The P2P Category

BuyerQuest: What Makes It Great (Analysis)

BuyerQuest was one of the first e-procurement providers to focus significant efforts on improving the user experience beyond just a “walk-up” shopping UI. Examples of these efforts include leveraging behavioral analysis to support guidance during the procurement process and innovation in support of purchase order management and receiving capabilities.

But how does BuyerQuest stack up among the 22 providers ranked in the latest e-procurement release? As of September 2018, the Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on over 50 providers within the procurement technology landscape. Where does BuyerQuest stand out most and help “set the bar” in e-procurement? And why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where BuyerQuest is great.

“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.

A Potential Basware Takeover: Speculation Abounds

Earlier today, Basware, a Europe-based procure-to-pay provider that, through integrated partner capabilities, also offers broader source-to-pay solutions, responded to “media speculation” that it had received a takeover offer, resulting in a material run up in its share price. In a press announcement published Friday, Nov. 16, the vendor said it had been "approached with a non-binding and highly conditional indicative proposal for a possible tender offer for the entire share capital of Basware." The wording of the full release may provide some hints as to what kind of firm is considering an offer. But who the potential acquirer is perhaps matters less than what a Basware takeover could mean more broadly for the procurement technology market, in which Basware has made considerable gains within recent years.

‘I Think Demand Management Is the Bigger Play,’ Roy Anderson Touts Visibility into Spend, Risks of Not Buying In (Part 2)

“I saved you all $5 million,” procurement veteran Roy Anderson tried to tell one CFO he worked for. “To this day, he’s never totally believed that.”

In Part 2 of Anderson’s conversation about his career and digital changes in the industry, he talks about change management, demand management and how he did convince another CFO that Anderson’s team had saved him $150 million.

Anderson, now at Tradeshift, sat down with another procurement veteran, Pierre Mitchell of Spend Matters, to share some laughs and lessons about how the industry has adapted to technology over the last 40 years.

The following is the second of three-part series of their conversation, which has been edited for clarity. Part 1 ran Monday, and Part 3 will run Friday.

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

Some vendors prefer to wax poetic. Others prefer to wax digital. One such source-to-pay provider likes waxing digital so much, that it even calls itself Wax Digital. And it is our latest source-to-pay vendor to get the in-depth PRO treatment here on Spend Matters (before its debut in Q4 SolutionMap).

By now you are all familiar with its primary source-to-pay competitors, including SAP Ariba, Coupa, Determine, GEP, iValua, Jaggaer, SynerTrade and Zycus, as they have been covered extensively on PRO and appear in the SPT & S2P solution maps, and while you are quite familiar with the American S2P providers (Ariba, Coupa, Determine, GEP, Jaggaer and Zycus) and now the European S2P providers (iValua and SynerTrade), you're likely not as familiar with their English counterparts, namely Proactis and Wax Digital, as they have not had as much exposure in recent years. And Wax Digital is definitely a provider that should make your familiarization list.

Wax Digital, which has been around for almost two decades, is one of the largest European providers of source-to-pay solutions, with users in over 100 countries around the globe. It is available in 15 languages out of the box and supports all currencies under ISO 4217 for its 250,000+ global users.

Part 1 of this analysis provides a detailed company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit for when organizations should consider Wax Digital. The remaining parts of this research brief will dive into product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

AI in Procurement Today (Part 2): 6 Applications in P2P [PRO]

As we discussed in Part 1 of this series, AI is the reigning buzzword of the day in procurement software. Just about every enterprise vendor out there claims to have AI, even if all they have is RPA. To help procurement organizations get up to speed, we reviewed the definition of each of the technologies in the “cognitive” stack — RPA, ML, AR, AI and cognitive — and discussed how some (but definitely not all) platforms are making use of these emerging technologies to make procurement faster, better and more productive than ever before.

Specifically, in Part 1 we discussed how the right application of these assistive technologies today can give you a platform that provides true automation, smart auto-reorder of MRO/retail stock and enhanced mobile support. We also noted that there were just a few of the applications that were available. Today, we review three more capabilities that a best-of-breed procurement platform should provide to take your (tactical) procurement to the next level.

Tradeshift Analyst Day: Roy Is Back

Am I the only one who missed seeing Roy Anderson on stage in the last few years? Roy is an illustrious (and animated) CPO — and he's back in the game in a dual role as Tradeshift’s internal CPO and as its digital transformation officer. He’s also externally facing with Tradeshift customers and partners. Today in New York, Roy took the stage at Tradeshift’s analyst event, combining his mix of standup (think "Car Talk" meets procurement) and storytelling.

