Google recently announced its acquisition of San Francisco-based Kaggle. Founded in 2010, Kaggle describes itself a platform for predictive modeling and analytics competitions and consulting. Organizations and individuals may submit projects as contests and set a monetary prize for solutions. Individuals or teams within Kaggle’s crowd of 600,000 data analytics experts propose solutions, and the originators of the projects select a winner and award the prize money. Kaggle also offers a talent solution that allows organizations to find and evaluate potential hires based on their actual projects and code. Small to large companies across a range of industries have used Kaggle — including State Farm, Facebook and Google, which used Kaggle extensively before the acquisition
The M&A Category
The combination of Tradeshift and IBX changes the procure-to-pay (P2P) competitive landscape. Last week, we reported on the transaction and offered an initial analysis of what IBX will bring to Tradeshift. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an initial analysis for current and potential customers and partners of Tradeshift and IBX. It also provides insight and analysis on how the transaction will alter the competitive landscape.
Tradeshift announced earlier this week it would acquire IBX Business Network from Capgemini, the previous owner of the procurement technology and supplier network provider. Spend Matters analysts Xavier Olivera and Jason Busch recently had the chance to speak to the Tradeshift team about the acquisition. They, along with other members of the Spend Matters research team, have spent time reviewing IBX’s source-to-pay solution in detail.
This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an expert solution perspective on what IBX brings to Tradeshift, including IBX’s strengths in the e-procurement area. It also provides a brief discussion on how Tradeshift plans to integrate IBX into its solution portfolio, including planned (rapid) migration. Finally, it includes a March 2017 SWOT framework and March 2017 summary company analysis and graphical comparative overview of Tradeshift’s solution footprint and capability (inclusive of IBX) across the source-to-pay continuum in the sourcing, analytic, contract management, supplier management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay functional areas.
Additional Spend Matters PRO analysis to follow in a subsequent research brief will include customer recommendations, partner recommendations and an analysis of the changing competitive landscape for source-to-pay suites, networks and platforms. Additional Spend Matters news coverage will share what we learned from our discussions with the Tradeshift team following the announcement.
Tradeshift announced Wednesday it had acquired acquired IBX Business Network from Capgemini. Spend Matters believes the transaction is, by a significant margin, Tradeshift’s most important acquisition to date. And from the “seller” side of the deal, Capgemini suggests that the transaction represents, from a corporate development perspective, more than just the divestiture of a business unit. Spend Matters will be speaking with Tradeshift later today and will provide additional information and analysis on the transaction later this week. We are particularly keen to understand how Tradeshift plans to rationalize the proven e-procurement capability within IBX with what it is in the early stages of rolling out to customers in 2017.
IQNavigator + Beeline Update: Doug Leeby Discusses Merger Reactions, Vision for Combined Organization
In December 2016, the announced merger of IQNavigator and Beeline rocked the contingent workforce and services market. As the shape of the new firm takes form, Spend Matters caught up with Doug Leeby, CEO of IQNavigator + Beeline, to learn how customers have reacted, how partners are dealing the emergence of a “Big 2” and what he sees as the future of the VMS market. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview, in which Leeby provides an update on the combined product roadmap and competitive landscape.
Coupa’s acquisition of Spend360 brings an immediate set of capabilities to Coupa customers — and the basis of a broader, disruptive and embedded offering integrally linked to Coupa’s cloud solution. But what is spend analytics (and spend classification, specifically) and why should customers care? What types of reports should you be able to run? And more narrowly, what specific capabilities does Spend360 bring and how are these different than alternative approaches (e.g., AI/machine learning vs. rules-based classification).
There’s also the question of what Spend360 will ultimately enable Coupa to achieve by applying an AI-driven approach to the firm’s broader source-to-pay platform, including guiding users to better decisions based on insights their own data can provide, a broader topic Coupa’s CEO, Rob Bernshteyn, hinted at during a talk earlier this year. But we’ll leave this specific topic to a longer exploration after we’ve had the chance to delve into the “so what” for customers from the acquisition.
This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides a product-centric analysis that will help Coupa customers and prospects get beyond the headlines of the announcement and understand, on a comparative basis, what spend analytics really is, how spend classification works and how Spend360 stacks up to others.
Earlier today, WNS announced it had acquired Denali Sourcing Services, a procurement solutions provider. Denali was one of the pioneers in procurement managed services. But more recently, the firm has expanded its broader practice in such areas as spend analytics, market intelligence and training. Not all of these capabilities will transition over to WNS — some will remain with the original Denali group, which will be rebranded in the coming months.
Denali brings a number of capabilities to WNS, including a center of excellence (COE)-driven managed services capability for spend analytics, strategic sourcing, category management and supplier management. In short: It adds many “baited hooks” to chum the waters for the broader business process outsourcing (BPO) and outsourcing nets WNS is casting in the market.
