The eProcurement / Procurement Category

12 Ways E-Catalogs Can Enhance Your E-Procurement Mojo [Plus+]

E-catalogs (catalog management) are a key part of any e-procurement solution. For e-procurement, catalogs provide more than just a list of items. They enable the loading of prices, and they enable features of products and services to be approved and integrated into an e-marketplace in order to purchase against.

Catalogs are a living, often-changing and integrated source of information (within a single database) that enable all purchasing scenarios. Combined with the support of a robust e-marketplace — advanced search engine; advanced purchasing mechanisms such as e-forms, lists, kits, etc.; a powerful workflow engine and flexible system integration capability — they provide key support for buying requirements.

As I’ve been known to say, I consider e-catalogs the “fifth element” of procurement. “The fifth element” comes from the eponymous 1997 fiction action film starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich. In the movie, earth is considered "north," fire is "south," air is "east," water is "west" and the fifth element is the "spirit" or "soul” — the "spiritual force" that earth, air, fire and water descend from.

Although they may not be truly spiritual in nature, I think that e-catalogs are a sort of hidden force that breathes new power into broader e-procurement. In this Spend Matters Plus brief, we give procurement practitioners 12 ways e-catalogs can do just that.

Need an e-procurement and invoice-to-pay primer before reading or subscribing to Plus for the first time? Download this free report.

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

Despite the 100+ different vendors that can check the box on having various procure-to-pay (P2P) solution components, there is a surprisingly small number of “pure-play” e-procurement providers that remain today, especially those with a primary focus on serving the North American market.

Within this context, Vroozi competes as one of the last remaining e-procurement “pure-play” technology providers, although it is building out adjacent invoice-to-pay capabilities (albeit these are not competitive with specialists in the invoice-to-pay or broader P2P areas).

This final installment of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Vroozi offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other e-procurement and P2P technology providers. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis, summary evaluation, and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provided a company and deep dive solution overview, SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Vroozi.

The P2P Primer: An Introduction to E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay

e-invoicing

Combine the e-procurement and invoice-to-pay technology markets, and what you have is the P2P market, or procure-to-pay. The P2P market comprises hundreds of providers, as well as numerous sub-sectors such as catalog management, supplier networks, trade financing and supplier-side e-commerce. Today, we’ll address e-procurement and invoice-to-pay individually in this quick and dirty guide to P2P.

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

Vroozi stands out in the crowded source-to-pay technology landscape by providing a specialized e-procurement capability that can leverage the underlying components of existing ERP, financial and purchasing systems. It also takes a mobile-first orientation to enabling both business and procurement users. Powering this approach is a robust catalog management engine that creates a single, searchable repository of internally hosted catalog, externally hosted catalog, punch-out and supplier web storefronts. This provides a user-friendly layer on top of the entire procurement experience for buyers, even if ERP and other purchasing components are used on the back-end.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Vroozi’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider Vroozi on a standalone e-procurement basis or as a component of a broader transactional procurement and buying environment. The first installment of our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Vroozi. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Vroozi: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

on-demand workforce

The source-to-pay market is one of the most diverse and fragmented of all enterprise technology areas. Only a select group of vendors have solutions that cover the broad set of functional areas than span procurement technology with any degree of depth in all key areas. These individual segments include spend/supply analytics, strategic sourcing, supplier management, contract management, e-procurement, invoice-to-pay, trade financing and supplier networks/connectivity. But in practice, most procurement and finance organizations end up initially selecting only a subset of these capabilities from a single provider even if they value the concept of an integrated suite when deciding on what vendor(s) to work with.

At its core, Vroozi, a specialized vendor in the procurement technology sector, supports what is arguably the most complex and challenging segment of this market: e-procurement. Its solution brings a range of capabilities to enable transactional purchasing and procurement spend controls, including catalog management, purchase requisitioning, purchase order processing, supplier portal, marketplace capability and procure-to-pay analytics. It can also augment and serve as a front-end to ERP and back-office purchasing system, creating a modern wrapper for both procurement and business users alike.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Vroozi’s P2P capabilities. 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 Vroozi in the procurement technology area. The remaining parts of this research brief cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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

purchasing

The full list of Simeno’s list of “substitute” competitors is long. The list of direct competitors is much shorter. Yet perhaps the more important question procurement organizations should ask when considering procure-to-pay (P2P) products is whether they view the solutions as a technology-driven extension of ERP or something else entirely.

