform that connects buyers and suppliers with the goal of digitizing supply chain relationships, processes and information, while also enabling everyday procure-to-pay activities. Its capabilities span the buying of goods and services through to financing and payment — and significant capability in between, especially in the invoice-to-pay area.

In addition to providing its own procure-to-pay modules, Tradeshift offers an open integration framework that allows other technology firms (and customers) to integrate and/or development third-party “apps,” primarily centered on supplier connectivity, transaction enablement and collaboration. Tradeshift can even integrate alternative procure-to-pay providers in cases where specific enabling capability is desired.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to Tradeshift, both as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider and also as an e-procurement and invoice-to-pay technology vendor. It is designed to provide facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations make informed decisions about whether they should consider Tradeshift for both traditional “in-the-box” procure-to-pay requirements as well as unique marketplace/platform type digital initiatives.

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 Tradeshift 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.

Exari: What Makes It Great (Contract Lifecycle Management SolutionMap Analysis)

Exari is a top-ranked functional provider within the contract lifecycle management (CLM) SolutionMap for Q3 2018, offering superior support for procurement and legal organizations compared with suite-based providers. In certain areas, Exari sets the bar for overall CLM capability (e.g., analytics) among its best-of-breed peers. Moreover, Exari’s unique approach to contract clause modeling through its Universal Contract Model (UCM) standard and artificial-intelligence (AI) analysis of contracts make it stand out for legal organizations seeking best-in-class capabilities.

As of Q3 2018, the Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 different providers within the procurement technology, finance and legal landscape. To date, 13 providers have been rated in contract lifecycle management (CLM), including Exari. But where does Exari stand out most? Why should this matter for procurement and legal organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap CLM benchmark to find out.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Apttus Acquired by Thoma Bravo: Can a One-Time Sell-Side ‘Unicorn’ Become a Viable Pony for Buy-Side CLM? [PRO]

Apttus announced recently that it would be acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. Calling itself a leader  in the “middle office,” Apttus offers a platform primarily focused in the area of configure, price, quote (CPQ), but it also supports enterprise contract lifecycle management (CLM).

The terms of the acquisition were undisclosed, but given the majority stake being acquired, the deal is likely worth many hundreds of millions of dollars, given that Apttus had roughly $200 million in revenue for calendar year 2017 and had also accumulated more than $400 million in investments to date.

Back in 2015, Apttus was riding high and hoped to go public in 2016. Unfortunately, Salesforce, upon whose platform Apttus was built, bought Apttus’ smaller competitor, SteelBrick, in December 2015. Salesforce, in its never-ending quest for growth, wanted to directly enter the CPQ space and perhaps hoped to prevent a new mega competitor from spawning (even though Salesforce Ventures was an investor in Apttus — and in SteelBrick).  

Regardless, the move was clearly a body blow to Apttus. The firm put on a brave face and even managed to garner late stage investors rushing to hopefully get in on a big IPO, but soon things began to change. Growth slowed, layoffs ensued and longtime CEO Kirk Krappe quietly left this summer.

All of these types of changes are difficult in their own right, but when investors want returns out of their large investments, company working conditions often deteriorate, and many of the best employees leave, which leads management to cut back in certain areas that once seemed so promising — including an area such as source-to-pay.

Which brings us to why we’re writing about Apttus here on the buy side of the world.

Apttus does have CLM capabilities, and the CLM solution actually seems decent. It has all of the major elements in terms of clause libraries, templates, playbooks/wizards, redlining, MS-Word integration, “intelligent” clause search and so on. But its CLM product almost seems to play a supporting role in Apttus’ core focus on the sell-side CPQ suite. We have backed this up through numerous discussions with active and alumni Apttus CLM customers, partners and prospective customers.

Based on our discussions with the stakeholders mentioned above, the product is sound, but it’s not quite on par with high end players like Icertis and Exari. And it doesn’t feature broader process functionality found in source-to-pay suites, some of whom actually have CLM modules that can be used for sell-side contracts, too.

The remainder of this Spend Matters PRO research brief explores Apttus’ buy-side CLM solution in terms of its strengths and weaknesses and provides additional context about how buy-side CLM is positioned in the Apttus portfolio. If you are a corporate practitioner and interested in discussing buy-side (or enterprise-wide) CLM, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Are Your Procurement KPIs Balanced or Obsolete? [Plus+]

As our Spend Matters Plus analysis of procurement key performance indicators (KPIs) continues, we will turn our attention to additional metrics by which you can measure procurement performance including supply base development and spend under management. We will also examine how to discover if organizational procurement KPIs are off balance, favoring one area over another or the strategic over the tactical, or if they’re just right.

This analysis builds on a prior chapter of this research brief that provides an introduction to procurement KPIs. While intended for everyone in procurement from buyers to chief procurement officers, this series is particularly suited for individuals and organizations looking to put in place the right measurement foundation to change how procurement is viewed by the business from a function that only reduces input prices and “keeps the production line running,” to one that brings new areas of value, from supply chain risk reduction to creativity and innovation.

Icertis: What Makes It Great (Contract Lifecycle Management SolutionMap Analysis)

Editor’s note: This “What Makes It Great” column is normally reserved for SolutionMap Insider Subscribersbut Icertis has generously agreed to support access for readers who are not yet members. 