Tradeshift Analyst Day: The Marketplace Strikes Back

I touched down in New York City today for a quick stop at Tradeshift’s fall 2018 analyst day. The theme of the event is marketplaces, a topic that brings me back nearly 20 years to the heyday of the B2B marketplace era. But now — unlike when Commerce One, Tradex (which Ariba purchased), Metiom, i2 TradeMatrix and all the industry-based “exchanges” looked much better in PowerPoint than they performed in theory —  the technology to support them is real.

Determine: What Makes It Great (Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

Determine offers a modular, adaptable procure-to-pay solution built on top of a powerful business rules engine and master data management platform.

Ideal for industries with unique processes and dynamic compliance requirements (e.g., healthcare, financial services), global firms with cross-border systems, and any organization that emphasizes total cost of ownership for software (inclusive for configuration, integration and deployment), Determine is a recommended fit for all five of Spend Matters’ Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap buying personas.

Determine has a substantial P2P user base in France and is adding customers in North America. Offering comparatively attractive pricing to both middle-market and Global 2000 organizations, Determine has capabilities that can also make it suitable for larger organizations with specialized procure-to-pay requirements.

As of September 2018, the Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 vendors within the procurement software market. But where does Determine stand out most in the competitive P2P sector, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s dive into the P2P SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Determine is great.

“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.

AI In Procurement Today (Part 1): Definitions and 6 Applications in P2P [PRO]

AI is the buzzword — or, more precisely, the buzz acronym — du jour in procurement software. Just about every vendor claims its applications have artificial intelligence, even though many have only basic forms of robotic process automation (RPA) or, at best, automated reasoning systems enhanced by machine learning.

But whether or not a vendor has capabilities that constitute true AI is not the ultimate question procurement needs to answer. Rather, procurement must ask what currently available systems can do today, how those systems can be used to automate and improve standard processes, and how today’s technology can prepare organizations to adopt true “cognitive” systems when they become available. Because real AI is coming. And if procurement fails to adopt the precursor technologies available today, laggard organizations risk being left in the dust by those that do.

This Spend Matters PRO series explores use cases for artificial intelligence in procurement, today and in the near future. It begins by defining, in plain terms, what AI is, which technologies fall under its umbrella and how they relate to procurement. We then identify six of the best mainstream applications of AI in procurement and explain how each can be applied to the procure-to-pay cycle. Future installments will examine applications of AI beyond P2P, including sourcing, spend analytics and supplier management.

E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search (Part 3): Jaggaer Indirect Analysis [PRO]

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Since its early days, Jaggaer has quietly been one of the true leaders in search and catalog management as a component of e-procurement. While Jaggaer has several product lines, its Indirect solution (formerly SciQuest) continues to excel at e-procurement. Its search and catalog management also remain areas where it continues to deliver on the innovative capabilities that originally differentiated its solution in the higher education/laboratory and life sciences area, today applied more broadly to the additional vertical sectors Jaggaer is targeting.

This Spend Matters PRO series examines the catalog management capabilities of some of the top vendors within e-procurement. Most of the leading solution providers featured in the E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMaps can handle the nuances required of search and catalog management.

The first two briefs in this series, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Introduction and Tradeshift Analysis and E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Oracle Analysis, provided a summary overview of the “best practice” Coupa is attempting to achieve by combining its own capability with Aquiire and Simeno. Today, we turn our attention to another top performing e-procurement provider: Jaggaer Indirect.

Zycus Horizon Dispatch: Product Strategy Emphasizes 3 Key Areas

As the second day of Zycus’ Horizon customer event kicks off in Virginia (see day one coverage: Facts/Investment/New AI Direction and Building the Partner Ecosystem) we thought it would be useful to distill what we’ve learned so far as the global provider (now with about 1,000 employees) continues to build out its procurement technology suite. From the various main stage sessions and conversations we had with key Zycus personnel, we can segment Zycus’ product/solution strategy into three areas.

E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Oracle Procurement Cloud Analysis (Part 2) [PRO]

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This Spend Matters PRO series examines the catalog management capabilities (within e-procurement) of some of the top vendors. Most of the leading solution providers featured in the E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMaps areas can handle many of the nuances required of search and catalog management. For all the gory detail of what comprises catalog management and why it matters as part of an e-procurement system, we encourage PRO subscribers to start here:

The first research brief in this series, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Introduction and Tradeshift Analysis, provided a summary overview of the “best practice” Coupa is attempting to achieve by combining its own capability with Aquiire and Simeno. It also provides an analysis of Tradeshift’s catalog management capabilities — and how it stands out in the area through its many-to-many approach.

Today, we turn our attention to another top-performing (based on Q3 SolutionMap analyst scoring) e-procurement provider: Oracle (specifically its Procurement Cloud/Fusion product line) and explore its catalog management and search capabilities.