Organizations that prioritize solutions like Simeno are more traditional customers of e-procurement and will typically view transactional purchasing activities as a means to both automate and influence everyday buying activities. In contrast, a newer breed of P2P “buyer” is as — and often even more — concerned with the other benefits solution can bring, including long-tail supplier enablement and adjacent functional capability.

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

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

Even though many procure-to-pay (P2P) deals are increasingly becoming showdowns between Coupa and SAP Ariba, the long tail of procure-to-pay (P2P) providers remains significant. In fact, many of these companies continue to thrive. Spend Matters tracks hundreds of different providers in the P2P market, and within e-procurement alone there are dozens. One of these is Simeno, a provider and “solution integrator” that is expanding in North America. Although not well known outside of Europe, Simeno has a strong track record of enabling complex e-procurement scenarios for global companies as a “surround” approach to ERP providers. It brings particular capability in catalog management, which drives its shopping, search and broader capabilities. Curiously, it also leads its own implementations, bringing its own consulting/systems integration capability.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Simeno’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Simeno in the P2P technology area. The final installment in this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Coupa Release 17 Dropped This Week, and Other Top P2P Takeaways

purchasing

Coupa made some waves earlier this week with its first cloud platform update of the year — the “sector-news pinnacle” of a very P2P-centric week here at Spend Matters. Xavier Olivera and Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch also co-presented “2017: The Most Disruptive Year in P2P Ever?” last Wednesday in a live webinar, which is now available on demand.

Coupa: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

There are many perspectives on Coupa. These range from those who believe that the vendor has single-handedly transformed the world of spend management by atoning for the over-customization, product and user interface sins of those that came before, to those who think that Coupa has expanded too quickly and is doomed to repeat the past mistakes of others.

Our vendor snapshot series on Coupa is not about perspectives. It aims to be the first to review Coupa’s technology and modules in the context of what they actually do today and how they are differentiated — or not — from others. Please note: Our Vendor Snapshot series was written before Coupa's acquisition of Spend360.

We have comparatively analyzed Coupa and its competitors for a range of constituents including procurement and finance organizations, for suppliers participating in supplier network ecosystems, and for consultants and systems integrators. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to Coupa for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

SciQuest: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

SciQuest is arguably the most challenging procurement technology suite vendor to compare directly to the competition. This perhaps explains why it has tended to surface less in competitive procure-to-pay (P2P) or source-to-pay (S2P) suite opportunities outside of its traditional key vertical sectors for transactional procurement (e.g., higher education, laboratory/research, life sciences, public sector) in the past. While it is possible to label SciQuest as a procurement technology suite vendor (source-to-pay, source-to-contract and procure-to-pay), the reality is that to date, the provider has competed in multiple, infrequently overlapping segments of the procurement technology market.

Historically, SciQuest has generally had different sets of customers, prospects and competitors for its core P2P product and its sourcing optimization, spend/supply analytics and contract lifecycle management solutions. This stands in contrast to many of its peers, which have generally chosen to focus on fewer market segments (e.g, eProcurement, invoice-to-pay, etc.) rather than more as primary entry points to customers.

Yet after being acquired by Accel-KKR last year, SciQuest has started an accelerated strategic and marketing transformation process that is uniting its disparate suite elements. Today’s Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to SciQuest for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration, as well as competitive alternatives.

Coupa Acquires Spend360, Adds Best-in-Class Spend Classification Capability to its Suite

Coupa announced early Tuesday it had acquired Spend360 International Ltd., a best-in-class spend classification vendor. Coupa “has acquired substantially all of the assets of Spend360 International Ltd. to help companies digitize antiquated processes for data classification,” the company said in the acquisition announcement. Coupa noted the acquisition closed in December 2016 and that financial terms were not disclosed. Further, “Coupa expects the capabilities from Spend360 to be made available to select Coupa customers later this year. As part of the acquisition, the Spend360 team has joined Coupa to continue developing forward-thinking approaches for data classification and predictive insights.”

SciQuest: Competing in Multiple Procurement Technology Market Segments — Year-End Tech Review

SciQuest

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This is the last week of this series, and today we’re highlighting a company in the procurement technology space.

While it is possible to label SciQuest as a procurement technology suite vendor (source-to-pay, source-to-contract and procure-to-pay), the reality is that SciQuest competes in multiple, infrequently overlapping segments of the procurement technology market. To date, SciQuest has generally had different sets of customers, prospects and different competitors for its core P2P product. This stands in contrast to many of its peers, which have generally chosen to focus on fewer market segments rather than more.