The Invoicing Category

How Blockchain and Bitcoin Can Disrupt the AP Process — In a Good Way

blockchain

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Laurent Charpentier, chief innovation officer, Yooz Inc.

Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin. These are certainly hot topics in today’s daily business news. It’s all still a bit of a mystery to most of us. It started with bitcoin (a cryptocurrency) in 2013 and the idea of a digital currency used to buy anything from music to cupcakes couldn’t have been more exciting — or more timely — as technology continues to advance at lightning speed. And blockchain is the platform used for verifying and recording transactions that’s at the heart of bitcoin, and is considered as having the potential to reshape the global financial system, among other industries.

Sponsored Article

Will Procurement Automation be Transformed by Compulsory Real-Time Tax Controls?

Companies should be preparing for a world where government requirements for real-time transaction controls will be a major force in shaping the business-to-business (B2B) transaction automation systems of the future. With cloud becoming the principal deployment model for managing different types of B2B transactions, this revolution toward much-reduced freedom for companies to specify their process requirements can be expected to transform the way companies interact and contract with solution vendors. Let me explain through a couple of scenarios.

The Procure-to-Pay User Experience (Part 4) [PRO]

Amazon Business

In Part 1 of this series, we addressed why the user experience (UX) is important in a procure-to-pay (P2P) solution, and why we have` dedicated so much time to the topic. The reality is that if users do not use the solution to do their job, the solution does not generate value. And the ultimate key to adoption is the user experience. That’s why many IT companies are beginning to invest significantly in providing a user interface that provides the optimal user experience to do their job.

That’s also why we are providing you with this information to help you identify who those companies are. This started in Part 2, where we noted that there is not just one optimal user interface for an optimal user experience. There are multiple user interfaces, one per role. We then described the key aspects of these for the more casual roles — the casual buyer, the admin or IT supporter and the supplier. In Part 3, we began to address the professional procurement buyer role, starting with the core functionality required across the P2P platform. Now we need to address the core functionality required by the professional buyer in each phase of the P2P cycle.

The Procure-to-Pay User Experience (Part 3) [PRO]

In Part 1 of this series, we addressed why the user experience (UX) of a procure-to-pay (P2P) solution is important, and why we have dedicated so much time to the topic. The reality is that if a user does not use a solution to do their job, the solution does not generate value. And the ultimate key to adoption is the user experience. That’s why many IT companies are beginning to invest significantly in providing a user interface that provides users the optimal experience to do their job.

That’s also why we are providing you with the information to help you identify who those companies are. This started in Part 2, where we noted that there is not just one optimal user interface for an optimal user experience. There are multiple user interfaces, one per role. In our last article, we described the key aspects of these for the more casual roles — the casual buyer, the admin or IT supporter, and the supplier. Today, we tackle the requirements for the professional, full-time procurement buyer, which are predictably much more extensive.

The Procure-to-Pay User Experience (Part 2) [PRO]

In Part 1 of this series, we addressed why the user experience (UX) is important, and why we have dedicated so much time to this topic. The reality is that if users do not use a solution to do their job, the solution does not generate value. And the ultimate key to adoption is often the user experience. That's why many IT companies are beginning to invest in providing a user interface that provides the user with an optimal experience, and why we are providing the information organizations will need to identify which companies those are.

Behind the Scenes: Interpreting Q4 2017 SolutionMap Results With Jason Busch — BravoSolution and Zycus [PRO]

Today I continue to offer my observations on technology providers that participated in the Q4 2017 SolutionMaps by turning to two suite providers: BravoSolution and Zycus. During the course of our analysis, I was struck by how different both providers are overall in what they actually serve up to customers and how they fit into the market, despite having similar product footprints. Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges, which actually sums up quite well the odd, diverse and certainly complex category we today call procurement solutions. So sit back, relax and enjoy. And do drop me a line or post a comment if you want to add anything else to the discussion.

The Procure-to-Pay User Experience (Part 1) [PRO]

The history of enterprise software systems is fraught with implementation failures. This is especially true in the ERP and MRP space, which have contributed to some of the biggest supply chain failures in history (including Hershey Foods, Adidas and Foxmeyer). But not all failures are catastrophic. The majority are just the result of (significant) project overruns in terms of time and money or the inability to deliver critical features or functions in the original system specification. And this is more common than one may think. Some estimates put the rate of project overruns in IT as high as 85%. That's problematic.

