Industry News Content

50/50 Webinar: Lessons Learned from the 2019 Providers to Watch and Know

Now that Spend Matters’ 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch lists have been released, we are diving deeper into the sets of honorees and examining the market trends they demonstrate. From A.T. Kearney through Zylo, there are plenty of intriguing tidbits and conclusions to draw.

Earlier this week, Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell hosted our annual Vendor Intelligence webinar exploring the 50 to Watch and Know (you can view the webinar on-demand here). Topics included the industry pace-setters, disruptive newcomers and how all the honorees are taking procurement to the next level. In the sixth year of the lists, there is still plenty to be learned.

Coupa to Acquire Exari: What Type of CLM Solution Is Coupa Getting? (Part 1) [PRO]

Coupa just announced that it intends to acquire Exari, a leading provider of contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions. Terms of the deal were not provided, but with Exari having almost 150 employees, it’s not unreasonable that the private firm would have over $30 million in revenues and a deal size valued at just over nine figures. Contract management is a red-hot space right now, and Coupa has a very strategic need for this product. Spend Matters believes that this acquisition is a very smart hand-in-glove acquisition even though it’ll require some alterations to truly fit properly.

Coupa currently has a basic contracting module as part of its “Business Spend Management” application suite within the source-to-pay market, but it was missing two critical aspects of modern CLM that are major strengths for Exari. On a product functionality basis, Exari is one of the very top performers in Spend Matters’ CLM rankings on SolutionMap, and it “ticks all the right boxes” for a best-of-breed CLM performer. It’s also unique in its knowledge-based approach to deep contract modeling rather than just straight AI and machine learning based on contract text analytics.

CLM is also not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and the market landscape depends heavily on many factors. Some providers are much more oriented toward the sell-side — e.g., CPQ-oriented providers such as Apttus or SpringCLM (recently acquired by DocuSign). Some are focused on the mass market with usability being a key focus (e.g., Concord, Outlaw, PandaDoc, etc.). And even within large enterprises looking at firms like Exari, Icertis, Agiloft, SirionLabs, and others, they differ in their requirements as to whether they want “deep” functionality, maximum configurability, ease-of-integration, attractiveness to many functions (e.g., the legal department), and/or being part of a larger application suite.

So, what is Coupa getting with Exari? What types of organizations are the best fit for this solution and the combined solution of Coupa and Exari? Is Exari a solution optimized for legal, procurement or both? And what will Coupa need to do to integrate Exari since this acquisition is not some simple bolt-on, but rather, a core platform component? Finally, what is the impact of this acquisition on the S2P and CLM markets?

This Spend Matters PRO quick take analysis provides insight for Coupa customers and the broader market on specifically what the provider is acquiring. Unlike past acquisitions, we believe Exari represents the greatest stretch away from its core economic buyer (at least historically). Find out why.

For an introduction to Exari, we encourage you to read our Spend Matters PRO review: Introduction & Solution Overview, Strengths/Weakness and Market/Competitive Analysis.

Comparing Coupa to Exari: Piecing Together a Top Tier Jigsaw Puzzle for CLM (SolutionMap Analysis)

With its announced intent to purchase Exari, Coupa has completed a full circle of acquisitions to bring best-of-breed applications to each area of the Strategic Procurement Technology (SPT) category of Spend Matters’ SolutionMap as Coupa expands beyond its original P2P roots.

Earlier acquisitions of Trade Extensions, Spend360 and Hiperos helped Coupa assemble an SPT jigsaw puzzle for sourcing, spend analytics and supplier management, and Exari, with its AI-based approach to deep contract modeling and analytics, represents yet another piece of an emerging tableau. And a critical one at that: In many ways, CLM forms the critical link within Coupa’s source-to-pay suite between upstream sourcing activities and downstream P2P, meaning there are significant opportunities to mine here for Coupa users in areas such as risk management, strategic supplier relationship management and, of course, savings generation.

Yet in addition to the question of how Exari fits into the larger Coupa strategy puzzle, there is also a relevant one about how the vendor fits into Coupa’s current CLM product strategy (and current contracts application), from a feature-function angle as well as a technical (integration) perspective.

As the Spend Matters Contract Lifecycle Management scoring in SolutionMap illustrates, Coupa’s current CLM capabilities are stronger in some areas than others, whereas Exari’s help set the benchmark in many areas.

When brought into Coupa, Exari would theoretically help close some of the gaps in Coupa’s offering relative to best-of-breed pacesetters, as well as suite competitors that have made investments in strong CLM capability.

The technical reality, however, is not quite as simple. Exari itself is a vendor built somewhat from acquired solutions, and while its CLM capabilities are best-in-class, its three main components (contract parsing, template creation and core CLM features) are all built on different technology stacks.

