The Solution Providers Category

The Featured Feature: Introducing A New Column on Standout Procurement Tech Capabilities

Software is eating the world, and there’s no sign the beast is even close to satiated. Nearly seven years after venture capitalist Marc Andreessen’s oft-quoted defense of the long-term viability of companies like Facebook and Amazon, businesses have more options than ever when it comes to selecting enterprise software services. Along with this glut of technology providers also comes a sense of déjà vu — the same kind of companies pushing the same features that, for the most part, offer the same solution to the same problems procurement faces on a yearly basis. Here at Spend Matters, however, we strive to bring clarity to the increasingly murky procurement technology market, and we'll be bringing you yet another way to do so starting this week.

Supplier Management: When the User Experience Guides Functionality (Part 3) [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO series provides an insider perspective on what separates best-of-breed supplier management technology providers from the pack. It emphasizes both the user interface and underlying solution capabilities of technology solutions, and, in certain cases, how the two come together. We also provide a hint at what’s to come throughout the rest of 2018 and 2019 — that is, what top performing providers will be introducing when “procurement 2020” becomes reality rather than punditry.

Need to catch up on what we’ve covered thus far? Part 1 in our series explored messaging, chat and collaboration; guided survey and template creation; and leading functional elements that enable the uploading of templates and documents. Part 2 unearthed differentiation among leading capabilities that support supplier categorization and tagging, scorecards (inclusive of alerting and predictive analytics), corrective action management, innovation management and master data management.

As our series concludes today, we will turn our attention to:

  • Guided supplier workflow management
  • Relevant risk identification for both parties
  • Integrated smart catalog and product management

Oracle vs. Coupa: E-Procurement Head-to-Head Technology Evaluation and Comparison

What was the Analyst scoring shocker in the Q1 2018 SolutionMaps for E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay? Oracle. But is Oracle Procurement Cloud on the same transactional procurement technology and capability level as Coupa — or even higher — when it comes to e-procurement?

Join us in this unfiltered SolutionMap results analysis from our Q1 2018 dataset, supplemented by commentary from Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch. These recurring Head-to-Head columns share insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters analysis since its inception.

So prepare for some real data and expect at least a modicum of salty opinion as we pit Coupa and Oracle head-to-head in the Spend Matters evaluation ring. Here’s a preview: In certain e-procurement capabilities — which span catalog management, shopping/requisitioning, ordering, receiving, supplier network, configurability, technology (overall), general services and a summary e-procurement average — Coupa wins hands down.

But in others, Oracle surprisingly bests the pole position operational procurement car, bringing capability that takes the prize as the absolute “most improved” e-procurement set of technologies over the past few years. And when the checkered flag comes out — well, we won’t give that away just yet. But the scoring will surprise, we promise. (Hint: It depends on what data you’re looking at and what data you value in your own selection process, as the two providers have different strengths.)

The Q1 2018 E-Procurement SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 19 separate providers, including all of the “biggies” procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process. Whether you’re in the market for a new e-procurement product or want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Tidbits and Lessons Learned from the 50 to Watch and 50 to Know Lists for 2018

Spend Matters has released the 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch for 2018, and there are plenty of interesting tidbits to draw from this year’s lists. From Accenture to Zycus, the 50/50 lists represent the procurement providers and solutions procurement organizations should be aware of, whether they’re making a tech selection or simply want to understand the playing field. The Watch and Know lists should be looked at separately, and there’s much debate that goes into each list. While the Know list features the rock-solid major industry players, the Watch list tends to generate more excitement, as it taps into the latest and most innovative industry trends.

Ivalua Now Dispatch: Proving You Don’t Need to be a Megacorp to Succeed

One of the most curious points featured in each of the opening keynotes at Ivalua Now was that while technology providers have to grow to succeed in today's world, they don't have to become part of “Global Megacorp” — my words, not Ivalua’s— or acquire their way to global megacorp status to be a smashing success in the source-to-pay space. The private equity irony was not lost on us if we compare which companies KKR has invested in (Ivalua) versus Accel-KKR (Jaggaer). Queue Whiz Kalifa in that latter case.

HICX: Vendor Snapshot Update (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses, Customer Perspective and Summary Recommendations [PRO]

HICX is representative of a provider that excels in a single platform-level element of a particular discipline (i.e., master data management within supplier management), using this element to build competitive differentiation and a strong customer following in a highly competitive marketplace. While much of our original Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot from 2016 (see Part 1 and Part 2) on HICX remains an accurate review of the provider in 2018, the MDM specialist has leveraged its core strengths to deliver adjacent capabilities and product line extensions.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot Update provides an update to our previous analysis HICX. Part 2 provides updated strengths and weaknesses, customer reference insight and summary recommendations on when to prioritize HICX as a shortlist candidate. The first installment of our 2018 update provides 2018 key facts on HICX, a solution overview, a recap of its overall footprint and solutions, insight into new features and capabilities, and a competitive landscape update.

HICX: Vendor Snapshot Update (Part 1) — Updated Facts, Solution Footprint, Solution Enhancements and Competitive Landscape [PRO]

In our last deep dive analysis of HICX, a U.K.-based supply chain master data management technology firm, we noted that the provider delivered a unique set of supplier-centric MDM capabilities coupled with configurable workflow for buyers and suppliers. Our original HICX Vendor Snapshot series (see Part 1 and Part 2) still provides a useful foundation for those considering the MDM specialist as a shortlist candidate for supplier management.