Why are there so many failures? The reasons are many. Some are the result of poor change management; others are the result of the selection of inappropriate process automation for the company; and still more are the result of limited or low-quality information. If one goes through the list of possible reasons, we see there is one commonality across the majority of failures: the user experience. Poor change management leaves users confused. Inappropriate process selection frustrates users as it increases time and effort (rather than decreasing it), and low-quality information makes users question why they are migrating to a new system at all. (And when significant system features or functions fail to be implemented at all, that's the worst user experience.)

That's why the user experience (UX) is important, and why Spend Matters has dedicated so much time to this topic (first on sourcing, and now on procurement). The reality is that if users does not use a solution to do their jobs, the solution does not generate value. And the ultimate key to adoption is often the user experience.

The First Row Seat: Interpreting Q4 2017 SolutionMap Results With Jason Busch — SAP Ariba, Basware and Coupa [PRO]

The Q4 2017 SolutionMap was a major product release for Spend Matters. It included six individual functional product types, two suite areas and spanned 32 vendors. Despite our marketing claims of having invested “hundreds of hours” of analyst time in the process, the actual number felt like more in the thousands, by my own accounting. I told one of my colleagues I felt like I was “in the Matrix” at one would point when looking at technology provider demonstrations. This Spend Matters PRO Research Note does not necessarily represent the views of Spend Matters or my colleagues. But as the founder of this thing, please grant me the license to share some personal opinions on what the results may tell us, including insights into some of the providers that are on the rise (and others potentially on the fall).

Today I’ll share insights into three providers: SAP Ariba, Basware and Coupa. For each, I’ll provide SolutionMap interpretation, opinion, analysis and some succinct recommendations to customers, prospects and partners. SolutionMap is in many ways the new Spend Matters, and while it is designed to be data driven and equal parts expert and customer led, I built a large chunk of the original site on opinion. (And, I admit, sometimes gossip, though most of it proved true!) After all, Spend Matters was a blog for so long. So let me opine and share what I really think.

Q4 SolutionMap℠: 32 Procurement Technology Solution Providers, Ranked

With Major League Baseball playoffs in full swing, we're reminded of the fitted ballcaps some of us used to wear when we were kids, just like the pros wore. Then at one point, companies introduced some fitted caps that were incongruously labeled “One Size Fits All.” That promise didn’t hold up. One size never really fits all (some of us have bigger noggins than others, for example), so ballcaps promoting themselves as such miss the mark. The same can be said for traditional analyst rankings of procurement technology solutions. Behold, Spend Matters Q4 SolutionMap℠ — where we leave the “one fits all” approach behind.

Q4 2017 SolutionMap E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay Release Notes [PRO]

The Q4 2017 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) saw a number of changes from the Q2 2017 release. This includes the addition of new providers and updated buying personas.

In addition, as new providers joined the process, solution innovation increased among existing participants and the number of customer references grew — approximately 150 customers in total for E-Procurement, I2P and P2P are now included in the SolutionMap benchmark — the overall SolutionMaps and scores changed considerably.

This Spend Matters PRO Release Note provides insight into the Q4 2017 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, I2P and P2P, focusing on what changed from the previous release, including detailed analyst insights, updated persona definitions and vendor scoring criteria.

Vendor Summary Report: Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap℠ Q4 2017 [PRO]

e-invoicing

This SolutionMapSM analyzes a select group of invoice-to-pay solution providers. It is part of our Q4 2017 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract management and e-procurement providers. Our Q4 release also features SolutionMaps for procure-to-pay and strategic procurement technology suites.

Summary

Spend Matters tracks more than 50 procure-to-pay solution providers. This analysis features many of the largest invoice-to-pay providers, specifically Basware, Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Invocus (Zycus), SAP Ariba, Taulia, Tradeshift and Vroozi. Data from other providers is also included in our SolutionMap scoring benchmarks. Among the providers featured, this SolutionMap release includes select industry/specialty capability of providers, although it does not highlight them in a specific persona, a change from our last SolutionMap release.

Scoring and Ratings Inputs

SolutionMap ratings provide comparative rankings and insight into how each provider scored from a Solution perspective and Customer Value perspective.

It provides a breakdown of Solution scoring for each vendor on an overall category level. This includes each provider’s comparative capability to support:
  • Invoice structure/capture
  • Invoice collaboration
  • Compliance
  • Additional invoicing technology components
  • Financing
  • Payment
  • Supplier network
  • Configurability
  • Technology/architecture
  • Services
Solution scoring is based on analysis of individual vendor capability, including in-depth technology reviews, a highly detailed Spend Matters RFI and live demonstrations and Q&A by the Spend Matters team. The Customer Value score stems from aggregated direct customer input (survey based).

