The Services and Indirect Spend Category

Coupa’s Acquisition of DCR Workforce: Analyzing the Move (Part 1) — History, Context and SAP [PRO]

In the first two briefs in this ongoing series covering Coupa’s recent acquisition of DCR Workforce, we provided an overview of the acquisition itself along with a review of the DCR solution set. We also shared our view on some of the strengths and weaknesses of the DCR solution prior to the acquisition, as well as an overview of the broader competitive landscape that will be relevant as DCR now becomes “Coupa Contingent Workforce.”

As our analysis continues, we turn our attention to what the DCR Workforce acquisition could mean for Coupa as a developer of technology solutions and as a business in the indirect procurement software sector. Spend Matters believes the deal is the most significant strategic bet Coupa has made since the vendor shifted its strategy from providing open source e-procurement to what it is today. But is Coupa (and the market) ready for such a shift?

Coupa Acquires DCR Workforce (Part 2): DCR Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

The contingent workforce (CW/S) technology sector could benefit from daylight when it comes to visibility into how “good” solutions actually are. Within the vendor management system (VMS) market specifically, there are various market dynamics that have led to an opaque situation in the past, in which limited information transparency exists. And when it does, this information can be often “overlooked” for various reasons when organizations are making technology-buying decisions.

Pardon the baseball analogy, but we’re still on the first at-bat in the first inning in trying to create a degree of transparency ourselves with Spend Matters CW/S SolutionMap, which launched last week, albeit with only a subset of the market’s top vendors participating in the first round launch — something we suspect will change in the coming quarters. If you’re curious to take a look, you can skim the free ranking charts for Q3 2018 (Independent Contract Workers, Temporary Staffing and Contract Services/Statement of Work). And if you want to review the true, transparent details yourself, see our SolutionMap Insider reports and ratings, as well.

While in our view the CW/S technology market trends more to capability/technology obfuscation than enlightened cloud transparency among procurement and HR organizations, DCR Workforce stands out as one of the few providers driving innovation at multiple levels, including its embrace of artificial intelligence (AI).

But how good is it really? This Spend Matters PRO research brief (Part 2 in our series covering the Coupa acquisition of DCR; see Part 1: Acquisition Analysis and Competitive Landscape Segmentation) provides a primer for those that want to answer that question. It is based on prior Spend Matters PRO research content, with new updates and insights included. (Granted, we cover the strengths and weaknesses on what we would consider a summary level by our standards, given that we consider more than 400 individual CW/S functional requirements as part of our SolutionMap analysis. But you’ve got to start somewhere.)

Beeline: What Makes It Great (Temporary Staffing/VMS SolutionMap Analysis)

Editor’s note: This “What Makes It Great” column is normally reserved for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, but Beeline has graciously agreed to unlock this piece for readers who are not yet members.

The contingent workforce and services technology market consists of three main segments: temporary staffing, which represents the classic vendor management system (VMS) market; independent contract workers (ICW), which includes technology for managing freelance resources; and contracted services/statement of work (SOW). Of the three, temporary staffing has historically attracted the majority of CW/S technology spend, and in these solution selections, Beeline has long been a familiar face whenever a VMS or VMS/MSP is up for consideration, both in North America and globally — especially in scenarios where technology is an essential consideration to the buyer.

As of Q3 2018, Spend Matters SolutionMap contains more than 1,250 functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks encompassing more than 50 procurement software companies. In our first SolutionMap release for contingent workforce and services procurement, nine providers participated in our rigorous evaluation and rating process. Among these nine, Beeline, aside from having significant critical mass, is also the last independent provider remaining in the sector that is not part of a larger source-to-pay (S2P) or ERP parent. So as the last independent solution standing, how does Beeline stack up to its peers? Where does it stand out most, how does it help “set the bar” and why should this matter for procurement and HR organizations?

Join us in exploring what makes Beeline great, based on the latest functional and customer SolutionMap benchmarks from Q3 2018.

“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.

Coupa Acquires DCR Workforce: First Take Analysis and Competitive Landscape Segmentation [PRO]

Coupa recently announced it had acquired the technology assets of DCR Workforce, a leading provider of contingent workforce/services (CW/S) procurement software. By so doing, Coupa has taken a giant leap forward in providing its clients a comprehensive platform that will now include the option of industrial-strength CW/S sourcing and management capabilities.

For many organizations, CW/S spend (including temporary staffing, independent contract workers and a broad range of categories of services provided by external suppliers) represents a considerable portion of external spend (including good and materials). And much of this spend — particularly outside of temporary staffing — is unmanaged today, in terms of procurement or HR’s ability to fully influence and orchestrate it.

In this Spend Matters PRO series, we take an in-depth look at what the acquisition of DCR means for Coupa and DCR, as well as to their customers. In Part 1 of this series, we look at what Coupa is getting by acquiring DCR, in terms of both business strategy and DCR’s specific capabilities. Based on DCR’s footprint, we also segment the competitive landscape into six primary competitor types.