For those evaluating HICX, we also recommend the latest Q1 2018 Supplier Management SolutionMap Insider coverage to understand how the provider compares in the supplier management and risk management market on a comparative basis.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot Update provides an refresh to our previous analysis of HICX. Part 1 provides updated key facts on HICX, a solution overview and a competitive landscape update. Part 2 provides updated strengths and weaknesses, customer reference insights, and summary recommendations on when to consider HICX as a top shortlist candidate for supplier management.

Basware vs. SAP Ariba: E-Invoicing and Supplier Network Evaluation and Head-to-Head Comparison

Basware and SAP Ariba are among the two strongest invoice-to-pay providers in the Spend Matters Q1 2018 Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) SolutionMap on a functional basis. But how do they stack up against each other in a head-to-head bout, especially when considering core e-invoicing and supplier network capabilities as part of the invoice-to-pay solution area?

Join us in this unfiltered head-to-head SolutionMap results analysis from our Q1 2018 dataset, along with commentary from Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch. These recurring Head-to-Head columns share insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters analysis since its inception. The most recent head-to-head comparisons include Coupa vs. SAP Ariba (e-procurement) and Coupa vs. Jaggaer Advantage (sourcing).

So prepare for some real data and expect a few sparks to fly as we pit Basware and SAP Ariba head-to-head in the Spend Matters evaluation ring. Not a SolutionMap Insider member yet? Here’s a preview: In certain invoice-to-pay categories — which span supplier network, configurability, technology (overall), general services, invoicing setup, invoicing creation/capturing/submission, services invoicing and contract invoicing, invoicing collaboration, invoice validations/approvals, invoice integrations, invoicing compliance, invoice mobility, invoicing analytics, payment/financing and overall invoice-to-pay scoring — SAP Ariba takes the yellow jersey. But in others, Basware is first in the peloton. And overall the results suggest that it is essential to evaluate each provider’s capabilities in the context of specific deployment considerations (e.g., AP automation-led initiatives compared with broader procure-to-pay considerations).

The Q1 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 13 separate providers, including nearly all of the must-shortlist invoice-to-pay technology providers procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process (as well as those they should consider but might overlook). Whether you’re in the market for a new invoice-to-pay product or just want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

From Watch to Know in 2018: How OpusCapita Helps Companies Tackle Complexity on the Buy and Sell Sides

Each year, some companies on the Spend Matters 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch lists push themselves beyond simply a standout performance. They earn the recognition that they are not only bringing innovation into procurement organizations but also leading the charge to change the way we do business for the better. These are the providers who shifted from Watch to Know in 2018.

To learn more about these providers, we reached out to the four such cases in our 2018 50/50 lists, asking how they’ve changed over the years and what differentiates them from the competition. Today’s Q&A features Adam Tamburello, product marketing manager at OpusCapita, a provider of source-to-pay (S2P) solutions.

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

There are two views one can take of spend analysis. The modern view envisions that all of the data needs to be centralized in a data warehouse, business intelligence (BI) or spend analysis tool in a single standardized hierarchy agreed upon by the entire organization. The belief is that there needs to be only one view into a single version of the truth before any (spend-related) progress can be made. This desire to find the be-all single spend taxonomy structure bolted onto a corporate data warehouse is a fool’s errand because there is no single hierarchical structure that represents the multi-variate richness of spend/supply data that category managers need to extract value. For more on this topic, see here.

Then there is the postmodern view, where success depends upon taking appropriate action on whatever data you can get, whenever you can get it, in whatever form it's in. Any intelligence is better than no intelligence, and any savings or value you can identify today is worth more than the hypothetically better savings that you might identify next week, next month, or, more likely next quarter or year (which is likely how long it will take to agree on a common schema, collect all of the data across the organization, categorize it, cleanse it and enrich it). And while more data can allow for the identification of bigger opportunities, it's often not worth waiting until you have it all to start the analysis and start pursuing those opportunities that are available today.

In this series we are going to talk about a new and disruptive spend analysis solution that adopts the postmodern view of spend analysis, where a practitioner should be able to take action on any data she can get her hands on whenever she can get her hands on it and take immediate action wherever and whatever. This includes the situation where the practitioner already has access to an enterprise data warehouse or business intelligence solution, because the data doesn't always get into that solution right away — and even if it does, it's not always the case that the schema of the data warehouse or business intelligence solution will support the type of analysis that the practitioner needs to do.

Oh, and it’s only $699.

From Watch to Know in 2018: How Scout RFP Helps Procurement Put the ‘Strategic’ Back in Sourcing

Each year, some companies on the Spend Matters 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch lists push themselves beyond simply a standout performance. They earn the recognition that they are not only bringing innovation into procurement organizations but also leading the charge to change the way we do business for the better. These are the providers who shifted from Watch to Know in 2018.

To learn more about these providers, we reached out to the four such cases in our 2018 50/50 lists, asking how they’ve changed over the years and what differentiates them from the competition. Today’s Q&A features Sean Michael, senior manager of content and communications at Scout RFP, a provider of sourcing solutions.

Coupa Inspire Dispatch: Rob Bernshteyn on Facts, Figures and Updates

Yesterday at Inspire (see my previous live coverage from the event here, here and here) Coupa’s CEO Rob Bernshteyn offered up a number of facts, updates and figures on Coupa which I thought would be worth sharing with Spend Matters readers.

Note: these facts, figures and updates centered primarily on Coupa usage, partners and adoption at the product level. Let’s begin!