The Procurement Systems & Architecture Category

2017 Prediction of the Moment: How Big Blockchain Will Be in Sourcing and Supplier Management

blockchain

It’s no secret that the Spend Matters team has been geekily excited about the procurement implications of blockchain for years — seemingly right on the heels of the Dark Web, TOR and Silk Road becoming a thing. What is far more important to the world of procurement — and for that matter, the world of broader supply chains and global trade — is that blockchain brings the potential to become as important to our technology lives as the spreadsheet, ERP/MRP systems and source-to-pay technology suites that we use everyday, as Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch puts it.

ERP or Best-of-Breed (BoB)? Here’s How to Quickly Settle That Whole Thing

Even though Spend Matters declared the "ERP vs. Best-of-Breed" debate dead way back in 2014, the issue has a funny way of rearing its head. Sure, IT organizations are still somewhat biased towards ERP suites and business units/functions still prefer BoB solutions that will help them accomplish their goals, but asking "ERP or BoB?" is fundamentally a losing proposition. Why?

Coupa and Spend360: Spend Analysis Background and Product Analysis [PRO]

Tradeshift Baiwang

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.

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

Procurement fraud comes in many forms and types. Recent front-page news stories can involve multi-million dollar frauds managed at the P&L level by suppliers, such as Pfizer’s recent complex overbilling scheme with the NHS. But procurement and payables fraud most often takes place on a smaller level, with varying degrees of sophistication. Oversight Systems provides an analytics managed service (and front-end software) capability for procurement and finance organizations to fight procurement fraud, whether perpetrated by suppliers, internal participants or both. It also provides similar capabilities to monitor for regulatory compliance (e.g., FCPA violations) as well as detect overpayment errors. Its solution is a complement to procure-to-pay (P2P), travel and expense (T&E) and various audit recovery solutions and approaches in the market today.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Oversight Systems provides an objective SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Oversight Systems and provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that can best take advantage of Oversight Systems’ capabilities. Part 1 of this series provided an in-depth look at Oversight as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the solution’s user experience.

Tracing the History of the Procurement Software Market: From Tools to Value

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This three-part series traces the evolution of the procurement software market with a focus not on modules and applications, but on the ways in which we actually use technology to generate value. I will explore how solutions have progressed over time, not only as technology has gotten more sophisticated but also as the procurement function has evolved and new expectations have been placed on it by the business and shareholders alike.

Oversight Systems: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) –– Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

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What do you get if you cross P2P payment compliance, procurement and payables fraud detection and management, and a big data solution together? You get Oversight Systems. Unlike other overpayment prevention and recovery audit providers, Oversight decided to pursue what we might best describe as “data science as a service,” hiring data scientists who are experts –– or have become experts –– in spend areas including travel and expense (T&E) and procure-to-pay (P2P), as well as regulations affecting supplier management and payables such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). This team continually works to develop new algorithms to confront the types of continuously evolving over-billing and procurement and T&E fraud scenarios that employees, procurement staff and suppliers engage in, either intentionally or as a result of complacency.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Oversight System’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider this class of solution alongside other P2P, T&E, payables/card and related investments. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Sponsored Article

How Embedded Analytics can Measure the ‘Pulse’ of Your Supply Chain Operation

data analytics

Spend Matters welcomes this sponsored article from OpenText.

Many companies today are beginning their journey to transform into a digital business. But implementing a digital transformation strategy does not happen overnight, and you can’t just focus on the internal enterprise. You have to consider how to deploy a digital strategy across external stakeholders, as well.

How to Get Started with Supplier Onboarding in Latin America

Mexico

Supplier networks have dramatically altered the way procurement handles supplier data. The ERP system, long the home of any company’s supplier master data, is ceding dominance to new technologies. Emerging sourcing and procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions now offer compelling alternatives to old processes and systems, and procurement organizations are looking to supplier networks both to enhance collaboration with suppliers and to serve as the central repository for data related to business partners. In this three-part series, we examine e-invoicing practices in Latin America, beginning with the basics of onboarding. The next two installments cover unique compliance requirements for organizations operating in Latin America and how to evaluate supplier readiness in the region.

Bad Data Management Means Lost Business: 3 Tips for Suppliers

data

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Martyn Davies, director of product management at Rocket Software.

The biggest manufacturing brands in the world demand rigorous data workflow processes between them and their suppliers — and it’s easy to see why. There is no doubt that supply chains will only continue to become more complex, and increase the level of risk, especially when they are geographically dispersed. Global companies need to implement robust processes to ensure that data is managed, processed and protected to the highest standard when it is exchanged and shared with others.

Oversight Systems: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

Supply Chain Fraud

Procurement fraud typically gets everyone’s attention after it happens. Granted, in certain geographies and industries, regulations such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) have magnified the potential risk that procurement fraud can bring to expand beyond profitability impact through high fines and negative media coverage. Yet procurement and finance organizations generally are loath to invest in additional fraud controls and measures such as procure-to-pay (P2P), travel and expense (T&E) and payment solution (including p-cards) rollouts or upgrades at the same time. Oversight Systems, an Atlanta-based organization that focuses on fraud and overpayment controls and prevention and has raised almost $40 million in funding to date, is hoping to change this.

Existing P2P (SAP Ariba, Concur, Basware, etc.) and T&E (e.g., Concur) solutions can put in preventative steps to help reduce the risk of fraud and overpayment occurrences. But the controls they provide are insufficient to prevent fraud alone (as Best Buy discovered when procurement and a supplier colluded to steal millions of dollars from the company). Fraud and overpayment can occur in both expected and unexpected places, and Oversight has designed its solution to find and detect and find it through an advanced analytics platform, regardless of whether an employee, procurement, accounts payable or a supplier is the responsible party (or a combination of actors).

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about Oversight Systems’ procurement and accounts payable fraud and overpayment solutions. 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 Oversight Systems as a complement to existing P2P, T&E and card investments. The rest of this multi-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses; competitor and SWOT analysis; user selection guides; and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Is Ariba Free At Last? Supplier Networks, Light Enablement and P2P Connectivity

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Is the Ariba Supplier Network going “free”? Yes. And no. SAP Ariba would find it difficult to fully shift a supplier-funded business model that makes a material contribution to SAP’s top line — and one that in, Ariba’s defense, engages and works with suppliers more directly than competing P2P providers. Yet Ariba is taking a step in the free direction with its recent release of Light Enablement, which offers a free connectivity solution to low-volume suppliers. Still, don’t expect anything but “Light.” It is what it says it is.

Zycus Horizon Dispatch: Bad Seinfeld References Meet New Procurement Tech “Ingredients” (Including Blockchain)

food

Yesterday at Zycus Horizon, I gave a talk to a small breakout group titled “Cooking in a New Source-To-Pay Kitchen.” The topic gave me carte blanche to essentially bring up trends and ideas shaping the future of procurement and combine these with some bad references from my favorite Seinfeld episodes (for example, imagine the equivalent of procurement saying “no soup for you” to stakeholders that it would rather avoid engaging). Here are the five core cooking ingredients for new procurement dishes, according to yours truly.