Part 2 will consider DCR’s strengths and weaknesses within the competitive CW/S market. Subsequent PRO briefs will examine customer recommendations, competitive landscape implications and related considerations.

The Contingent Workforce and Services SolutionMap is Born — Have You Greeted It Yet?

In case you missed it yesterday, Spend Matters launched an entirely new solution area — featuring three distinct solution categories — as part of its Q3 SolutionMap. For the first time, our analyst team has begun evaluating Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) enterprise software vendors, addressing the sourcing and management of Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW) and Independent Contract Workers (ICW), in the context of SolutionMap. Click on each category name above to read a detailed, high-level description of that category and view the persona graphics for free.

The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List: September 2018 [Plus+]

Welcome to the September edition of Spend Matters’ monthly feature, “The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insider’s Hot List,” available to PLUS and PRO subscribers. For those new to the Hot List, each edition covers the prior month’s important and sometimes just plain interesting technology and innovation developments within the CW/S space. Over the last several months, this space has seen both significant change and inertia co-exist, yet the change is not slowing down — quite the contrary.

The August Hot List reported that July was a particularly sweltering month (in terms of innovation, of course). The news of Beeline’s acquisition by New Mountain Capital soaked in, rumors of a possible Upwork IPO made their way through the industry, co-founder of Elance and former CEO of Upwork became the Chairman and CEO of Snag (formerly Snag-a-job). And those were just a few.

Now, Labor Day has passed. Gone are the dog days of summer, so let’s welcome September by reviewing what happened in August.

Coupa Acquires DCR Workforce, Giving its Services Maestro a Full Symphony Orchestra

Coupa announced Tuesday it had acquired the technology assets of DCR Workforce, a Boca Raton, Florida-based vendor management system (VMS) provider, according to a press release. Coming on the heels of Labor Day, Coupa could not have picked a more appropriate holiday week to expand its services procurement and labor footprint. DCR’s software enables businesses to source and manage contingent workforce and services. The DCR solution will now be marketed as Coupa Contingent Workforce, part of Coupa’s broader platform.

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Expanding the Social Safety Net in the Gig Economy

Within the next decade, over half of the workforce will be made up of independent contractors. Many of these gig workers are working in warehouses and construction sites or driving for courier services. Their industry ancestors spent the better part of the past century fighting for protections, but because this new wave of contingent workers aren’t technically employees, they can’t reap the benefits of those efforts. The numbers on a tax form don’t make a worker any less prone to suffering debilitating workplace injuries. Unfortunately, they do often mean the worker will have to face them alone.

Should We Forget or Reinvent the Meaning of Labor Day?

By now, many of you will have already started your Labor Day weekend. Plenty of folks will have plans for the weekend, but I wonder how many of us will be thinking about the meaning of Labor Day? Very few, I suspect, even the workforce management or procurement professionals among us. I’m not trying to guilt anyone here. I’m just asking the question: Should we be thinking about it?

Six Best Practices for Procuring Marketing Services (Part 2) [Plus+]

marketing

Editor's note: This Spend Matters Plus brief is a refresh of our 2013 series on marketing services, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO. 

In Part 1, we pulled together a number of key learnings (and some personal experience) to come up with six best practice suggestions for CPOs or marketing services procurement leads to consider. We previously looked at three recommendations around category strategy and suppler management. Today we’ll take a look at three more that focus more on the procurement function and individuals in it, how they align with marketing colleagues, and the skills they need to succeed in this area.

New LinkedIn Research: Use of Freelance Labor on the Rise Among U.S. Small Businesses

Lystable

It’s not just big companies that are increasingly incorporating contingent labor into their talent management strategies. Small businesses in the U.S. are also turning to freelancers. According to the latest research from LinkedIn, 70% of U.S.-based small businesses (defined as those with fewer than 200 employees) have hired freelancers. LinkedIn’s ProFinder marketplace, a service for businesses to find freelance workers, had seen a rise in small business hiring across all sectors. To better understand this trend, LinkedIn surveyed more than 1,500 small businesses on whether they have ever worked with freelancers, and if so, how often and why.

Beeline and New Mountain Capital: A Conversation With Doug Leeby (Part 2)

digital business transformation

Beeline’s recent acquisition by private equity firm New Mountain Capital has certainly been the biggest event in the contingent workforce and services sector this summer. To learn more about what the acquisition means for Beeline and the workforce management software market in general, we caught up with Doug Leeby, CEO at Beeline, to get both his insider scoop and expert perspective.

In Part 1 of this Q&A, we discussed New Mountain’s approach to managing its portfolio companies and how that could affect Beeline’s growth in the near term. Today, in the conclusion of this exclusive conversation, we examine the competitive dynamics between Beeline and its largest rival, SAP Fieldglass, and explore the three most important industry trends Leeby is focused on.