The SolutionMap also provides insight into how customers scored each Supplier Management vendor based on a Customer Value scorecard (e.g., likelihood of recommending the provider, level of value perceived, business value, ability to meet expectations, deployment speed, ROI, TCO and innovation). The Spend Matters SolutionMap database includes more than 275 customer references collected in 2017.

Our SolutionMap approach intentionally does not “co-mingle” Solution and Customer Value scoring, allowing readers to prioritize what matters most to them.

Using SolutionMap

While Spend Matters does not recommend that existing and potential customers of providers use technology and customer scoring alone to shortlist or evaluate technology providers, the insight, along with SolutionMap persona-based ratings, provides a point-in-time perspective that may be useful as either a starting point in an evaluation or a contributing factor to a formal software selection process.

Going Deeper in the Data

Spend Matters reserves its most granular level of scoring and analysis for our practitioner advisory clients, and we invite procurement organizations to contact us for more information.

For example, Spend Matters maintains highly granular scoring insights and ratings in specific areas such as invoicing collaboration and compliance (e.g., core collaboration, invoice validation, invoice approvals, invoice integrations and invoice compliance).

This allows us to provide highly granular insight into how specific solutions compare to both an industry standard Spend Matters benchmark and peer group/competitive vendors for each of these areas to support technology selection processes. We allow PRO subscribers — and on a much deeper level, our practitioner advisory clients within procurement organizations going through a selection process — to get into the data as much or as little as they require.

Vendor Summary Report: Procure-to-Pay Suites SolutionMap℠ Q4 2017 [PRO]

purchasing

This SolutionMapSM analyzes a select group of procure-to-pay solution providers. It is part of our Q4 2017 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers. Our Q4 release also features SolutionMaps for Strategic Procurement Technology suites.

Summary

Spend Matters tracks more than 50 procure-to-pay solution providers. This analysis features many of the largest invoice-to-pay providers, specifically Basware, Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, SAP Ariba, Vroozi and Zycus. Data from other providers is also included in our SolutionMap scoring benchmarks. Among the providers featured, this SolutionMap release includes select industry/specialty capability of providers, although it does not highlight them in a specific persona, a change from our last SolutionMap release.

Scoring and Ratings Inputs

SolutionMap ratings provide comparative rankings and insight into how each provider scored from a Solution perspective and Customer Value perspective.

It provides a breakdown of Solution scoring for each vendor on an overall category level. This includes each provider’s comparative capability to support:
  • Catalog management
  • Shopping/requisitioning
  • Ordering/order management
  • Receiving
  • Invoice structure/capture
  • Invoice collaboration
  • Compliance
  • Additional invoicing technology components
  • Financing
  • Payment
  • Supplier network
  • Configurability
  • Technology/architecture
  • Services
Solution scoring is based on analysis of individual vendor capability, including in-depth technology reviews, a highly detailed Spend Matters RFI and live demonstrations and Q&A by the Spend Matters team. The Customer Value score stems from aggregated direct customer input (survey based).

The SolutionMap also provides insight into how customers scored each Supplier Management vendor based on a Customer Value scorecard (e.g., likelihood of recommending the provider, level of value perceived, business value, ability to meet expectations, deployment speed, ROI, TCO and innovation). The Spend Matters SolutionMap database includes more than 275 customer references collected in 2017.

Our “map” approach intentionallt does not “co-mingle” Solution and Customer Value scoring, allowing readers to prioritize what matters most to them.

Using SolutionMap

While Spend Matters does not recommend that existing and potential customers of providers use technology and customer scoring alone to shortlist or evaluate technology providers, the insight, along with SolutionMap persona-based ratings, provides a point-in-time perspective that may be useful as either a starting point in an evaluation or a contributing factor to a formal software selection process.

Going Deeper in the Data

Spend Matters reserves its most granular level of scoring and analysis for our practitioner advisory clients, and we invite procurement organizations to contact us for more information.

For example, Spend Matters maintains highly granular scoring insights and ratings in specific areas such as supplier network capability (e.g., supplier on-boarding, supplier information management, supplier performance and risk management, catalog management, order management, invoicing, other supplier network value-added services and ability to connect to multiple networks).

This allows us to provide highly granular insight in how specific solutions compare to both an industry standard Spend Matters benchmark and peer group/competitive vendors for each of these areas to support technology selection processes. We allow PRO subscribers — and on a much deeper level, our practitioner advisory clients within procurement organizations going through a selection process — to get into the data as much or as little as they required.