But perhaps most important from a market perspective, the transaction will put pressure on other offshore BPO firms, including Genpact, Infosys, HCL and Tech Mahindra, looking to accelerate penetration in North America and Europe through the addition of onshore expertise and capability. For this reason — among others — Spend Matters believes this deal is likely a harbinger of more acquisition activity to come in 2017. In the near term, however, Spend Matters believes the acquisition will do little to blunt the leadership positions of Accenture and GEP for procurement BPO and managed services.
This Spend Matters PRO First Take Analysis provides an overview of the capabilities Denali brings to WNS, key takeaways, an overview of procurement managed services and insight into select additional acquisition candidates that could contribute to further consolidation in this market.
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.”
Since the announcement of the GTCR/Adecco transaction Tuesday morning, Spend Matters has penned a summary overview of the Beeline and IQNavigator merger considerations (see: GTCR Acquires Beeline From Adecco, Merges VMS Firm with IQNavigator) as well as a more detailed analysis of the mechanics of the transaction and what it might bring for the combined entity for Spend Matters PRO subscribers (see: Beeline, IQNavigator & GTCR: Transaction/Valuation Analysis, Future Product/Technology Considerations and SWOT Analysis). This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides initial recommendations for Beeline and IQNavigator customers and prospects, alternative solution providers and partners, including managed services provider (MSP) recommendations, following the merger.
Beeline, IQNavigator & GTCR: Transaction/Valuation Analysis, Future Product/Technology Considerations and SWOT Analysis [PRO]
Earlier Tuesday GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced it had acquired vendor management system (VMS) and freelancer management system (FMS) provider Beeline from Adecco. Spend Matters’ initial coverage of the transaction provides background on the merger of Beeline and IQNavigator.
The combination of the two providers creates a VMS powerhouse, both by services procurement network volume and revenue, making GTCR — as well as Adecco and the management of both organizations — the owner of the largest independent services procurement technology provider by a significant margin. It also marks a potential (and even near-term) takeover candidate by Oracle, another solutions provider, or even a firm such as Accenture — or as an IPO candidate as early as 2017. We explore these and other considerations in this research brief, as well as the material potential upside for Adecco, owing to the new capitalization structure of the combined entity for GTCR/Adecco, based on our analysis of the transaction and benchmark valuation considerations.
This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides a more detailed look inside the transaction and what it means for GTCR, Adecco and Beeline/IQNavigator, including potential exit options and how the combination could change some of the core dynamics of the contingent workforce and services procurement market. It also provides a SWOT analysis to illustrate the comparative position of the merged Beeline and IQNavigator in the VMS and broader services procurement market, as well as a product/technology outlook. Subsequent research briefs will provide customer, prospective customer and partner (MSP) analysis of the transaction and the relative combined technology capabilities of the merged organization.
GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm and owner of IQNavigator (IQN), announced early Tuesday it had acquired Beeline, a vendor management system (VMS) and freelancer management system (FMS) provider, from Adecco. Beeline had previously been part of Adecco’s acquisition of MPS, which valued that combined entity (including Beeline) at $1.3 billion in 2009. Financial terms of GTCR’s acquisition of Beeline were not disclosed.
The recovery audit market has a long history that’s rooted, in part, on the fact that accounts payable organizations make mistakes when paying suppliers. These errors often stem from poor visibility into accurate master data surrounding contracts, transactional documents and related supplier information that lead to AP mistakes. Root causes include: overpayments, duplicate payments, currency errors, credit memos, incorrect line-level pricing, missed "deal" memos/notes and logistics charges.
Getting to the bottom of these disparate documents and data sets has traditionally been a largely manual process, albeit one that recovery audit firms have somewhat automated with homegrown tools in the past two decades. Given what they do in the field, providers that serve this market, including PRGX, APEX Analytix and Connolly (now a division of Cotiviti), have historically had more in common with other diagnostic providers such as REL (now part of Hackett Group) than typical operations consultants and procurement/AP solution vendors. But the recovery audit sector is starting to change. Services-based firms are getting into analytics, supplier portal, supplier management and related software areas. And in non-industry-specific and nuanced environments (e.g., retail), solutions from P2P, AP automation and e-invoicing providers such as Ariba, Basware and Coupa are helping to catch payment and other mistakes before they’re made.
This Spend Matters PRO analysis, the third in a series that explores and analyzes PRGX’s acquisition of Lavante, explores the past, present and future of the recovery audit market, and what technology-led changes in it are likely to mean for firms, customers and customers. See also: PRGX to Acquire Lavante: Solution Overview, Comparative Solution Capability and Competitive Analysis (Part 1) and PRGX Acquires Lavante: PRGX Analysis and Customer/Prospect Recommendations (Part 2).