As of Q3 2018, Spend Matters SolutionMap provides functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks for more than 50 software providers within the procurement, finance and legal technology sectors. To date, we have rated 13 providers for the contract lifecycle management (CLM) benchmark. Not every provider, however, has yet appeared in the CLM SolutionMap ranking charts and SolutionMap Insider subscription publications, because some are simply too far off the functional mark to make the cut.

This is not the case with Icertis. In fact, Icertis sets the functional bar for CLM, pushing some of its competitors off the map in the process. In the latest SolutionMap benchmark dataset, Icertis takes first place for Analyst scoring. Within this market, the vendor stands out from the crowd for both the breadth and depth of its functional capabilities, as well as for its platform-based approach to CLM. But where does Icertis stand out most, and why should this matter for procurement and legal organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap CLM benchmark to find out.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Q3 2018 Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM): Provider Scoring Summary

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The Spend Matters SolutionMap Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM): Provider Scoring Summary is only available to SolutionMap Members. This SolutionMap analyzes a select group of Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) providers. It is part of our Q3 2018 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management (including supplier information management, performance management and risk management), e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers.

Q3 2018 SolutionMap Release Notes: Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) Enterprise Technology Solutions — Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW), Independent Contract Workers (ICW)

Q3 2018 marks the very first research cycle and the inaugural publication of Spend Matters’ Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) “enterprise technology” SolutionMap, addressing the sourcing and management of three underlying categories: Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work and Independent Contract Workers (ICW).

The providers in the Q3 2018 CW/S SolutionMap include: Beeline, DCR Workforce, Field Nation, SirionLabs, TalentNet, TalonFMS, Upwork Enterprise, Vndly, and WorkMarket (ADP).

Given our procurement orientation, we evaluate “enterprise technology” vendors within a source-to-pay (S2P) reference model. In other words, we look at vendors in terms of their (specifically focused or more comprehensive) capabilities that address some or all enterprise requirements that arise within a S2P life-cycle (i.e., from supplier sourcing to worker or supplier payment).

In this first CW/S research cycle, there was limited participation in the Temp Staffing and Contract Services/SOW SolutionMap categories, where we encountered conservatism and uncertainty among many of the “established” vendors. However, there was — and continues to be — a much more vibrant interest in participation by vendors in the emergent Independent Contract Workers (ICW) SolutionMap category.

Over time, we hope that more “established” players will participate in and draw benefit from the SolutionMap process. In the meantime, just getting out of the gate, we have gathered extensive business profile information, received well over 30 client reference surveys and have assigned scores to specific solution capabilities (RFI line items) ranging from well over 100 to about 300, depending upon how many SolutionMap categories a particular vendor participated in.

Q3 2018 SolutionMap Release Notes: Sourcing, Spend Analytics, SRM, CLM and Strategic Procurement Technology Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q3 2018 SolutionMap release for Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Strategic Procurement Technologies Suite SolutionMaps, reviewing the process we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release.

Within the individual areas covered in this brief, the following providers have been added to the Q3 2018 release: Allocation in Sourcing and Supplier Management, APEX Analytix in SXM (Supplier Management), Coupa is participating in Spend Analytics for the first time, and SirionLabs has been added to CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management).

Additionally, providers such as Jaggaer (including Jaggaer Advantage, Jaggaer Direct, and Jaggaer Indirect), SAP Ariba, Simfoni, and SpendHQ have received updated scoring following the submission and demonstration of new capabilities based on production releases of individual modules. (Non-GA capabilities are not considered in SolutionMap scoring.) Perhaps most important, over 76 new or refreshed customer references were added in the Strategic Procurement Technology areas for Q3.

This SolutionMap Insider release note explores these and additional changes in the Q3 2018 SolutionMap release.

Concord, Cloud-Based CLM Provider, Doubles Enterprise Customer Base, Posts 300% Y-o-Y Revenue Growth

Concord, a provider of contract management software, announced in a press release Thursday morning that it has achieved a 300% year-on-year revenue growth, in addition to doubling its enterprise customer base over the past 12 months. The fast-growing CLM company has seen brisk market adoption of its solution, with more than 180,000 companies currently on the Concord platform. Find and compare contract management software companies: Check out the Q2 2018 CLM SolutionMap. In the past 12 months alone, Concord has added more than 150 new customers, including Kickstarter, Spark NZ, Altria, Newell Brands and Rent the Runway.

Using Contract Management to Drive Cross-Functional Digital Transformation

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Contract management is a critical enabler to digital transformation. By digitizing a business’ contracts, procurement organizations can unlock numerous benefits, from spurring enterprise agility to reducing compliance risks to improving working capital metrics. But achieving such improvements won’t happen alone. Procurement will need to enlist its cross-functional partners in sales, legal and finance to expand a digital contract transformation from a confined functional capability to an enterprise-wide program.

How AI Forces Procurement to Change the Concept of Contract Management: A Q&A with Seal Software CEO Ulf Zetterberg

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Artificial intelligence (AI) may be the holy grail of procurement software capabilities, but few vendors have begun to distinguish the plain chalice of useful functionality from the jewel-encrusted goblet of empty marketing promises. This is especially true when it comes to contract management software, which claims numerous possible applications of AI yet few real-life case studies. To learn more about how the contract management software market has evolved in this context, we sat down with Ulf Zetterberg, founder and CEO of Seal Software, a provider of contract discovery, extraction and analytics solutions, to discuss how procurement organizations can tell if AI capabilities are the real deal, as well as how regulatory challenges from GDPR and increased M&A are changing the very concept of CLM.