So where do Coupa and Exari fit together, and what are their areas of comparative strengths and weaknesses at the time of the acquisition?

This Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis provides an overview of the two providers’ capabilities, their comparative rankings in the CLM category and what combining the solutions into one offering could look like. It uses as the basis of comparison the Q1 2019 SolutionMap for Contract Lifecycle Management, which analyzes 13 vendors across dozens of functional categories, including contract creation and authoring, core contract modeling, analytics, expiry and renewal management, and compliance.

Coupa to Buy Exari, Boosting CLM in Its Business Spend Management Suite

Efficio

Coupa Software is buying Exari to gain its best-of-breed contract lifecycle management (CLM) offering, Coupa announced Tuesday morning. Coupa, a San Francisco-area suite provider of business spend management (BSM), said in a news release that the transaction for Boston-based Exari is expected to close in its second fiscal quarter. In a disclosure to investors, it said the aggregate purchase price for the transaction is about $215 million in cash.

Exari is a top performer in Spend Matters’ CLM rankings on SolutionMap, and it is unique in its knowledge-based approach to deep contract modeling rather than just straight artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning based on contract text analytics.

Live ISM 2019 Dispatch: Building a High-Performance Procurement Team Focused on Value Creation

ISM 2019 featured some excellent procurement advancement and transformation case studies, such as “The Challenges of a New CPO” covered in an earlier dispatch. They are tales of aligning people, process and technology to create business value. Since getting the people side right was consistently mentioned as the most crucial — and fickle — element of the triangle, I was delighted to attend the session on building a high-performance procurement team by Dr. Clark Perry, a director at AlixPartners.

At ISM 2019, Janet Yellen and Carly Fiorina See the Supply Chain as a Force for Change

Supply chains get the spotlight at ISM conventions, of course, but businesswoman Carly Fiorina and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen put them in perspective, giving them credit for driving change, addressing tariffs and uncertain trade policies, as well as keeping inflation at bay. On Tuesday at ISM 2019 in Houston, Yellen discussed global economic issues, had an upbeat outlook ("I see a decent year this year; I don’t see a recession”) and said the work of supply chain professionals can drive down inflation, which is key to maintaining growing economies. Fiorina spoke Monday about leadership and how supply chain teams can drive change for their companies.

‘50 Providers to Know’ and ‘50 Providers to Watch’ for 2019

The 2019 lists for Spend Matters’ 50 Providers to Know and the 50 Providers to Watch have been published!

Each year we recognize 100 vendors in the industry as part of two lists: the best-in-class companies you need to know about and the up-and-comers, the growing firms you should keep your eye on.

The 50 to Know and Watch lists take shape after our analysts assess the capabilities for an array of companies. The assessments rely heavily on Spend Matters’ SolutionMap, our benchmarking tool that uses 350-plus RFI questions to rank solution providers for each of 12 market sectors — like E-Procurement, Source-to-Pay, Spend & Procurement Analytics, and three contingent workforce areas. This gives our analysts an independent view of the market, and then they rigorously discuss the top 50 companies to put on each list.

Commodities Roundup: Excess Steel Policy, Rio Tinto’s Force Majeure, Shipping Costs Rise, Auto Sales Slump

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. This week: Excess steel policy, Rio Tinto hit by cyclone, shipping costs rise, auto sales fall and the industry faces headwinds.

Commodities Roundup: U.S. Mining, Toyota Invests in U.S., Oil Prices

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. This week: U.S. Mining, Toyota Invests in U.S., Oil Prices

P2P Provider OpusCapita Being Sold to U.S. Equity Firm

OpusCapita Solutions, the Finnish procurement provider known for procure-to-pay solutions and catalog management, is being sold by its parent company, Posti Group Corp., to the U.S. asset management firm Providence Equity Partners, of Rhode Island, according to an announcement. Spend Matters' analysts weigh in on the deal, which possibly sets up OpusCapita for more P2P projects.

Commodities Roundup: February Price Surges, USTR Releases 2019 Trade Policy Agenda, Steel Capacity Hits 81.1%

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. This week: Metal prices rise, steel utilization is up; Brexit fallout still looming.

Certify, Chrome River to Merge Their T&E, Invoice Management Prowess

Certify and Chrome River Technologies, two travel & expense providers who also offer invoice management software, will merge in a deal that’s valued at over $1 billion, a statement Tuesday said. It also realigns the market and makes the investor in the transaction an even bigger player in this sector, two Spend Matters' analysts said. Portland, Maine-based Certify and L.A.-based Chrome River initially will operate separately but will collaborate on investing in technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics and reporting, the announcement said.